A registered veterinary nurse (RVN) at one of the UK’s most advanced small animal hospitals is celebrating after joining the profession’s elite. 

Emily Hooper, from North Downs Specialist Referrals in Bletchingley, Surrey, has become one of just four vet nurses in the country to be recognised as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in neurology. 

Emily is thrilled to have joined such a select group but admitted the magnitude of her achievement didn’t sink in until she saw the reaction of the delighted team at Linnaeus-owned NDSR. 

She said: “It’s an honour to now be one of only four RVNs with a VTS in neurology. I’m extremely proud of myself and so pleased my hard work and dedication has paid off. 

“I was in disbelief initially but coming back to the hospital wards and having all my colleagues celebrate with me was a very special moment. 

“I’m very grateful to everyone at NDSR who were very supportive in helping me to get the variety of cases I needed and allowing me to demonstrate my skills in cases which I might not otherwise have been involved.” 

Emily has revealed the incredible commitment and dedication required to gain her VTS status, including meeting the rigorous requirements needed to even make an application for recognition.

She added: “It requires perseverance and discipline but is a world-recognised qualification and the application process itself helps you to expand your knowledge and provide a better understanding to help with caring for patients. 

“The VTS application requires you to demonstrate that you already meet the required standards in order to sit the examination and I had to be very motivated and organised to keep myself on track. 

“You also have to demonstrate that you have been working within your specialty for a minimum of three years and be able to demonstrate 40-plus hours of RACE-approved CPD. 

“For the application itself, I had to demonstrate mastery of more than 40 advanced nursing skills, signed off by a neurology specialist, and submit three exam questions. 

“I submitted more than 60 case logs demonstrating my nursing care in a variety of different patients and disease processes, and four of these logs I further expanded into 10-page case reports where I discussed the nursing care and disease process in more detail. 

“Then, after submitting my application, there was a nerve-wracking wait for the results, but last December I received the news I had been accepted and I was invited to sit the examination in Philadelphia, USA, in June. 

“The examination was four hours long and consisted of 200 questions in my specialty, and I’m really delighted I passed. 

“Neurology is an area that can be quite niche and daunting to those unfamiliar with it, and I hope to use my new qualification to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with other professionals to help them feel more confident and comfortable with these patients. 

“Personally, I find nursing neurologic patients extremely rewarding, as there is so much we can do as RVNs which has a direct impact on patient comfort, client understanding and, ultimately, on the clinical outcome.” 

Guillaume Leblond, NDSR’s head of neurology and American specialist in neurology, said: “Emily is a true asset to our neurology team. She is very knowledgeable, provides compassionate care to her patients and always brings a positive attitude to her work. 

“Her achievement in completing this neurology certification is a well-deserved reward for her hard work this past year and throughout her career.” 

NDSR offers specialist-led services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. 

For more information, visit https://www.ndsr.co.uk or search for North Downs Specialist Referrals on social media.   

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