Ever since I was old enough to read comics, I have wanted superpowers. Disappointingly, puberty passed without me developing the ability to fly, and I began to think that superpowers were only found in stories.
Little did I realise that I would end up spending my working life with a group of people who could do six impossible things before breakfast. That’s right – I’m saying that veterinary nurses have superpowers. Here’s my evidence:
“Vet nurses have SUPER VISION
This is the only explanation for the fact that I can spend all morning in a consulting room, and come out to complain that ‘There’s no thermometer in there!’, to have my (extremely patient) nurse walk into the room and immediately point at one, and then open the drawer to show me three more.
A nurse might tell you this is because of the ‘vet look’, where a vet is unable to locate any given object within a room no matter how much it is staring them in the face... but I have worked out the truth. Nurses have super vision.
“Vet nurses have SUPER HEARING
This is how a nurse can pick out a single dog’s distinctive bark, or a cat’s particular yowl, from the general background of barks, howls, doorbells and telephones in a busy veterinary practice, suddenly jump up from their well-earned coffee break, and say ‘That’s our bitch spey!’ before running up the stairs to check all is well, before I have even stopped chewing my biscuit.
“Vet nurses have SUPER PATIENCE
Vets may think they are the one that gets the work done in a practice, but they wouldn’t even get through their first consult if they didn’t have a good nurse organising them.
Looking after the vets and shepherding them through the day is several steps more frustrating than herding cats; sometimes it’s a victory if you can get them in the right building, let alone the right room, and so making sure they finish consults to get on with that op which you have set up for, getting their inpatients ready to discharge for them, cleaning up their mess, checking their booking, making sure they ring their clients back, picking the scalpel blade out of the used surgical kit that they have once again forgotten to remove – well, even the patience of a saint isn’t enough! I can only conclude vet nurses have superhuman powers to prevent them from beating the vets around the head with a refractometer.
“Vet nurses have SUPER COMPASSION
It takes a lot of courage and care to sit with an owner at the end of their pet’s life. While the vets concentrate more on the disease and the procedure, the nurse concentrates on the emotional state of the owner, and the animal. If you can do all that and then comfort the vet too after the owner has gone, and do it three or four times a day and be just as caring every time... well, the only possible explanation is super compassion.
“Vet nurses can TURN INVISBILE
Vet nurses are highly-trained, skilled professionals that work long hours in a job that can be rewarding, but also extremely emotionally draining. Their pay is the worst of any vocational professional, frequently just a touch above the minimum wage. My only explanation: maybe vet nurses can turn invisible when their salaries are calculated.
I’m glad I fulfilled my childhood dream of meeting some real superheroes, and I am honoured and humbled to have had such wonderful support, camaraderie and laughs over the years.
Thank you, Super Nurses!