Ms Louise O’Dwyer, Clinical Director at the CVS-owned PetMedics Veterinary Hospital in Manchester, has become the first vet nurse in the UK to be doubly Board certified. She has also become the first UK nurse to be voted onto the US-based Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians’ Board of Regents as a member at large.
Louise O’Dwyer began nursing 1997 and moved to Pet Medics in 2000 where she later became Head Nurse. She gained the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing in both Surgery (2004) and Medicine (2007) and published her first nursing textbook ‘Wound Management in Small Animals: A Practical Guide for Veterinary Nurses and Technicians’ in 2007.
She explained: “I wanted to develop my skills in emergency and critical care medicine (ECC) so, once I’d gained the DipAVN, achieving Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) status in ECC from the Academy of Veterinary Technician Anaesthetics (AVTA) seemed the logical next step. It was tough as there was no structured course – but passing the exam in 2010 gave me a great sense of achievement and enabled me to become a member of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians (AVECCT).
“I decided to also pursue the VTS in anaesthesia and passed in September 2014, becoming a member of the AVTA. I was then nominated to join the board of regents of AVECCT. In this role I will help ensure that there is consistency in the applications to undertake the VTS qualification.
She added: “PetMedics is the largest out of hours clinic in the UK so we have a high volume of trauma and critical cases, which suits me perfectly as it allows me to utilise the clinical skills gained whilst working towards my VTS qualifications. The work we do challenges us on a daily basis which keeps me motivated and passionate in my role.
“I was delighted to gain my second VTS qualification, especially as only a handful of people in the world hold both. You should never stop learning and think nurses learn best from other nurses. We have some amazing nurses in the UK to and the opportunities for them to develop their careers are exciting and can take them in all kinds of new directions. I hope the my experience serves as an example of what is possible. After all, if you want something badly enough you will find a way to do it!”
CVS UK Ltd is the largest and fastest-growing mixed practice corporate veterinary group in the UK. Founded in 1999 and run, principally by vets, it employs more than 3,000 staff at its practices and surgeries across the UK and in its related veterinary businesses, including an online pharmacy, three pet crematoriums and five veterinary laboratories.
Key to its success is CVS’ ability to attract ambitious veterinary staff and to invest in their clinical skills, knowledge and in research to drive the profession forward. It also provides the business support to ensure its diverse range of small animal, large animal and equine practices achieve their full potential. CVS’ guiding principles include a commitment to excellence in all aspects of its work and a focus on building long-term relationships with its customers and suppliers. The company works in close partnership with the wider veterinary profession and industry colleagues.