Working in a vet practice? Stop what you're doing and feel proud

Posted on August 05, 2016

Filming Veterinary View at Stanley House vetsFor the last 7 years I have interacted with vets all day and every day. But never as an animal owner, and almost always from behind my desk in the media and policy offices at BVA HQ. So it's quite a treat to get out and visit vets and vet practices, and this week I was on the road with an ITN crew filming for our next Veterinary View programme.

On Tuesday we pretty much took over Stanley House Veterinary Group in Colne, Lancashire. If you've ever done any filming you'll remember the ridiculous amount of kit a cameraman carries, which is quite a challenge when a busy, small animal practice is trying to get the day job done, jumping over tripods and ducking under lights.

So I'm beyond grateful to the staff and clients for being so patient with us as we filmed the same walking sequence for the umpteenth time from every conceivable angle.

Superstars of the veterinary team

Filming Veterinary View in the waiting room at Stanley HouseIf you work in a veterinary practice, nothing I'm about to tell you will be a surprise. But I want to take a few minutes to wax lyrical about how fantastic the whole veterinary team is.

The purpose of our filming was to capture who's who in the practice and how everyone comes together for the good of the patients and the clients. We interviewed vet nurses who had trained with the practice, vets, reception staff, and the kennel assistant. Sadly, we ran out of time to film with the practice manager and admin team (although they promised me that was a relief!).

The team had organised for 3 clients to come and tell their stories on camera - explaining why having a good relationship with their practice is so important to them and for their pets' health. They couldn't wait to tell us how much they loved their vet.

Some of the team who were filmed were really nervous. And then (just as I suspected) when the cameras rolled they were total superstars. Talking with passion about their work, explaining everything clearly, and demonstrating their absolute commitment to the animals in their care, the people in the waiting room, and (just as importantly) to each other.

Humbled by your everyday interactions

Staff at Stanley House Veterinary GroupIt's my day job to communicate the value of the veterinary profession and I was so humbled by everything I saw, including all the bits that weren't caught on camera. The little boy who came in clutching his own baby blanket for his pet that had been euthanised, who was greeted by the wonderful kindness of the receptionist telling him how brave he had been (yes, that left me in tears). The love and care every single animal receives from the vets, vet nurses and kennel staff behind closed doors. Even the flea ridden hedgehog!

These types of interactions will be happening every day in every practice up and down the country. And you take it in your stride because it's what you do.

But don't ever underestimate how amazing it is for us lay people to watch you working together - calm, confident, kind and supportive.

So, stop what you're doing for a minute and feel really proud of yourself and your team.

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Sally BurnellWritten by Sally Burnell

BVA Director of Policy, Media and Strategy

Sally joined BVA in 2009 as head of media with a background in charity communications and politics, having worked in Westminster, the Welsh Assembly, and in local government. Sally became Director of Policy, Media and Strategy in 2014 and works with the team to make sure BVA is a strong voice for vets.