6am: Alarm is screaming at me to get up and on top of that I have two excited dogs at the bottom of the stairs waiting for their breakfast! After breakfast is promptly delivered to my dogs and guinea pigs it’s time to get myself ready (husband still blissfully sleeping I should add! – he doesn’t start work until 9am this week).
8am: At work, kettle on (very important) and computer booted up. A huge pile of invoices await me to sign off and authorise. Part of my job is to ensure that we have received the goods or services before authorising them to be paid. Invoices come from everywhere ranging from the Council for emptying of our bins through to our daily stock deliveries. I usually have numerous invoices every day but today I have a huge amount and two hours later I am just finishing signing them off. During invoice sign off I have been approached by various members of staff whom ask questions or have problems that they need my assistance with. The art of multi tasking is essential however I make lists in a book to write my jobs down as otherwise it’s hard to keep on top of it all.
10am: Finally! Invoices signed off now on to emails (yikes). The emails I have received today all require various actions against them, and I have had eight sat there since leaving at 6.30pm the night before. Whilst dealing with the emails I have our computer diary in the background so I can keep a watch on the vets appointments see what appointments are being seen and what is happening with the patients. Being located reasonably centrally within the practice its lovely as I have had the pleasure of seeing an excitable dog pass the office on their way to have a blood test taken. It can often be quite amusing as I see vets dragged at flying speed around the practice by excitable dogs. I am constantly keeping a watch on the diary to see when and why we run over time which usually is a result of emergencies rushed in to the practice. Emma, one of our animal nursing assistants, has come in to the office to report a cat bite to her finger so an accident report has to be filled in and advice sheet declaring she should see her doctor for antibiotics soon follows. Lovely receptionist makes me a tea (happy days).
12pm-2pm: Eight emails dealt with but have received an additional six! (This will be ongoing for the rest of the day). I hold a meeting with head veterinary nurse in regards to job vacancies currently running for her department and discuss in reference to the people she had interviewed so far. I receive a telephone call from one of our Weston Road receptionists’ struggling to work out a clients account against insurance claims. I stop what I am doing and work on that, as the client needs the breakdown explaining. The account is complicated as various conditions occurring and insurance company have made various deductions against what we have claimed so takes a while but I figure it out in the end (whilst the kettle calls my name). I don’t have lunch breaks as I work through them, my break is for the toilet and a cup of tea and to go and see the patients. I have been greeted by an exceptionally friendly and happy Cocker Spaniel whom is recovering from being castrated, being a qualified veterinary nurse albeit non-practicing now due to injury, I always want to know what’s happening with the patients and I lend a hand where I can and its required. Call received from Beccles receptionist, the scales have broken at that site and she needs advice on who to contact and what to do – plan arranged. Further discussion with the head nurse regarding practice standards inspection, which is due in the next couple of months and arranging a schedule of allocated time to devote to going through the folders and uploading the documents required, this is a huge job.
2pm-3.30pm: One to one vet meetings arranged and scheduled. These meetings are for delivery of information or changes that need to be made. It also gives the vets the opportunity to raise any concerns or problems that they have or would like to discuss with me. Although I am in charge of everyone in the practices and the practices themselves, I am a direct line manager and point of contact for each of the vets. Another glance at emails and yep you guessed it, more have come in (five to be exact, a couple are straight forward responses the other three are going to involve quite a bit of time but are not urgent, so have flagged them to ensure I go back to them and they don’t get lost with more incoming).
At 3.30pm it’s puppy time, little Nelson has come for his primary vaccinations, so very cute and can’t resist a cuddle as the vet brings him round to meet people. I always have time for puppy cuddles – he doesn’t seem remotely phased by his vaccination and leaves as happy as he came in which is lovely.
3.30pm-6.30pm: Practice point of contact form completed for regional administrator, this includes our practices health and safety co-ordinators and contact details. Phone call made with our soon to be new vet requesting details in order to complete and process her starter form so a contract can be issued out. Unexpected telephone call received from an experienced vet and an interview arranged. We are currently running a few vacancies across the practice for nurses, vets and receptionists. Discussion follows with my senior vet about potential rota changes. Kettle boiled (notice I said boiled) I can boil it several times a day but it doesn’t always produce a drink as I get busy doing things, its 5.30pm and this is one of those occasions. A receptionist asks me some advice about a call she is taking in regards to a flea problem despite using products, decision made to make the client a free of charge appointment with a nurse to discuss environmental factors and product application, this was followed by a call from a Beccles receptionist to discuss servicing of their anaesthetic machine (in fact my phone is starting to get very busy now). Various animals pass the office on there way to the consult room to be reunited with their owners – lots of wagging tails and lovely resounding noises coming from the consultation rooms.
It’s 6pm and the mood of the practice has changed, sadly a euthanasia appointment has been booked in. It affects us all as we have all experienced it ourselves, and know and see how animals affect people’s lives. The vet and nurse involved are clearly affected by it so I touch base with them and make sure they are ok; it’s good for them to talk about things and with stress being a huge factor in the veterinary world, it’s important that feelings are discussed. It’s not unusual for any of us to have tears for a client and their pet.
I try to answer one last email before turning my computer off and making my way home, its 6.45pm and yes you guessed it, I return home to see my husband and two wagging tails to greet me.
My work is varied as you can see; I never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Having worked for over 10 years as a nurse myself, I am fortunate and lucky to work with caring and passionate people who give their all everyday. Between the three practices I help support 32 members of staff, each of whom do a fantastic job and their best every day. Animals are our life and our clients are our extended family.