Dear Reader

Spicing your professional life

“Variety’s the very spice of life that gives it all its flavour.” So said William Cowper, the 18th century poet and hymnodist. And I was minded of his much-used saying as I read through the final proofs of this edition of VNJ.

I’m not sure what triggered the thought. I think it was just the serendipitous exploration of each consecutive page; unfolding a wealth of different subjects and experience, yet all held together through that ‘certain something’ that constitutes veterinary nursing. In fact, it was only towards the end that the ‘certain something’ began to crystallise and take shape.

Its overarching ethos emerged from Debbie Gray’s short article describing her special new role as the BVNA’s Education Development Co-ordinator. In it she summarised the function of the Association as being ‘to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing’.

High-minded theory? Lofty ideals? Well “no”. Health, welfare, development and professional excellence are all there in this month’s VNJ and serve to remind us of the rich tapestry that is the veterinary nurse’s lot. And the unlimited potential for doing good that the qualification offers.

The article about this year’s BVNA charity, The Horse Trust, cites some poignant examples of TLC following unforgivable cases of neglect; while Paula Baker reminds us of the behavioural needs of parrots – much of which, once read, is common sense.

“Yes, I know,” I hear you say. “That’s all very well, but we don’t see horses, or donkeys, or parrots!” But you do see hundreds of overweight dogs… and rabbits that are shut away in hutches on their own. How many of those health and welfare challenges do you tackle?

And then, as Lindsay Clapham and Claire Roberts remind us, there are all those thousands of surgical cases in which your assessment and management of pain is paramount – a chance to combine welfare expertise with professional excellence; especially in communicating the essentials of continued pain relief to clients in preparation for when their pets – still your patients – go home.

So don’t underestimate the value of your input into every case you see, every history you take, and every explanation you give during your working day. All those different patients, each an individual, making variety the spice of your professional life.


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/j.2045-0648.2012.00241.x or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 27 pp 434

• VOL 27 • December 2012 •  Veterinary Nursing Journal