Q: What made you want to specialise in zoological studies?
A: Being from South Africa, African wildlife and their conservation has always been a massive passion of mine from a very young age. Additionally, whilst completing my foundation science degree in Veterinary Nursing Science, I had to undertake 52 weeks of practical experience in veterinary hospitals, during this time I worked with some wildlife and exotic specialising vets and this encouraged my interest in nursing the ‘weird and wonderful’ species from snakes through to elephants.
The more I was exposed to this area of veterinary, and how specialised it was, the more I wanted to focus my career there, so I could always be the ‘zoo and exotic veterinary nurse’ to share my knowledge and experience in practice and provide the best nursing care to all these species. I continued at university to complete a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Zoo Biology, and soon after enrolled on a postgraduate certificate for Advanced Nursing of Zoo and Exotic Species, which I have recently successfully completed.
The course was an aspiration of mine to undertake, to ensure all the exotic pets and wildlife received the best veterinary care, and I feel the interesting real life case studies, such as African Grey Parrots with Aspergillosis, explored in the course was the best way to learn and feel confident about caring for all the different species, which was put into practice straight away whilst working full time at Mullacott.
Q: have you worked in zoos before?
A:I have so far only volunteered and completed work experience in zoos, as most of my interest has been South African wildlife, where I go routinely to undertake veterinary work through volunteering to support the wildlife vets there, in particular treatment of rhinos due to the large threat of poaching.
Q: which aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
The most enjoyable parts of the Advanced Nursing of Zoo and Exotic Species Certificate, were the exciting case studies that I had to provide a treatment plan, with what procedures and medications should be used, and how I would plan the current and future nursing care of the patient presented, one of my favourites was a caesarean on an Asiatic lioness.