Dear Reader 

This term brings the start of nurse practice placements, and for me as a Diploma student, the start of exam season. This is the first article I have written for the VNJ whilst in my role as a BVNA student council representative.

I am not going to lie it has been hard but hasn’t it for us all. I am a year and a half into my training and my life revolves around I would not want it any 

Both qualified and student veterinary nurses who read this article will relate to me when I say “preparation is key”. I feel that this is not only the case when nursing patients in practice, but also when revising for my medical and surgical nursing exams I have coming up.

Whilst training as an SVN I have realised that balancing work and studying can be challenging at times, but having support from my family, friends and colleagues has really helped. Although for some individuals it is even harder, as they have to balance personal issues on top of these already stressful circumstances. It is important to know that there are organisations out there to help, such as the BVNA advisory and Vetlife. These organisations not only help with exam stress but also personal issues such as mental health problems and difficulties in the workplace.

Reading through the VNJ makes me realise how much left I have to learn and how my intelligence has no boundaries. However, as I guide a first-year student at my practice through their anatomy and physiology revision, I realise how far I have come. From critical care nursing, to wound management and fluid therapy, veterinary nursing combines such a broad spectrum of subjects, and I feel that it is highly beneficial for both qualified and student veterinary nurses to continuously develop their knowledge and assist other learners surrounding them. I do this through reading journal articles and watching webinars, and I find it really benefits me during exam season to research around the subjects I am learning about.

As exam season begins, revision and research can begin to take over. One of the things that really helps me with exam stress is creating colourful flashcards and organising my work into sections. It seems simple, but small steps like this can really help reduce stress and increase efficiency. I also find talking through challenging subjects with my clinical coach or a veterinary surgeon to be of great assistance. SVN’s must also be aware that as well as finding time to revise, it is also incredibly important to rest and relax your brain. I may be being hypocritical here, as I am currently yawning after revising emergency and critical care nursing today, which has really taken it out of me!


Jasmine Pearl Kilpatrick

Student Veterinary Nurse and BVNA student VN council member 

VOL 32 • July 2017 • Veterinary Nursing Journal