Supporting our people: Jacqui tells how Vets Now helped catapult her career to the next level
At Vets Now we reward hard work and offer career progression opportunities to staff at all levels.
We are committed to investing in the next generation of veterinary professionals and actively support and encourage anyone wishing to study for a certificate in emergency and critical care (ECC).
As part of this, vets who embark on the CertAVP(ECC) or PGCert(ECC) are allocated 300 hours of CPD study time, as well as an additional 45 hours to prepare for their final exams. Those who go on to gain certification are also rewarded with £2,500.
One of our vets, Jacqui Seymour, who is based at Vets Now in Alfreton and has recently been appointed president of NEVA (North of England Veterinary Association), has already completed the CertAVP(ECC) and has also gone on to gain Advanced Practioner status.
Here she tells our content marketing manager Iain Harrison about her journey to CertAVP(ECC) certification and how Vets Now has helped take her career to the next level.
When did working as a vet become an ambition?
As far back as I can remember. I recall going to the vet with my dog, and the vet giving me leaflets about exciting things like vaccinations and wormers. He said ‘read that and next time you come back you’ll be a vet’. I was still too young to read, but I was determined that I was going to be a vet by the time I went back.
How did you qualify?
I didn’t get the A-levels I wanted as I was poorly during my exams, so I ended up doing the Pre-Veterinary Science Certificate at the University of Nottingham before going into daytime practice. I worked my way up from ACA to trainee vet nurse. While doing that, I applied for vet school and went on to do a six-year course at the University of Cambridge before graduating in 2011. Going down this route meant I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.
How did you end up at Vets Now?
I saw an advert for Cutting Edge around a year after I graduated. It looked like a great pathway into a career in ECC, which I’d always fancied, so I applied. The programme was a brilliant introduction to ECC. I learned an incredible amount and met some brilliant mentors that I now count as friends.
Tell me more about CertAVP(ECC)?
It’s a postgraduate qualification in ECC that’s flexible and modular. I started studying for the certificate as soon as I graduated from Cutting Edge. I did it through the University of Liverpool and the RCVS and it took me more than three years. I’ve since passed my synoptic exam, which is an oral exam, giving me Advanced Practitioner status. The new CPD package for people considering going down the certification route is very generous. The incentivised study hours will make things so much easier because it can be tough juggling working in a clinic with studying.
What do you enjoy most about working in ECC?
I’m very fortunate that six years after qualifying I can genuinely say that I love my job and that I’m incredibly proud of our profession. I’m hugely excited by the advancements occurring in our field and how ECC continues to develop. I think this is by far the most interesting side of veterinary medicine.
What advice would you give to people considering following in your footsteps?
I’d encourage anyone who is looking to embark on a similar career path to get as much experience as possible in general practice and then enter through a training programme such as Cutting Edge. At Vets Now we have fantastic teachers and mentors with unique skills and backgrounds that other veterinary businesses just don’t have. This gives new staff the best possible footing for going into ECC. It’s a steep learning curve, but it’s an adrenaline ride that’s well worth it.
What do you like most about working for Vets Now?
Despite its continuing growth, Vets Now still has a close-knit feel. For me, you get the benefits of working for a large business, but the advantages of small team networks and dynamics. This has allowed me to build great mentoring relationships and networks.
Would you ever consider going back into general practice?
I wouldn’t. I would miss the excitement too much. Although I enjoyed the relationships with the clients and my team in general practice, I still have those benefits in emergency medicine in addition to more exciting cases and more opportunities for career progression. That’s the buzz of veterinary medicine and I wouldn’t want to leave that.
If you’d like to find out more about the opportunities for vets and vet nurses at Vets Now please speak to a member of our recruitment team on 01383 841 181 or click on the vacancies section of our website.