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"Our mission is to provide high quality care for our patients and their owners at all times"

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We are a training Centre for Veterinary Nurses (VNs) and Animal Nursing Assistants (ANAs) who will either stay with us or move on when qualified.


Student VNs


In order to enrol as a student veterinary nurse, an individual must have achieved A, B, or C grades in 5 GCSEs including English, Maths and Science (or other equivalent qualifications). The individual must also have employment at a centre which has been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to train student nurses. The Veterinary Hospital is a Training Practice (TP) for the Veterinary Nursing scheme, with approval having been granted as we have met the strict requirements for facilities and resources as laid down by the Royal College.


The Veterinary Hospital prioritises the training it provides to Student Veterinary Nurses and we feel very proud to see our students develop from inexperienced animal lovers to capable and efficient professional Veterinary Nurses. The student nurses rotate through each of the areas of the hospital including, dispensary, laboratory, radiography, theatre, ward, reception and night calls. The Student Veterinary Nurses perform their work under direct supervision by the Veterinary Surgeon or qualified Veterinary Nurse. During their period of training, each student nurse is required to compile a portfolio of over 100 cases of patient care that they have been involved with, and must also pass two sets of rigorous examinations which include written papers and practical vivas. They also have a period of formal training at College. Training as a veterinary nurse takes 2 years of dedication and only students who have achieved the high standards required through this period will successfully qualify.


Animal Nursing Assistants


ANAs receive training both on the job under direct and constant supervision and also formally at college. Their training period lasts one year during which time they work towards the "Animal Nursing Assistant" qualification. To achieve this qualification, ANAs must compile a portfolio of cases they have been involved with as well as pass a written examination which includes questions on the anatomy, physiology, nutrition, husbandry, handling and nursing of cats and dogs as well as small mammals and exotics species.


As the job title suggests, their role is primarily to provide animal care and their duties are wide ranging including kennel cleaning and disinfection; laundry of bedding; feeding of inpatients under supervision; exercising of inpatients; and daily grooming. ANAs work closely with the inpatients and this provides the opportunity to get to know each of them and their individual characteristics and mannerisms, and to also pick up quickly on any changes in an animal's behaviour. It is vital that such changes are recognised immediately and the veterinary surgeon then notified, as these changes may actually prove to be indications of either an improvement or deterioration in the animal's condition.


We consider it a high priority to ensure that our inpatients are comfortable and clean and that they are given affection and stimulation by our staff-just as you would provide to your pet if he or she were at home. It is primarily our ANAs who will provide this daily stimulation, for example by taking the time to encourage cats to purr and by hand feeding anorexic animals. Depressed animals particularly benefit from this level of stimulation. The interaction that ANAs have with the inpatients means that the animals soon learn to recognise them and then feel at ease in their environment which in turn contributes significantly to their sense of well being whilst hospitalised and ultimately their recovery to full health.


In addition to working in the ward area, our ANAs also assist under supervision in the theatres, dispensary area and on the reception desk. ANAs also work alongside the qualified veterinary nurse and vet on night duties in our provision of 24 hour care to our patients.



Student VNs and Animal Nursing Assistants

Student Nurse


Rachel Thew has been with us for several years, having started volentering at the hospital to gain valuable work experince. Her profesionalism and enthusiasm shone through and she was soon employed and making a strong impression as a team member at our Plympton and Estover branches.  


A keen horse rider, she regulary attends competitons on her horse Fleck, winning many awards throughout the country. Rachel has a strong avian interest and enjoys spending time with her canary called Amarillo. In her spare time she likes to volunteer at the Riding Disabled Association.

Rachel Thew

Matt Day

Animal Nursing Assistant

Matthew Day is one of our Animal Nursing Assistants and has been working with The Veterinary Hospital group for over 7 years. He works at all of our branches as well as the main hospital making him an established and valuable member for our team.


He has 2 corn snakes called Echo and Archimedies and particulary likes working with wildlife, helping to reablitate them.


In his spare time Matthew likes to run half marathons, play tennis and is an National Trust enthusiast, often enjoying long walks in the countryside.

Matt Day