The odds of having two sets of twins are incredibly high — one in 10,000 to be exact.
The odds of having two sets of twins and successfully combining motherhood with a demanding career as an out-of-hours emergency vet are probably even higher.
But veterinary surgeon Harriet Thomas is doing just that.
Harriet works in our busy Tunbridge Wells clinic — juggling her job, veterinary research and a desire to improve her knowledge with the everyday ups and downs of bringing up four small children.
“Working for Vets Now allows me to have two great sides to my life,” said Harriet, whose older twins are both six, and the younger pair are two.
“There’s my exciting professional career where I get to save pets’ lives, as well as the lovely mum life where I get to spend quality time with my children.”
Harriet began a one-year rotating small animal internship with the Royal Veterinary College, where she developed an interest in emergency and critical care (ECC) medicine.
“I was under the tuition of Amanda Boag which was amazing. During that year I began to develop a strong interest in ECC, as we hadn’t done too much in uni,” she recalled.
Her next step on the career ladder was to animal welfare charity Blue Cross in London, where she stayed for 11 years. It was during this period she fell pregnant with twins — not once, but twice.
After the birth of the second set, Harriet and her husband decided to move out of the capital to the more tranquil surroundings of Tunbridge Wells. It was here she embarked on a career at Vets Now.
“I’d kept in contact with Amanda since I left the internship,” she said. “But it wasn’t until we moved out of London that the stars aligned and I made the decision to leave my charity job.
“Vets Now seemed like a really obvious move. The job has allowed me to follow my passion for ECC and I particularly enjoy the unpredictability of every shift.
“The caseload is always exciting, and you never know what’s going to come through the door. No two shifts are ever the same. Couple that with the fact that you often get to see an immediate improvement in an animal’s situation, it makes it so worthwhile.
“I also like the support network at Vets Now. There are so many clinics and so many other people working at the same time that you never feel alone. There’s a real feeling of camaraderie. Another great thing is the CPD events and continuing education opportunities which you just wouldn’t get in a smaller company.”
Harriet Thomas Veterinary Surgeon
“I like the support network at Vets Now. There are so many clinics and so many other people working at the same time that you never feel alone."
Harriet works on a part-time contract, doing both out-of-hours emergency shifts in the Tunbridge Wells clinic, which was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the RCVS, and dealing with client correspondence from home.
She has also retained her passion for research and continuing professional development, achieving Cert AVP (ECC) status and last month presenting an abstract at Vets Now’s ECC Congress, alongside distinguished vets Karen Humm, Dan Lewis and John Williams.
Despite her packed work schedule, Harriet’s still always there for her children when they need her.
“The hours fit in perfectly with family life,” she explained. “I miss one drop-off but I’m there for every pick-up, and it’s really lovely getting to see the kids straight out of school every day.”
*Looking to take the step into ECC but feel you need more confidence? Our Refresh Your Edge programme offers the training and support you need to give your career the edge.
Are you an ambitious and dedicated vet looking for a new challenge? The solution may be AdvantEdge, a new fast-track induction programme for more experienced vets keen to develop their skills before diving into an exciting career in ECC.
We are also recruiting vets for our 10-week induction Cutting Edge. If you, or any vets you know, are interested in applying, please call the Vets Now recruitment team on 01383 841181.