Stuck in a job which she didn’t see as a career and unsure of what to do with her life, 22 year old Emily Day began to think about the future.
Trawling through the possibilities, she struck on an idea. She had always loved animals, and having grown up home-schooled on a hobby farm complete with goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, cats and birds, she knew that she enjoyed their daily company. So why not make animals the focus of her career?
Not long after this epiphany, she wandered into her local vet to ask if she could do some work experience, but was turned away due to insurance restrictions.
Having come up empty, Emily enlisted her mum’s help, and they searched for a way that she could learn the skills and knowledge that she would need to become a vet nurse. That’s when they found Open Colleges Certificate IV in Vet Nursing, and within a week Emily had enrolled and started her studies.
A self-confessed chronic procrastinator, Emily admitted that she sometimes struggled with the freedom that the course offered her – as there were no deadlines, but with her mum’s daily reminders she managed to keep a semi-regular study schedule.
“Mum would just give me a kick in the pants every now and then, asking me ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘how much did you get done’ when I hadn’t been doing anything, and then I’d get on with it,” she said.
“I’ve actually found it easier as time goes on. I guess it’s just learning how to research properly and all that sort of stuff,” she added.
Studying vet nursing, Emily says, has taught her a lot about herself. “I’ve learned about how I can be good at anything I put my mind to,” she said.
Working online also gave Emily plenty of time to interact with other students on the vet nursing forums, swapping stories and tips, asking and answering questions, and getting general support from fellow students.
Being able to message her trainer whenever she had a question was also hugely helpful to Emily, while the feedback she got on her assessments and assignments was incredibly valuable in helping her to understand the subject.
“I’ve learned about how I can be good at anything I put my mind to.”
“Their little comments underneath my answers really helped me to understand the subject and what they were saying,” she said.
“The comments also jogged my memory as well. They helped me to think about the question a bit more. They were really, really helpful. The trainers really try to get the students to do well,” she added.
Now well into the practical part of her Certificate, Emily says she’s loving putting her knowledge into practice.
“I’m assisting with surgeries and I’ve started doing a bit of reception work too,” she said.
“I like carrying the animal out after they’ve been hospitalised for a little while, it might even be after an overnights stay night, and seeing the smile on the face of the owner. That brings a smile to my face too,” she added.
Working in the clinic has also sparked a career ambition in Emily, of one day opening up her own practice.
“At the moment though I just want to work in a really good general practice with really good staff, where I can expand my knowledge base,” she said.