University Applicants for Veterinary Nurse Course Meet Dogs At Interview

Veterinary nurse training

Vet and nurse in mobile clinic in America. Photo: Tony Alter

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.

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University Applicants for Veterinary Nurse Course Meet Dogs At Interview — 16 Comments

  1. Yes a good idea and all very well but I’d have liked the applicants to have to interact with a cat too, a confident cat who wouldn’t mind meeting strangers.
    But as always it seems dogs are more important to the veterinary profession 🙁

    • Yeah exactly. Ok I mean anybody can get on with most dogs, certainly in an interview situation a dog is going to be much much easier to handle than a cat.

      A better test would be with a cat because it’s more challenging. Usually if a person can get on well with a cat it’s because they know at least a little bit how to listen to animals and understand their needs – empathy in other words.

      • A better test would be with a cat because it’s more challenging.

        Ruth and I agree. Trickier and requiring more “interpersonal” skills. At least there is a focus on the animal at this interview and actual skills rather than paper and words.

        • Yes – because it seems many people who work in ‘animal services’ actually hate animals and even torture them.

          They should be the LAST people with such jobs. A vet should love animals, no question about it. The dog/cat interview test should be one of the important parts of the application if not the most.

          • Totally agree. Shelters and vets: quite a few don’t like animals it seems to me. Even some cat owners don’t like animals.

            I don’t see how you can love cats and hate a fox or squirrel, for example.

            • This is so sad that this happens overseas I don’t think it’s the case over here in New Zealand. I guess there are similar possible people over here, but not sure.

              • I think maybe some inadequate people like power Kylee and working with animals gives a person power over them because they can choose whether to be kind or unkind to them.
                Declawing vets must love having power over cats, they know the poor creatures can’t object or complain.

            • It makes me wonder if any person wanting to enter a caring profession shouldn’t need to undergo a psych evaluation along with the “field testing”.

  2. It was my own fault Michael, I missed the t out of Ruth when typing it in, but didn’t realise until my second post was held for moderation too lol

  3. I think any vet nurse applicant should be held to the standards of our Ruth. All schools should have her profile and accomplishments on file. The schools’ final question should be, “Is she/he a Ruth”?
    It may sound soapy, but that’s the way I feel.
    It’s a position that not just anyone can hold.
    I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it myself.
    Animals and people are on 2 different planes with me.

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