Applicants applying to Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland, UK) for the course on veterinary nursing need to attend an interview at which their animal skills are tested when they are required to interact with a dog. It could just as easily been a cat.
This year, 2014, Dr Mary Fraser says that there are 400 applicants for 30 places at the University so testing an applicant’s compatibility with animals is obviously vital in order to find the best students.
I don’t know much more about this but what I do know is that it is an excellent idea. I’ve always thought that applicants to courses to become a veterinarian or a doctor and in this case a veterinary nurse should always factor in the attitude of the applicant towards animals. It is not enough simply to be intelligent, knowledgeable and dextrous etc. The person must, ideally, love animals and be sympathetic towards them. In fact, this element is so important that without it a veterinary nurse could only ever provide adequate care, at best, in my opinion.
The very best medical staff have a passion about their patients. They genuinely care about the health and welfare of their patients. That genuineness of approach is vital in delivering quality care.
When you think about it, the administrators of Edinburgh Napier University are doing something which perhaps could have been done a long time ago but I am very impressed with this enlightened approach. Their interview process addresses a vital component of an applicant’s attitude for the job of veterinary nurse, namely, compassion for animals combined with an ability to connect with their patients.