A veterinary nurse at a north west animal hospital is one of just a handful of professionals across the world to hold two highly-prestigious international qualifications at the same time. 

Caroline Boothroyd from Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) is recognised as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in two fields – oncology and small animal internal medicine.

Her dedication to learning and her profession means she is just one of two veterinary nurses in the UK with double VTS status. There was also another double-boarded nurse who has sadly passed away. Both of these fellow nurses have provided inspiration to Caroline.

Now, with International Women’s Day taking place on Wednesday, March 8, Caroline is hoping others will feel inspired to develop their own learning, whatever profession they might be in. 

While Caroline is a VTS in two areas, there are another two female colleagues at NWVS to hold a prestigious VTS title – Michelle Moran in anaesthesia and Sophie McMurrough in internal medicine. 

Caroline, who passed all her coursework and exams first time, while also being the first VTS in internal medicine in the UK, said: “It was very, very hard work but I wanted to learn as much as possible about the disciplines I was working in, previously it was internal medicine and now its oncology. I wanted to be able to provide the best care for my patients.” 

It’s a gruelling effort for those wishing to be a VTS, more so for Caroline who has also just written two sections for the oncology chapter in the new edition of the Textbook of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. Each qualification requires 12 months to collect case reports, four of which must be in-depth. There are also  50 case logs to present and a skills list to pass. 

Those passing this stage are then eligible to sit the exam. Unlike many other qualifications which are for life, those wishing to keep their VTS status have to recertify every five years,  either involving exams or accruing points which are gained by attending qualifying CPD, lecturing or writing.

Caroline, who joined NWVS in 2007 and who has two pet cats, Abby and Ziva, and two rabbits, Fluffy and Wyatt, added: “I gained my oncology VTS status last year and am already working hard to collect points for when I come to recertify, just like I’m doing for my internal medicine qualification which comes up for renewal next year.

“It’s an advanced qualification and you have to know everything in-depth, so I’m  proud of myself for passing both of them first time. As for doing another one, absolutely not! Well, I say that but I love learning and researching.” 

Prue Neath, clinical director at NWVS which recently completed a £300,000 refurbishment, said: “To become one of only a handful of veterinary nurses in the world to hold two of these advanced qualifications required an immense amount of knowledge, ability, hard work and dedication. 

“Of course, we’re very proud of her. It’s a remarkable achievement and Caroline is a shining example of the high standards required of the NWVS team and the specialist level of care we offer at the hospital.” 

NWVS is one of the UK’s leading specialist-led animal hospitals. It offers care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Northwest Veterinary Specialists, visit www.nwspecialists.com or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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