Sue Badger RVN, Cert Ed, and past BVNA President:

“The annual BANAA/BVNA Congress was the professional high-point of the year for most nurses. I well remember my first one. It was held in the Russell Hotel in central London and I was most impressed by one of the speakers, Leslie Hall informing us that his nurses always scraped up and measured any vomitus or diarrhoea passed by patients in order to ascertain exact fluid loss!

Subsequent congresses in those early years were held at the Berkshire College of Agriculture and were a great success both commercially and socially. It should be remembered that BCA as it was fondly known, was the first College to provide a full-time course for trainee veterinary nurses under the tutorship of the renowned Heather Briggs and her colleagues. I spent six months there as a student in 1975 and enjoyed every minute, apart from the Saturday morning tests! I note from the prospectus that tuition fees were £20 per term whilst RCVS examination fees were £3.15 for both the Preliminary and the Final exams, as they were then known. Both examinations included a practical element and all candidates had to travel to the RVC at Camden Town. I well remember memorising autoclave cycles on the train journey into London and then being thrilled to be asked by the examiner to recite them in the exam itself! It should also be borne in mind that veterinary nursing examiners at that time were exclusively veterinary surgeons The advent of VN examiners and structured practical tasks was some distance away.”