Louise Higgins Biography
The year 2007 saw me finally qualifying as a veterinary nurse.
It all began in September 2004 when I enrolled as a Student Veterinary Nurse at Bicton College of Agriculture on the Level 2 course. This course structure consisted of 1 day at college and 4 days in practice. During that year I learnt Anatomy and physiology, general nursing, caring for exotics, pharmacology and client interaction. At the end of the college year, I had to take 2 written exam papers which consisted of multiple choice questions. I needed 65% to pass on each paper. I found out in August 2005 that I had passed the level 2 exams.
This enabled me to progress onto the level 3 course in September 2005. During the following year I learnt the theory and practical elements of laboratory procedures, radiography, anaesthesia, first aid, surgical nursing, medical nursing and stock management.
On top of the end of year exams I also had to complete a written portfolio during the 2 years in training, which consisted of practical tasks which were undertaken in practice.
At the end of that year I had the daunting task of 2 multiple choice question papers and 4 practical exams. The practical exams consisted of 4 rooms with 2 tasks each. The tasks covered radiography, medical nursing, anaesthesia and surgical nursing and laboratory procedures. Time limits were in place and all tasks were performed in front of an RCVS registered examiner. There were also oral questions given at the end of each task.
Amongst veterinary nurses the practical exams are the most feared. Fortunately passed all 4 rooms but the level 3 written examinations proved more of an obstacle.
Winter 2006 saw me retaking my level 3 written exams which continued my run of bad luck. But summer 2007 looked more promising. My journey to Bristol this time seemed to take forever. The 3 hours it took to complete both exams seemed to fly by, but the wait for the results seemed like a life time.
On Thursday 23rd August 2007 I finally received the dreaded letter. As my family waited in anticipation I opened the envelop hoping it would be third time lucky. To my relief I had PASSED!
I now have the privilege of calling myself Louise Higgins VN, which entitles me to carry out schedule 3 procedures; dental scale and polishing, taking blood samples, administering intravenous fluids and performing minor surgical procedures, such as simple wound suturing.
Louise's Tip Top Tip - for all aspiring student veterinary nurses. It is essential that you have a full time work placement set up before you enroll on the SVN course.'
In my free time I enjoy horse riding; going to the cinema; photography and visiting my family’s chalet at Bovisand.
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