Veterinary nursing is a branch of the veterinary profession, specialising in the supportive care of animals receiving treatment while communicating the importance of animal health and wellbeing to owners. The tasks undertaken by a veterinary nurse are wide ranging, as are the animals they work with.
This is no different when learning at Harper. The practical learning led by our skilled team sees all kinds of small and companion animals down at the Veterinary Nursing Centre, benefitting from equipment such as the hydrotherapy pool. This is an area Helen Cartlidge, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Sciences and Course Tutor for vet nursing final year students, specialises in along with research skills and evidence based veterinary medicine.
Helen has always had close ties to Harper. She commented: “I graduated from Harper Adams in 2008 with a degree in Veterinary Nursing. I went on to work in a mixed animal practice before returning to Harper Adams in 2011 as a member of the teaching staff.”
From her experiences in practice, Helen was keen to share her knowledge and help others pursue their chosen career. She said: “ A veterinary nursing degree can be the stepping stone to a career in practice or into many other aspects of the veterinary industry as well.” The flexibility of the course gives a well rounded understanding of all aspects of the profession, allowing students to enter the field or continue to specialise through further study.
Further study is something that Helen herself followed, working to gain qualifications that helped her further her knowledge in her favoured specialisms. She shared: “I have an interest in research and veterinary rehabilitation so alongside my work I have completed an MRes in Veterinary Hydrotherapy in 2017 which involved the completion of two independant research projects.
“I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy having completed a PgC in Higher Education. I lead the research skills teaching within the Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Physiotherapy department and also oversee the final year honours research projects.
“My interest in research and evidence based veterinary medicine have also led me to pursue roles within the RCVS Ethics Review Panel and as a Trustee for RCVS Knowledge.”
When not working with students or to further her own specialist knowledge, Helen can be found with her cocker spaniel Molly, who she rescued when working in practice. Helen said: “Molly comes to work with me and enjoys a fuss from all the students and sometimes helps out with practical teaching. Although she's getting older now, so she mainly enjoys sleeping!”
To find out more about our veterinary nursing courses, click here. To speak to students about their experience, ask staff any questions, and to explore campus from the comfort of your own home, join us at our Virtual Open Day, October 10. Registration is now open.