Back to blog list

British Veterinary LGBT: Samantha's story

To celebrate LGBT History Month, Head Nurse Samantha Payne talks about her veterinary career and encourages fellow LGBT+ vets and allied professionals to be themselves.

What inspired your path into the veterinary profession?

From an early age I was always interested in animals and through my volunteer work with St John's, the medical side linked with this interest. After my first taste of work experience in a local small practice I knew this was the career for me and so set my sights on college and then university.

What has been the most challenging part of your career?

Initially passing OSCE’s was a challenge as at time my nerves would often get the better of me. This is a common challenge and I would say to any nurse feeling this to not give up and look for ways to counteract the nerves. Recently due to illness I took on role of practice manager alongside my head nurse role. This has been a great test of my time management and organisation but I have relished this challenge and will be a better nurse going forward after this opportunity.

What has been the best part of your career so far?

My time working for the Blue Cross was a great period of time. The nursing and theatre experience gained there will stay with me for my whole career and have proved invaluable after leaving there due to relocation.

Being part of a nursing team that successfully hand reared a letter of puppies after mum sadly died. My heart couldn’t say no and my pup is now 4 years old. This was a great experience for all the nurses involved and the whole practice got involved each day.

What are your proudest achievements of your career?

The day I was told I had got my head nurse role gave me a huge moment of pride, having never thought I would head this way just a couple of years before, but I would never look back now. Passing my ECC certificate after a year of study and hard work and now look to the next CPD challenge for myself in the coming year or two.

What advice would you offer to someone experiencing difficulty with their sexuality or gender identity?

Talk to someone - friend, family or support service. There are so many understanding members in the veterinary profession who will understand what you are experiencing. Online and phone support services are out there both generic and LGBT specific. Don’t suffer in silence. Mental wellbeing in an already stressful profession is important and this shouldn’t suffer.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

Be yourself, don’t change who you are for anyone. Be proud of who you are and hold your head high while achieving change in your life and those around you in the future.

More on this topic


Want to join BVA?

Get tailored news in your inbox and online, plus access to our journals, resources and support services, join the BVA.

Join Us Today

Not a member but want a weekly vet news round up?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest vet news in your inbox.

For tailored content in your inbox and online, as well as access to our journals and resource and support services you might want to consider joining BVA.