My name is Bahar and I am a junior nurse at the Oakleigh Central Vet. I started work placement here at the start of the year and have recently been given full time employment! Recently I had the opportunity to adventure abroad in the name of study for my new found career, read on for a little more about my trip.
Around 4 months ago, I applied for a scholarship for The Box Hill Animal Sciences Tour to the U.K
After applying and being interviewed, I was one of the lucky 10 students that were selected to go on the study tour.
On the 24th September, 2 teachers, 9 other students and myself set off after 3 months of excitement and preparing and this was my experience.
A small zoo compared to Melbourne Zoo, some of the enclosures were outdated but some far exceeded my expectations, in particular the enclosure for the sloth, which was like a mini forest.
U.K Wolf Conservation Trust – Reading
10 wolves are housed here – The trust provides education for visitors about the importance of wolves around the world – My favourite wolves here were ‘The Arctic Pack’ named Sikko, Pukak and Massak, they’re from a safari in Quebec.
Fitzpatrick Referrals (The Bionic Vet) – Surrey
This place is AMAZING! – It’s definitely not your average veterinary clinic and is the home of the TV Show ‘The Bionic Vet – Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick’ – Here we met the genius that makes the bionic parts. The kennels here are huge and all fitted with their own temperature control and TV screens.
Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital – Aylesbury
Badgers and lots of gorgeous little Hedgehogs are what you’ll find here. When we visited they had 103 baby Hedgehogs (Urchins) in the nursery and 240 adult Hedgehogs that are brought in from being found on roads after being hit by cars or attacked by other animals.
Central College of Animal Studies
Here we got to meet and talk to some British students studying to be qualified nurses. We looked at their workload compared to ours back home and also their practical exam system called Oski that they must pass at the end of their studies to be a registered veterinary nurse.
The Animal Health Trust
The Animal Health Trust is a large clinic that is open to the public and offers discounted veterinary services. All funds raised through services go straight back into developing diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines.
Natural History Museum – Tring
This museum in the beautiful town of Tring, is one that houses a collection of around 4000 stuffed mammals, fish, insects and birds that have been gathered since the age of 10 by Walter Rothschild.
My favourites were the cabinets and drawers full of 100’s of types of Butterflies and the Dodo, which I did a project on in Primary School and found my love for this extinct bird.
The National Stud – Newmarket
The National Stud is situated on a beautiful 500 acre property that is full of absolutely stunning Thoroughbred mares, stallions and also foals in foaling season.
Top stallions that have been housed here are Galileo and Dubawi and a stud fee (the right to breed with a chosen mare) for these two are just under a whopping $600,000 each!
Every area here is world class, from the paddocks, the stallion unit, the breeding unit as well as the foaling unit where staff work and stay around the clock with them to monitor these precious foals.
Rossdales Equine Hospital – Newmarket
U.K largest equine veterinary practice, which provides services for thoroughbred, sport and leisure horses.
This industry visit was unreal and possibly one of my favourites. Just think an average vet clinic but SUPERSIZED, from the modified CT and MRI scanner, to the padded pre and post surgery rooms, the massive hose like ET tubes and cranes around the theatre suite to lift and move them around whilst under anaesthetic for surgery.
Waltham’s Pet Nutrition Centre
Waltham’s Nutrition Centre is not at all what I expected and it over exceeded my expectations of what I thought might be like a cosmetic animal testing type place.
Instead, it was an AMAZING place where they focus on researching nutrition, behavior and health of pets and their benefits to humans.
The housing facilities for all animals are large and are all homed with gardens and furniture.
The dogs come from breeders and are there until they are 8yrs old where mainly staff members then adopt them out.
They each have a carer where they spend hours per day for behavior training as well as basic commands. These dogs are even taught to stay still for things like x-rays and all done without any restraints.
Waltham’s research for 39 pet foods and some of them are Royal Canin, Iams, Whiskas and even fish flakes for our ornamental fish such as Gold fish.
British Veterinary Nurses Association Congress – Telford
This was a three day congress where we got to choose and attend various lectures throughout each day.
I attended 12 lectures in total and I’ve listed a few below:
CT versus MRI
Anaesthesia of the cardiac patient
Anaesthesia of the respiratory patient
Running an efficient theatre
Exotic and wildlife nursing
Caesarean section- tips for success
Morning tea and lunch was provided everyday as well as Happy Hour at the end of the days lectures in the exhibition.
Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour
Changing of Horse Guards Parade
Kensington and Hyde Park
The London Eye
River Thames Cruise
The study tour was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I gained so much confidence and personal growth from it.
I made so many friends on this trip with the same goals and interest as me. I will cherish these new friendships for years and years to come.
I loved every moment and everyday of it. I learnt and got the opportunity to experience so many new and exciting things.
Dreams really do come true!