What it's like to be a vet

Caitlin is a local student, reflecting on her opportunity to undertake veterinary work experience at a local veterinary practice...

Caitlin at the vets desk

Tell us about where you did your work experience, how you got it and how long was it for?

I did work experience at The Strand vets in Port Erin. I originally asked to shadow one of their veterinary nurses, as she is an animal physiotherapist, and she managed to offer me a week at the vets which then ended up being 4 weeks, to my delight!


Have you always wanted to work with animals?

I have always been around animals; as a child I grew up surrounded by dogs and cats, and always took an interest in spending my time at Ard Jerkyl interacting with the animals. As I grew older and attained a part time job, I realised that I care more about enjoying the job I do, rather than the money it pays.  Animals have been a big part of my life, I don't get bored of them and I find it rather intriguing to observe their behaviour.

What appeals most to you about your future careers choice?

The fact that my ideal career revolves around animals and helping them is what appeals to me the most. I think the idea that I will wake up actually wanting to go to work will be brilliant!

What was your most memorable experience from your work placement?

While I was there a Dental Specialist, Alex Smithson, preformed two big dental operations that I observed. They were very intriguing to watch as one of them involved removing big canine teeth.

What benefits do you think taking part in work experience has given you?

Doing work experience at The Strand Vets has heightened my determination to work at a veterinary practice as it was so enjoyable. As well as that, it made me handle my time responsibly as I had to be up at 7am to catch a bus to Port Erin and arrive for general working hours... so late nights were out of the question!

Do you feel that you now know more about what working with animals involves?

I learnt how to deal with animals correctly, whether they be distressed or dopey from aesthetic. I also encountered many situations where I was communicating with the pets owners, and I realised that, as well as animals, you have to be good with people too. Plus, it broadened my knowledge of how a practice works efficiently and how general procedures are handled.

What are your plans for when you finish you’re A Levels?

Ideally, when I finish A Levels I would like to go to university and study Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Nursing, or alternatively Animal Behaviour and Welfare and then maybe do a postgraduate in Veterinary Nursing or Vet Medicine.

Who inspires you?

Noel Fitzpatrick, also known as 'The Supervet'. He goes above and beyond treating his patients, finding alternative ways to cure and prevent ailments.

What advice would you give to other students who will be taking part in work experience placements?

When taking part in work experience placements I would advise you to jump into the deep end! Most of the time you only have a set amount of weeks or days, so you should make the most of it to gain as much knowledge and enjoyment out of it as you can. The more you put in, the more you'll take away from the experience, and that's something that I tend to live by.

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Employed.im is always interested in hearing about student’s work placement experiences, whether it’s a week working in a local IT company, dentist or bank, or a summer long placement with a law firm or in any other sector. Want to get featured? Get in touch.

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