Jess Barker – VET Nursing
Certificate IV Veterinary Nursing
I decided to start with vet nursing and I fell in love with it!
Jess Barker is completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and recently won the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia’s (VCNA) 2016 Student Vet Nurse of the Year. She was nominated by Our Vet’s Head Veterinarian who highlighted ‘her empathy and care of our patients is exceptional, her customer service without fault and her cleanliness borders on the obsessive’.
Jess said, “I always knew I wanted to work with animals but for a long time I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I decided to start with vet nursing and I fell in love with it! It is such a rewarding job and I enjoy the variety you can get learning about new diseases and conditions when we have new patients come in.”
Completing her Veterinary Nurse placement at Our Vet in South Morang, Jess said, “I am very lucky that my workplace supervisor is very easy to work with and very supportive of my study. I was very surprised when I received the email regarding my nomination. I still don’t believe that I won and I am truly honoured to be given the award.”
Obviously, working full time and studying can be challenging. Jess said, “I have to be very dedicated and make sure I keep on top of my assignments. I love the flexibility of being able to complete my qualification online. Because I am working full time, I don’t have time to go to classes but my teachers are really great. If I have any questions I can send them an email and they are very responsive.
“I am really enjoying this course. In some areas it can be difficult but it means I am learning new skills and knowledge. As I worked at my current clinic for the last four years before I started the course, it is great to be able to solidify my knowledge and be able to treat my patients as best I can,” she said.
Jess currently volunteers as a wildlife rescuer to gain experience with Australian native wildlife and would one day like to work as a veterinary nurse at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a heritage-listed zoological garden in Queensland. Her dream job is to work with Tasmanian Devils. She said, “Tasmanian Devils are misunderstood animals; they are just so beautiful.” As Jess originated from Tasmania, she wants to be part of the efforts to rescue the species from the effects of the devastating facial tumour disease.