Vet signed up for AdvantEdge after spending five years in first-opinion practice
Katie Purchase is an experienced vet who has a firm belief in her own abilities.
She exudes quiet confidence, calmness and a commitment to being the best she can be. It’s for the latter reason that Katie signed up for our AdvantEdge fast-track induction programme.
While sure she could hit the ground running as an emergency vet, Katie was keen to refresh her knowledge of some common emergency procedures and get back into a learning mentality before starting her new job in our out-of-hours clinic in Gateshead.
In this interview, Katie, 29, who’s from Newcastle and has three cats called Maggie, Rosie and Pheobe, tells how embarking on AdvantEdge helped her achieve those aims.
Tell me about your career to date?
I graduated from the RVC in 2013 and went straight into private small animal first-opinion practice. I’ve been working as a general practitioner ever since.
What attracted you to the AdvantEdge programme?
For me, it was the perfect bridge into emergency and critical care. While I felt competent, confident and experienced enough to go straight into ECC work, I wanted to fill in some gaps before I started. AdvantEdge really helped with that. It also got me back into an academic mentality which you can sometimes lose in the busyness of doing day-to-day routine procedures.
What did you gain?
Clinically wise, it was really interesting. The programme was well designed and broadly spread over a lot of subjects. It covered bases I already felt comfortable in but also filled in a few gaps in my knowledge. The lectures focused on what’s considered best practice and how you can realistically apply this to your job. I also enjoyed the wellbeing aspect — for example, learning about the transition to working nights.
What other subjects did you find interesting?
Overall, it was very stimulating and really good quality. But I particularly enjoyed the exotics day. It was really interesting recapping my knowledge on exotics and some of the species we might not necessarily expect to see every night. It helped build my confidence in approaching those cases. The ultrasound day was also useful from a practical perspective.
How did you rate the teaching?
The lecturers were all really approachable and down to earth but also exceptionally knowledgeable, bringing different points of view and experience to the subjects they taught us. I found them all interesting and inspiring.
What other areas did you learn about?
We spent some time learning how to use the various pieces of technology they have in the clinics and we were also taught about things like minimum databases, electrolytes and blood gas analysis. We wouldn’t normally use these in first-opinion general practice so it was interesting to learn more about them.
Would you recommend AdvantEdge to others?
I’d definitely recommend it to anyone considering a career in ECC, as it helps build your confidence and also provides an ideal foundation to become an ECC vet.
Why do you want to work in ECC?
Lots of reasons. I enjoy working in an adrenaline-fuelled environment. But I’m also keen to see a bigger variety of cases, to challenge myself and to work on the edge of my comfort zone.
Katie Purchase AdvantEdge graduate
"I’d recommend AdvantEdge to anyone considering a career ECC, as it helps build your confidence and also provides an ideal foundation to become an ECC vet."
What do you think makes a good emergency vet?
Good communication skills are the key for any vet but particularly in emergency when you have to manage a client’s emotions and assist them just as much as the patient. It’s also vital to be level-headed and calm in sometimes difficult circumstances.
Why did choose to work for Vets Now?
It’s a company with high clinical standards and one that’s driven by staff welfare and wellbeing. That’s something that’s very much needed in the veterinary profession. Both of those things are as important as each other.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I can see myself doing a certificate in ECC and continuing to work in this field.