Barb Bailey-Dahlheimer
Barb Bailey-Dahlheimer Contributed

Gympie vet nurses celebrate Vet Nurse Day

NO TWO days are ever the same for a vet nurse - it's one of the best things about the job, according to Gympie vet nurse Barb Bailey-Dahlheimer, who is one of 15 VNs at Gympie Veterinary Services in Little Channon St.

As Australia takes a moment to acknowledge Vet Nurse Day on Friday, Barb says it is her love of animals and desire to help others that motivated her to study for a career in the field.

While it is still a predominantly female profession, there is a small contingent of men working as VNs.

Gaining her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2012 was a pivotal and highly emotional day for Barb.

"Graduation for me was extremely emotional as I am an mature student," she says.

"At the time I was working, raising two boys, and my husband was working FIFO.

"On top of that I was dealing with the loss of my Dad. So to achieve this was an enourmous accomplishment."

Barb is passionate about her job.

"I have been a VN for six years. I am an active member of the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia and am continually attending conferences and doing courses to keep my skills up to date."

Sometimes the job can be heart breaking, though.

"On the job, it's parvo cases which I find most devastating, just because of the horrible nature of the disease," she says.

"(The worst thing about the job is) that sometimes the owners are unable to afford to treat their animals. Consequently the animal will be put to sleep, which is terribly sad for both us and the owner.

"(The best thing about her job is) caring for a a sick or injured animal, and slowly seeing them regain the spark in their eye and the will to live. Then eventually seeing them go home and knowing that you played a role in achieving that outcome.

"No two days are ever the same. At any given moment just when you think you have it all under control it can turn into totally chaos. A typical day can be monitoring anaesthetic of a surgery patient, giving medication and supportive care to sick or injured hospital patients. Endless cleaning, washing and administrative work. Educating clients on animal heath and wellbeing. Supporting our veterinarians to enable them to provide the best service and quality of care available."