11 Jan 2021 | Animal welfare
British Veterinary LGBT: Kim's story
To celebrate LGBT History Month, Operations Support Manager Kim Mohan gives her advice to anyone experiencing difficulty with their sexuality or gender identity.
What inspired your path into the veterinary profession?
I wasn’t one of those people who instinctively grew up thinking I wanted to work in the veterinary industry. At 16 our family cat was in a car accident and had a tail pull injury resulting in little bladder function so therefore she needed her bladder expressed. The veterinary surgeon at our local practice taught me how and was impressed with how quickly I picked it up and asked if I would like to see practice with them.
During my work experience I saw how amazing their Head Veterinary Nurse was and how rewarding her role was. She was a very ‘hands on’ nurse and the veterinary surgeons greatly relied on her. The role of the veterinary nurse in this practice was very varied, with reception, kennel, and theatre duties and although I found it daunting, I was amazed at how much impact you could have on a patient’s well-being and recovery and it inspired me to enroll as a student veterinary nurse.
What has been the most challenging part of your career?
Working at the QMHA was amazing for my development and working to such a high standard was very rewarding. However, I am from Dublin originally and it was tough being so far from home at this time. This is also when I came out, so whilst trying to learn to be an exceptional nurse like the ones I was surrounded by, I also was coming out surrounded essentially by strangers.
The cases we nursed in the ECC unit could be high dependency cases and our role was to nurse and monitor them intensely. Initially, I found this degree of responsibility as a young nurse very intense and challenging, but it was also when I learned the most and developed as a nurse. My time at the QMHA challenged me to be a better nurse and to develop and trust my instincts.
What has been the best part of your career so far?
I can’t define one ‘best part’. There has been a number of highs in my career, I loved working at the RVC, and I was lucky enough to work with colleagues who inspired me greatly. I loved the standard and level of care that we achieved.
I am lucky enough to love my current role and company, Independent Vetcare (IVC). I was nervous about working for a large group having worked in academia for so many years but I am delighted with how IVC has evolved. Being part of a group that is so committed to the development and growth of the traditional veterinary practice whilst being part of a large group amazes me.
What are your proudest achievements of your career?
After a number of years as a nurse in the QMHA, I moved into the Clinical Investigation Centre at the RVC. This role used my nursing skills in a completely different capacity and I loved being part of something that would benefit patients in the future. The work very was rewarding because I was involved in studies into breed specific diseases, efficiency of current treatments and comparisons of novel treatments. I believe this type of work is essential for the patients of tomorrow and the improvement of animal health and welfare. One of my proudest moments was my promotion to Assistant Director of the Clinical Investigation Centre.
What advice would you offer to someone experiencing difficulty with their sexuality or gender identity?
When I was coming out, I felt a pressure to define myself really quickly and as I have got older I’ve realised sexuality and gender is so fluid. My advice is don’t work to anyone’s timeline but your own, surround yourself with people who can be a positive force in your life, if that means getting involved in new groups etc then go for it! Some people can be ignorant but don’t let that ignorance shadow your story.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
My advice to my younger self would be... it will be ok. I worried so much about other people opinions and still do to some degree and although it sounds clique, I’d tell my younger self ‘to follow your instincts, be kind to others, true to yourself and it will be ok... oh and keep smiling.’
- British Veterinary LGBT: James' Story - written by James Whitmore, equine vet
- British Veterinary LGBT: Samantha's Story - written by head nurse, Samantha Payne
- British Veterinary LGBT: Henry's Story - written by Henry L’Eplattenier, veterinary surgeon
- British Veterinary LGBT: Sam’s story - written by Sam Morgan, President of the British Veterinary Nursing Association, published for LGBT history month 2017
- British Veterinary LGBT: Peter's story - written by Dr Peter Jones, BVA President 2012-13, published for LGBT history month 2017
- British Veterinary LGBT: Charlotte's story - written by Dr Charlotte McCarroll, published for LGBT history month 2017
- Follow @bvlgbt on Twitter, like BVLGBT+ on Facebook or email [email protected]
- Rallying the troops for British Veterinary LGBT+
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