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BVNA NI Vet Nurse Of The Year 2010, Supported By Hill’s

14 years ago

2nd June, 2010 00h00

The winner of the BVNA NI Vet Nurse of the Year 2010 was announced at the Gala Banquet at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (NI) and British Veterinary Nursing Association (NI) Congress at the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Sat 29th May. The BVNA awards, which are supported by Hill’s, are now in their third year and designed to celebrate the very special efforts made by veterinary nurses (VNs) and animal nursing assistants (ANAs) working in veterinary practices, both in terms of the role they carry out at work and the effort they put into looking after pets and pet owners in their local communities. Left to right - Tina Mackey, Jenny Beggs, Donna Lewis, Susie Turner, Bridget Davidson Left to right - Tina Mackey, Jenny Beggs, Donna Lewis, Susie Turner, Bridget Davidson There are three awards: NI Student Vet Nurse of the Year, NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year and NI Vet Nurse of the Year and they are judged based on nominations by members of the public and colleagues who believe the nominees achievements should be recognised. The judging panel included Tom Montgomery, Hill’s Veterinary Business Adviser; Karensa Scott, BSAVA NI Chairperson and Donna Lewis BVNA President. Paula Quinn RVN MBVNA, is Northern Ireland Regional Co-ordinator of the BVNA “This year I am pleased to say we have had a record number of entries which just goes to illustrate the quality of veterinary nurses in Northern Ireland. The judges have had an unenviable task choosing between the nominees and certainly some of the comments we have had from members of the public should make us all proud to be part of such a wonderful and rewarding profession.” NI Vet Nurse of the Year: Jenny Beggs, Rathgael Veterinary Clinic, Bangor The top award of the evening went to Jenny Begg VN. Clients at Jenny’s practice gave some very touching tributes to her work: “My son who is almost 7 years old has been inspired by Jenny and the work that she does. He said that Jenny and the Vet helped Mac (our dog) to Heaven and wished to thank Jenny for taking away Mac’s pain and letting him sleep peacefully. He has been so impressed with Jenny that he said that if he doesn’t become a footballer he would like to be like Jenny and help animals.” “Hobo was only a day away from being put down when Jenny went to the USPCA to get him and not only did she nurse him back to health but her unwavering patience helped to restore the confidence he had lost. When he came to live with me Jenny had him micro-chipped, neutered, his teeth cleaned and also provided a months supply of food, all at her own expense.” As well as fostering dogs Jenny does sponsored walks, mountain climbing (having already tackled Ireland’s Six Peaks) and dog bathing to raise money for charity. She now uses her very successful weight clinics at the practice to raise money for the Assisi Animal Sanctuary and Ulster Cancer Foundation, with Hill’s supporting her efforts. Her aim is to raise £6000 by also climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in June. According to her colleagues the practice now has “a larger percentage of slim pets due to her encouragement and persistence” “Jenny has been described as a real credit to her profession and we couldn’t agree more,” said Susie Turner from Hill’s Pet Nutrition as Jenny was awarded her trophy and a cheque for £250. NI Student Veterinary Nurse of the Year: Tina Mackey, Glenn Veterinary Clinic, Bangor Tina Mackey may still be a trainee but she received more nominations than any other candidate for the awards. Clients were so vocal in her praise that there are just too many to mention but here are just a few of the comments: “I have never met anyone, from any walk of life who is as passionate, caring and dedicated to their occupation as Tina Mackey is to veterinary nursing,” said one client. Another facing a difficult decision about amputation of their cat’s leg due to cancer said, “She freely and openly shared knowledge of other animals requiring amputation. She was supportive and reassuring without giving us false hope or expectation and assisted us tremendously in reaching a difficult decision.” “When I became upset Tina would stop and put a reassuring hand on my shoulder. A gesture like that makes all the difference. I don’t know what we would have done without her.” “Many animals run down to the hospitalisation area, keen to stay where they were pampered” “Her personal skills with humans match her skills with animals” Tina also gives up her own time to help out at the Assisi Animal Sanctuary, walking dogs, making pet owners aware of the work of the charity and delivering medicines out of hours. The sanctuary say that her support is invaluable, “Many a needy furry is mentioned quietly to just the right person.” “Our warmest congratulations go to very deserving winner,” said Susie Turner of Hill’s Pet Nutrition who presented Tina with a certificate and her award of a cheque for £100. NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year: Bridget Davidson, Rathgael Veterinary Clinic, Bangor Bridget Davidson began working as a kennel assistant but when the opportunity came to train as a Animal Nursing Assistant (ANA) she grabbed it with both hands, battling dyslexia to gain her GSCEs and then going on to not only pass her ANA qualification but also to enroll with Liverpool University for an intensive course on Animal Behaviour. Her colleagues had this to say, “She puts the rest of us to shame by the amount of time she will spend with nervous or distressed animals. She’s our animal whisperer! Bridget will spend time with animals that are hospitalized for a long time, giving them massage and eventually getting them on their feet. Her clients feel at ease to come in for a chat at any time and you can sense the trust and respect that they have for her.” As importantly, Bridget makes a big contribution to team morale, “There are no glum faces. We have to be ready for work with a positive attitude and a joke or two along the way. It’s funny that one person can lift the atmosphere in the workplace, but Bridget does.” Clients commented, “We cannot speak too highly of her help and kindness towards us in good and bad times.” “To help our dogs recuperation after surgery Bridget very kindly shared some chicken with Diesel that was likely intended for her lunch! We feel more reassured and content that our much loved pet is not only being medicinally tended to, but also being given that little bit of extra TLC when he is away from home.” Susie Turner, Hill’s Territory Manager presented Bridget with a certificate and £100 cheque in recognition of her fantastic achievements.

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