I have always wanted to work with animals and am finally getting to do so. I decided to do an apprenticeship as I feel that "on the job" learning is possibly the best thing someone can do.

Ryan Wensley,

Ryan Wensley

Training as a veterinary nurse. at Paxton Veterinary Clinic

“I have always wanted to work with animals and am finally getting to do so. I decided to do an apprenticeship as I feel that "on the job" learning is possibly the best thing someone can do. You gain the theoretical knowledge at college and then you are able to put the theory into practice, which I find helps me with the learning side a lot more than just reading it over and over.

"Where I work it is quite difficult to describe a typical day, as every day is different, my jobs at work can involve anything from filing a consent form away to monitoring an anaesthetic during a cat spay operation. I also do things like hoovering/mopping floors, hold animals for the nurses/vets, draw up any medications and lots more. We tend to have at least 2 routine surgeries in per day, neutering is the most common procedure, I work out the drug dosages, set up the theatre, set up the kennels and any other equipment needed for this. After surgery, I will either begin to swab round theatre in preparation for the next surgery or completely "shut down" theatre.

"We also have morning and afternoon consults, where I will be around to help if need be, for example helping to hold an excited dog. In between all this there is the immense amount of cleaning involved in working at a veterinary practice.

"A typical day at college involves many hours of lectures, with some lectures taking more of a practical approach if the subject allows. It can be quite tiring as we are there from 9am to 19:30pm with 2 main breaks. The College has helped me during my apprenticeship, mainly by providing me with the knowledge I need to do my job at work.

"The biggest challenge during my apprenticeship was helping the other nurses/vets trying to resuscitate a cat that had crashed after its anaesthetic. This was something very new to me as it does not happen often, I was in charge of recording any and all information given to me by the vets/nurses, simple things like mucous membrane colour and more difficult things like neurological terms that I had never heard before, all this while passing equipment/medication to the team.

"I have learnt many things during my time as an apprentice, most of it has been clinical/medically based but I have also learnt a lot about customer service, health and safety laws and much more.

"I am hoping to get a long-lasting career out of this apprenticeship and hopefully the chance to go on to a degree course in Nursing, and then even further onto a Veterinary Surgery Degree if this allows me to. My plans for next year and future are to excel in my nursing abilities and more importantly in knowledge of the subject, whether this be through college or external continual professional development (CPD).

"I will always recommend doing an apprenticeship over a solely theoretical learning path. My reason being that doing an apprenticeship means you work with people who already have experience and knowledge in the particular field you choose, my clinical coach has expanded so much on the theory I have learnt in lessons and I do not feel like doing a solely theoretical path would allow for that to happen. It also helps greatly that you get to put your knowledge into work straight away.”