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Radio Vet Nurse

Radio Vet Nurse

By Cat Walker

Cat Walker is a registered veterinary nurse with dual legal and mediation qualifications and a wealth of experience in the veterinary sector. Radio Vet Nurse is a show celebrating veterinary nurses and creating a space where we can tell our story. Episodes range from:
- Live conference interviews.
- Mini-series such as "Interrupted" taking a deep dive into significant veterinary industry issues and trends.
- A back catalogue of longform interviews with high profile vet techs and nurses sharing personal anecdotes of life and career.
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Yvonne - Small Animal Internal Medicine

Radio Vet NurseDec 06, 2020

Megan Brashear & Elle Haskey live at the University of Queensland

Megan Brashear & Elle Haskey live at the University of Queensland

Welcome to the first ever episode of “The Cat Walker Hour.”

I recorded this interview in July 2023 in front of a live audience at the University of Queensland’s Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Conference. My VERY special guests were Megan Brashear and Elle Haskey. The Cat Walker Hour is a light-hearted but serious session that I hope will empower and inspire listeners to navigate the challenges and opportunities we encounter in our careers. In a time where it feels like we’re exposed to a lot of industry negativity, this is a feel-good celebration of who we are and what we do.

Links below to:

Cat Walker Mediation & Consulting Services

University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science

Aug 28, 202301:10:23
Bonus: Prelude Episode

Bonus: Prelude Episode

Can you believe it's been 15 months since I released “Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted”?! I’m happy to announce that I’ve got some new episodes to share with you and lots of news. So much has happened since Interrupted so I decided to release this bonus "Prelude" episode to bring you up to speed. I’m going to let you know what I’ve been doing, where I’m at, and what to expect next!

Find me on LinkedIn

Radio Vet Nurse on Socials

Cat Walker Mediation and Consulting

Website under construction

Aug 03, 202310:25
Episode 4 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted
May 22, 202243:08
Episode 3 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

Episode 3 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

CW: This episode of Radio Vet Nurse discusses suicide and substance use disorder. If anything in this episode raises any issues you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 and Lifeline 13 11 14

Hi and welcome to Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted, I'm Cat Walker. On the previous episodes of Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted, I shared the way the vet industry crisis has affected my life personally and I also spoke to industry leaders and experts about the biggest stressors that are leading to this crisis. If you haven't listened yet, I suggest you head back to catch up.

Today I wanted to start looking to the future and will be speaking with everyone from directors, to counsellors, to the President of the AVA to get their take on what they think the industry can do to make lasting change.

Dr Warwick Vale and I discuss the Australian Veterinary Association's partnership with SuperFriend including research and findings. Link here for information about that research and the AVA's mental wellness strategy.

Thanks for joining me on Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted. This series may be uncomfortable at times - but I really believe the disruption is here and I thank you for joining me on the journey.

This episode was sponsored by the Crampton Consulting Group and the Animal Emergency Service.
May 15, 202236:43
Episode 2 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

Episode 2 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

CW: This episode of Radio Vet Nurse discusses suicide. If anything in this episode raises any issues you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 and Lifeline 13 11 14

Hi and welcome to Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted, I'm Cat Walker. On the previous episode of Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted I shared the story of how my world was turned upside down when my now ex husband, and father of my children, developed a substance use disorder. He fell victim to the demands and pressure of our vet industry and we've all paid a very personal cost.

Having always had open conversations on Radio Vet Nurse about wellness and the big issues in the industry, I feel compelled to take my story and start an honest conversation about some of the challenges we are facing in the industry. That's why this series is called Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted - apart from the obvious reference to an interruption in my personal life, I think the time is now to stop and make a break in the continuity of our current industry experience. It's time to have some really honest and difficult conversations, and make a conscious decision about how to proceed and really harness this opportunity for change.

Now that I've shared my personal journey, in this episode I'd like to zoom out and take a birds eye view of the industry as a whole.

Thanks for joining me on Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted. This series may be uncomfortable at times - but I really believe the disruption is here and I thank you for joining me on the journey.

This episode was sponsored by the Animal Industries Resource Centre and the Animal Emergency Service.
May 08, 202220:55
Episode 1 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

Episode 1 - Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted

CW: This episode of Radio Vet Nurse discusses substance use disorder and briefly mentions suicide. If these topics raise any issues you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 and Lifeline 13 11 14

Hi and welcome to Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted, I'm Cat Walker. For those of you that have listened to my podcast in the past - you may have realised that this episode already sounds a little bit different.

In 2020 my life took a dramatic turn. I lived through a traumatic event. My whole family did. I went to ground and just survived. 18 months later, I'm ready to talk about what happened and where it sits in the big picture of our industry at the moment.

Not only will I be exploring the vet industry crisis we are currently living in. But I'll also be speaking with some of the brightest brains in the industry to work out how we get through it. We'll look at the big changes that are needed, as well as things we can do as individuals.

Thanks for joining me on Radio Vet Nurse Interrupted. This series may be uncomfortable at times - but I really believe the disruption is here and I thank you for joining me on the journey.

This episode was sponsored by Vetoquinol Australia.
May 01, 202229:30
Yvonne - Small Animal Internal Medicine

Yvonne - Small Animal Internal Medicine

In this episode I caught up with fellow podcaster Yvonne Brandenburg RVT, VTS (SAIM) from Internal Medicine for Vet Techs. Yvonne is the creator of an online community of like-minded nurses and techs with an interest in the medicine side of vet med.

Yvonne is a self-confessed type A person, always expanding her brain, always reaching towards the infinite possibilities. We spoke about the need to look after ourselves, remembering to be in the moment, and finding a renewed passion for our careers through continuing education and niching down.

Yvonne has her VTS in small animal internal medicine, as does her partner in crime Jordan from Internal Medicine for Vet Techs. Together they're doing something really special to elevate our profession and to help others reignite a love of what they do. I'll put a link in the show notes to their online RACE approved learning community and their podcast. They're both amazing technicians and lovely people, so be sure to drop by and say hi to them on social media or through their website.

Find Internal Medicine for Vet Techs on:
- Facebook
- Insta
- Website

Yvonne listens to these podcasts:
• Radio Vet Nurse
• Vet Tech Café
• Anaesthesia Nerds
• Cat Disgusted
• Amy Porterfield

We also discussed the viscoelastigram (VCM) which is a cool machine that measures the clot formation and breakdown. Read more at eClin Path and here is the machine Yvonne uses
Dec 06, 202001:40:59
Victoria Koks - Be Your Best Self
Nov 01, 202001:50:51
Bonus - Podcast Mashup

Bonus - Podcast Mashup

You're listening to Radio Vet Nurse but not as you know it. In this bonus podcast mash up episode I had the pleasure of catching up with my veterinary podcast buddies. We decided to come together to say happy vet nurse day, happy vet tech week, and to check in with each other on vet life in the global pandemic. And - spoiler alert - vet life during covid19 has been crazy busy everywhere.

If you listened to our last group episode you'll know my veterinary podcast friends Yvonne and Jordan from Internal Medicine For Vet Techs, Jeff and Dave from Vet Tech Cafe, Tasha from Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds, and Dr Lewis and Dr Robbie from Two Vets Talk Pets. Make sure you check out their shows too, I'll put links in the show notes and on social media.

To my fellow Aussie listeners, happy vet nurse day! To all of you in the states, happy veterinary technician week. And to vet nurses, vet techs, veterinary assistants and students everywhere, I hope you're managing OK during these crazy times.

● Jordan Porter, RVT, LVT, VTS SAIM and Yvonne Brandenburg, RVT, VTS SAIM from Internal Medicine For Vet Techs
● Cat Robinson, RVN, BA, LLB from Radio Vet Nurse
● Jeff Backus CVT, RVT, VTS (ECC) and Dave Cowan BA, CVT, VTS (ECC) from Vet Tech Café
● Tasha McNerney BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS (Anesthesia) from Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds
● Dr Lewis Kirkham BVSc MRCVS MANZCVS (Animal Behaviour) and Dr Robbie Anderton BVSc MANCVS (Small Animal Medicine) from Two Vets Talk Pets
Oct 08, 202001:16:27
Jane Bindloss - Never give up, never surrender!

Jane Bindloss - Never give up, never surrender!

Ever since I started this podcast, people have been asking me to interview today's guest. I wanted to wait until we could meet and record in person, but since we're all grounded by covid19 for who knows how long, I decided that online would have to do for now.

You might have heard of my guest, Jane Bindloss. Jane qualified as a veterinary nurse in the UK and eventually owned and managed a practice with her vet husband in Melbourne. She now runs SANE Veterinary Management with Sally Boyle, helping veterinary practices through leadership, coaching, and a push for the positive culture workplace.

She's a founding member of the VNCA who has used her Jack Russell Terrier ways as a force for good in our industry. As you will learn from Jane, the unassuming Jack Russell Terrier should be a spirit animal for all of us. And as you call upon this dogged determination and cling to whatever it is you're fighting for in life, remember Jane's mantra "Never give up, never surrender!"

We discussed:

• SANE Veterinary Management
o Contact Jane on 0418 176 170 or
• Podcasts:
o Blunt Dissection with Dr Dave Nicol
o The Cone of Shame with Dr Andy Roark
o The Uncharted Veterinary Podcast with Dr Andy Roark
o Conversations with Richard Fidler
• The 4-eyes drug control system by Dr Andy Roark
• Time management tools such as:
o Covey's grid
o Esso's StepBack 5 x 5
Oct 04, 202001:28:21
Jeff - The Vet Tech Cafe

Jeff - The Vet Tech Cafe

In this episode I caught up with Jeff Backus, veterinary technician and fellow podcaster. Jeff and his mate Dave host one of my favourite podcasts, the Vet Tech Café, so it was super fun to put him on the on the other side of the mic for a change.

We talked about his career path from being a veterinary assistant in a GP practice to VTS in Emergency and Critical Care. He's been quite involved with academia throughout this career too having worked as adjunct professor, and currently working at Tufts University mainly in ICU.

If you enjoy this episode, the dulcet tones of Jeff's voice, and his considered insight, then make sure you head over to The Vet Tech Café and have a listen. As always I will put a link in the show notes, or just search The Vet Tech Café in your podcast app. And, you're welcome.

We discussed:
• The Vet Tech Café
• The Vetcorder
• The Calm app
• The Headspace app
• Uprise EAP
Sep 06, 202001:30:03
Michelle - Bloody Motivated

Michelle - Bloody Motivated

In this episode I caught up with Michelle, who has been recommended for the show many times. Michelle coordinates the blood bank at the Animal Hospital at Murdock. This is just one of many interesting phases of Michelle's career including working as a zoo vet nurse and qualified zoo keeper, and volunteering on a bear rescue sanctuary in remote Vietnam.

Michelle has some great advice on how to be a career veterinary nurse, including being strategic about career jumps, moves, side steps and even exit plans. And this of course is the secret to staying fresh and motivated in your career.

I really enjoyed interviewing Michelle and feel like we only just scratched the surface of what she has to say. Michelle is happy for anyone to reach out to her with questions about blood banking in practice, so I'll put a link to the Animal Hospital at Murdock in the show notes.

We also discussed:

• Michelle did her fear free training with Fear Free
• Serena Dean from a previous episode also has a fear free training platform called Stress Free Pets
• Perth Zoo
• Free the Bears
• Contact Michelle via the Animal Hospital at Murdock
Aug 02, 202001:33:19
Hannah - Physio RVN

Hannah - Physio RVN

In this episode I had the pleasure of meeting Hannah, Physio RVN. One of Hannah's colleagues reached out to me and recommended her as a guest. I jumped straight onto Hannah's Instagram account @physio.rvn and found myself scrolling through her content with a huge smile on my face. It's this exquisite combination of didactic physio and rehabilitation posts with beautiful photos, and these funny self-deprecating photos of Hannah's vet nurse life.

Hannah is the nursing team lead at Pennard Vets in the UK. She's an RVN and is also nearly finished her diploma in animal physiotherapy. She's down to earth, lovely, and has a quirky sense of humour that shines through in her online content. She also makes me want to do my diploma in animal physiotherapy. Maybe one day.

If you're in a supervisory role as nursing team lead, team supervisor, practice manager, Hannah has some great things to say about working in these positions. She's had the benefit of training and seems to have found a sound approach that really works for her. I would be happy to be on a team with Hannah holding the reins.

We discussed:
• Hannah's diploma in animal physiotherapy
• Hannah's Insta account
• Alan Robinson
• Katie Ford
Jul 05, 202001:30:01
Kate - Vet Nurse of the Year

Kate - Vet Nurse of the Year

In this episode I was joined by the 2019 VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year, Kate. She's a senior nurse at the Perth Zoo, nominated by her entire team for her work ethic and dedication to our profession. Kate has been a vet nurse for 20 years, working in zoos for 18.

We recorded this episode at the beginning of March, just before COVID-19 turned the world on its head. Ever the conservationist, Kate wanted to talk about the pangolin and her vet nurse friend Cathy's work raising awareness for this amazing creature. Apart from my mental image of a scaled mammal at the time I knew nothing of the pangolin, the most trafficked animal in the world. A month later I had most certainly heard of the pangolin as a suspected intermediate host linking SARS-CoV-2 from horseshoe bats to humans.

Since the pandemic I've thought a lot about live animal markets. It's important to note they can be legal, illegal, regulated, unregulated, and are an important source of affordable food and livelihood for many. But they are linked to the mutation of viral pathogens, which are more likely to make these jumps between species when animals are kept under duress. Pangolins are traded at live animal markets in some countries as a luxury meat and their scales used in traditional medicine. If - and let me stress, if - this is how SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted to one person at a seafood market in Wuhan China, then the whole world is paying an enormous price for this trade. We'll never know for sure if this is what happened, but is undoubtedly time to start listening to the voices of the conservationists. Like Kate.

We discussed:
• The Vet Tome tooth extraction system.
• Dr Sophia Yin counter-conditioning nail trim phobia
• VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year
• Kate's qualifications:
o Accredited Veterinary Nurse (AVN)
o Certificate III in Captive Animals (zoo keeping qualification)
o Captive Vertebrate Management (CSU)
o Specialist certificate in zoo and wildlife nursing (currently completing)
• Cathy's Pangolin work
o Save Vietnam's wildlife
o Cathy's website
o Here's a link to an article Cathy has just written
May 31, 202001:14:43
Court - Veterinary Anursethesia

Court - Veterinary Anursethesia

I'm officially back from maternity leave, and this was my first time hitting record in 6 months. Anyone following me on social media will know that coming back to the mic with a 5 month old baby was harder than I thought. But this guest gave me just the boost I needed.

Unless you have been living under a rock with no wifi you've probably heard of Veterinary Anursethesia. Court is the vet nurse behind this incredible resource and works at the Royal Veterinary College in London. I knew from her content that anaesthesia is her niche, so I imagined she'd be quite cut and dry, mathematical, and scientific. But she's actually an incredibly spiritual, soulful person with a love of the more simple aspects of nursing, like cleaning cat's faces.

We chatted about everything from how a nurse in New Zealand came to break the internet with her social media resources, and how to not feel like just another cog in the wheel at work. Her mind was just as sharp as I expected but her soulful take on life was a pleasant surprise.

We discussed:
- Lumie lights
- How to find Court on her website and socials
• Website
• Email contact
• Follow on FB
• Follow on Insta
May 03, 202001:25:25
Jazz - VNCA President 2018

Jazz - VNCA President 2018

I recorded this interview with Jazz in August 2019 just before starting maternity leave. At the time we discussed how a lot could happen in 7 months, but we couldn't have imagined the state the world would be in. Life as we know it has been turned on its head as we try to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic.

In this episode Jazz and I discuss the 26th VNCA conference to be held in Melbourne this month. Like veterinary conferences the world over, it's now been postponed. Follow the VNCA FB page for news of alternative plans and future dates.

I talk a lot on the show about my previous life as a lawyer, but my first degree was in International Studies at RMIT's school of globalization. The whole premise of our degree, and my subsequent career in corporate social responsibility, was that we live in an age of globalization. So watching COVID-19 close national borders and halt global flows of trade and people has blown my mind. It leaves me with little doubt that it is now crucial to maintain the global flow of ideas, knowledge, and our support for one another. Stay connected during this time of isolation as we face unprecedented challenges in an industry that was already tackling challenges of its own. Take comfort in knowing that this experience will make us more resilient, flexible, and grateful. Carry on - we got this.

In this episode I caught up with VNCA President, Jazz. A quick caveat for this one - like all episodes over the past 6 months it was recorded in advance for my maternity leave. We recorded in August 2019, and I'm sorry I wasn't able to get her reflections for the full year. We did however cover the first 6 months, including the hugely successful launch and roll out of the AVNAT Scheme.

Aside from being President of the VNCA Jazz was recommended to me by multiple people as a perfect Radio Vet Nurse guest. She got her start in the industry at the ripe old age of 11 and her passion and enthusiasm will leave you straightening your stethoscope and fist punching the air.

Another caveat for this episode, Jazz was unwell when we recorded and a bit concerned that she (a) might have a coughing fit and (b) sounded like a pack a day smoker. I quite liked the Janice Joplin voice but definitely edited out a few coughing fits, including one caused by our ongoing laughter at my favourite unexpected Radio Vet Nurse tangent ever - the subtle art of fainting.

Jazz listens to these podcasts:
· Dr Carl
· Cosmic Vertigo
· Stuff You Should Know
Apr 05, 202001:34:21
Bonus Episode: COVID-19 as at Sunday 22 March 2020

Bonus Episode: COVID-19 as at Sunday 22 March 2020

You're listening to Radio Vet Nurse, but not as you know it. This is a bonus COVID-19 episode in which I caught up with some fellow veterinary podcasters to talk about how we are navigating the global pandemic.

As COVID-19 closes national and state borders and brings global flows of trade and people to a grinding halt, it is crucial now more than ever to stay connected. By maintaining the global flow of ideas, knowledge, and our support for one another we can band together to face these unprecedented challenges.

So with that I'd like to introduce my veterinary podcast friends - Yvonne and Jordan from Internal Medicine For Vet Techs, Jeff and Dave from Vet Tech Cafe, Tasha from Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds, and Dr Lewis and Dr Robbie from Two Vets Talk Pets. We're hoping to check in with each other again in a month or so, since things are changing rapidly. Feel free to reach out to any of us with questions or issues you would like us to discuss in a future COVID-19 episode.

But for now beautiful people stay safe, wash your hands and look after each other. Take comfort in knowing that this experience will make us more resilient, flexible, and grateful. Carry on - we got this.

● Jordan Porter, RVT, LVT, VTS SAIM and Yvonne Brandenburg, RVT, VTS SAIM from Internal Medicine For Vet Techs
● Cat Robinson, RVN, BA, LLB from Radio Vet Nurse
● Jeff Backus CVT, RVT, VTS (ECC) and Dave Cowan BA, CVT, VTS (ECC) from Vet Tech Cafe
● Tasha McNerney BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS (Anesthesia) from Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds
● Dr Lewis Kirkham BVSc MRCVS MANZCVS (Animal Behaviour) and Dr Robbie Anderton BVSc MANCVS (Small Animal Medicine) from Two Vets Talk Pets

We discussed:

● COVID-19 in terms of:
o Zoonosis and reverse zoonosis.
o What we know about domestic pets.
o Fake news and the importance of finding reliable information.
● How we are mitigating the risk in our workplaces.
o How to minimize a pandemic in general.
o Employees, clients, patients and supplies.
o WHS risk assessment and hierarchy of control measures.
● The importance of having a COVID-19 response plan.
o Listen to the Uncharted podcast for a great guide to writing a response plan
○ If you would like to see an example of Cat's Ready Vet response plan reach out to her here however please note that this plan was drafted 14 March 2020 and much has changed since then!
● How to keep our family or housemates safe if we are essential workers continuing to leave home and go to work.
● Mental Health in the new normal.

Resources to learn more.
● AVMA COVID-19 page:
● CDC page:
● Here's the uncharted podcast...
Mar 25, 202001:18:39
Jess - Human Extraordinaire

Jess - Human Extraordinaire

In this episode I caught up with Jess who was once described to me as "human extraordinaire"! Jess is a registered human nurse, a registered veterinary nurse, and works both in general practice and as a vet nurse educator. She has her Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing and Diploma in ECC, a double degree in biomedical science, and a bachelor of registered (human) nursing.

Jess lives on a farm with her kids, her fur kids, and her vet husband. She's extremely passionate about educating and developing veterinary nurses in practice, and also shared some really honest insight into the challenges of returning to work after having kids.

Jess and I discovered a lot of common ground in our thoughts on the veterinary industry and often found ourselves finishing each other's sentences. It was a pleasure to hear her story and she well and truly lived up to her reputation as human extraordinaire.

Jess listens to these podcasts:
· Radio Vet Nurse
· Conversations

We also discussed:
· The Darvall circuit air warmer
· The WSAVA vaccination guidelines
· Google image search "maternally derived antibody graph"
· DIC, SIRs and MODs
Mar 01, 202001:29:10
Trish - Clinical Anaesthetist
Feb 02, 202001:24:05
Sophie - Shelter Medicine

Sophie - Shelter Medicine

In this episode I caught up with Sophie to talk about her experience working in shelter medicine. Sophie worked as head nurse at the RSPCA and was kind enough to share some eloquent and considered thoughts on the shelter environment, behaviour, and enrichment.

The shelter environment is a crazy one and really different to general practice. Nurses and technicians working in this area have an extremely high volume of patients passing through their care, each needing extra love and TLC since they're not at that stage rehomed with a family. Despite this high-level care-giving, and Sophie's work with the RSPCA inspectors and exposure to cruelty cases, she paints a really positive picture of nursing within this niche.

It was a pleasure catching up with Sophie and this episode is a must-listen for anyone who has ever wondered about working in the shelter environment.

· Sophie's favourite podcast is No Such Thing as a Fish.
· She is studying the Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour with the ISFM.
Jan 05, 202001:30:37
Gary - University Vet Tech

Gary - University Vet Tech

In this episode I caught up with super-motivated and wildlife-mad veterinary technician, Gary. What started as a childhood love of catching snakes and reptiles has been refined into Gary's niche as a small animal anaesthesia enthusiast with a special interest in wildlife and exotics.

Gary is the Nurse Manager at the University of Queensland's Veterinary Medical Centre. In addition to leading the nursing team he also lectures students within the Vet Science and Vet Tech degrees, and teaches them on the floor at the hospital. As a speaker and presenter Gary is a regular on the Australian and international conference circuits and he's also been published in his interest areas of nursing snake and reptile patients.

As a technician and a contributor to our industry Gary lives in that extra 20-30% where above and beyond happens. His work ethic shows how going above and beyond can result in amazing opportunities, and Gary definitely makes the most of all of them.
Dec 01, 201901:31:09
Nicole LaForest - Badass Women
Nov 03, 201901:35:47
Serena Dean - Behaviour Guru

Serena Dean - Behaviour Guru

In this episode I caught up with behaviour guru Serena Dean. Serena's career in the veterinary industry spans almost 20 years. She's worked in many different capacities including as a senior veterinary nurse in both emergency and general practice, education and training positions, and other leadership and management roles.

Serena designed and implemented The Best Behaviour Program for Greencross and currently creates content as a speaker and guest lecturer for multiple industry groups. She is the Managing Director of Stress Free Pets; an animal handling education program for vets and vet nurses.

Serena is a self-confessed continuing education and study addict armed with an MBA, a degree in veterinary technology, and certificates in veterinary nursing, and training and assessment. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to behaviour and also a great example of why we should dream big and make those dreams a reality.

Serena has been listening to these podcasts:
· Australian Birth Stories and other parenting podcasts.
· Coffee Pods with Holly Ransom.
· Hamish and Andy.
· Ted Talks.

We also discussed Serena's businesses:
· Stress Free Pets - online animal handling and behaviour certification and clinic accreditation.
· The Puppy Club - online Puppy School course and professional network with access to a library of 'white label' puppy school resources, including client handouts.
Oct 06, 201901:29:08
Amy Newfield - Assuming Good Intention

Amy Newfield - Assuming Good Intention

In this episode I interviewed someone who I really admire. When I was at the VNCA conference in 2015 Amy Newfield was the international key note speaker. After her first lecture I was hooked, and went to all them. Her energy and knowledge really fueled the vet nurse in me and I was inspired to make a lot of positive changes back at Ready Vet.

Amy is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care and a project manager for Blue Pearl. She's mainly focused on large scale training initiatives but also has some really interesting involvement with the social worker team there.

My impression of Amy from 2015 was of a vet tech with incredible medical knowledge and practical skills. And that she definitely is. But, what I now know about Amy is that she is also really passionate about soft skills like how to be part of a healthy team, and ways to harness our compassion in the face of adversity. This other dimension of Amy was just another thing to love, and I'm now more of a fan girl than ever.
Sep 01, 201901:26:46
Ricki - Nursing with Hustle
Aug 04, 201901:30:05
Julie - Finding Your Tribe

Julie - Finding Your Tribe

In this episode I caught up with - by popular demand - Julie Harris. With over 20 years of experience in the veterinary industry Julie is now the Chief People Officer for VetPartners. If you're a practice manager or a senior vet nurse working in a leadership position, or if this is something you aspire to, then this is the episode for you.

In addition to her clinical background Julie also has an MBA and a tonne of experience helping people and developing processes. As well as leading her own team she helps vets and nurses in leadership and management roles at over 100 practices across Australia and New Zealand. Julie is full of insights on quality process improvement, workplace culture, the link between customer-centricity and great patient outcomes, and how finding our tribe is essential to our survival as vet nurses.

I love Julie's spirit of collaboration and community. And even though it challenges me on some levels as a business owner, I think she's completely right. I really enjoyed sharing some of Julie's wisdom and a good laugh or two along the way. I think you will too.
Jun 30, 201901:30:24
Angel - CVT, VTS (ECC), Friend

Angel - CVT, VTS (ECC), Friend

In this episode I caught up with Angel Rivera at the 2019 VNCA conference in Brisbane. Angel is a veterinary technician specialist (VTS) in the field of emergency and critical care (ECC). As an internationally recognised speaker he lectures to vets, veterinary nurses, veterinary technicians, and has been published in journals, text books and research abstracts.

Angel has worked as a veterinary technician, Director of Nursing, Nursing Education Coordinator, Medical Director, Hospital Administrator, and currently works as a consultant advising on the training of emergency and critical care nursing concepts, protocols and procedures. In 2018 he was awarded a Steve Haskins Memorial Scholarship for his contribution to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.

Angel has been extremely supportive of the development of veterinary nursing in Australia and has enjoyed a 25 year friendship with the Aussie nurses. It was extremely emotional having him open the conference on the official launch day of the AVNAT scheme, and it was my absolute pleasure to join Angel's ever-expanding gang of Aussie vet nurse friends.

Angel listens to these podcasts:
· EmCrit
· Veterinary ECC Small Talk

Angel recommends these books:
· The hidden power of kindness: by the Reverend Lawrence G. Lovasik.
· The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.
· Samll Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidence from every day.
· Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal.
· Squirrel seeks Chipmunk: by David Sedaris.

We also discussed:
· The AliveCor portable EKG machine
· ER Vet Tech Rounds
· Loom free screen recording software

For 24 hour crisis support call:
· In Australia - Lifeline on 13 11 44
· In the United States - the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1800 273 8255
· In the UK - the Vetlife Helpline on 0303 040 2551.
Jun 02, 201901:17:30
Carol - Surgical Nursing Trailblazer

Carol - Surgical Nursing Trailblazer

In this episode I went to Melbourne and had the absolute pleasure of meeting Carol Bradley. From humble beginnings as a kennel maid in 1973 Carol worked all the way up to her current role teaching and training vet students at the University of Melbourne. Carol is a Tutor in small animal surgery, and the Veterinary Skills Centre Manager and Nurse Educator. When it comes to teaching vet students Carol is also responsible for lectures and practical class supervision in the surgical discipline with a focus on aseptic and operating room technique, instruments, biomaterials, suture technique, the sterilizing process, and approach to basic surgical procedures. In Carol's career she's been a bit of a trailblazer in raising standards in veterinary surgical nursing, including being the first vet nurse to gain her qualification in cleaning, disinfecting and sterilization at the human hospital standard. She was also the first vet nurse to be given an academic position in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Carol is a popular speaker on the veterinary circuit, has a long list of publications, and even invented the Bradley Cat Lap drape. Carol loves innovation. She's a great advocate for vet nurses and for lifelong learning; currently studying a postgrad certificate in Infection Prevention and Control through Griffith University. Not only was Carol just a delight to meet and interview, she also shared a lot of really useful, and practical, evidence based information. We've already made improvements at Ready Vet on the basis of what Carol had to say. As always I've tried to put links in the show notes to everything we discussed, so if you find yourself frantically reaching for your pen head to and check the show notes for this episode. We discussed: · - Association of periOperative Registered Nurses USA · Carol was the first veterinary nurse to apply and successfully pass the Certificate III in Health (Sterilizing for Technicians), applying the Australian & New Zealand Standard 4187 "Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing reusable medical and surgical instruments and associated equipment, and maintenance of associated environments and health care facilities", making it the first Veterinary Teaching Hospital to align with human hospital standards in the faculty's hospital's Central Sterilizing Service Department. · In 2013 Carol was awarded her Associate Fellow in the Higher Education Academy (Veterinary Education) from the Royal Veterinary College, London. · Carol is currently studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Infection Prevention Control through Griffith University. · In 2008 Carol designed a range of single use veterinary surgical drapes for the largest Australian hospital supplies manufacturer, Defies Industries. The Bradley Cat Lap drape is still in use via Provet. · Carol's recommendations for sterilizers: o Prevacuum sterilizers are better (than downwards displacement sterilizers) for hollow items and faster turnaround. o Mediquip or Device Technologies for a nice little benchtop sterilizer - must have a drying cycle. o Atherton for the very large hospital size sterilizer. o See also DLC Australia. · Recommendations for packaging: o Paper bags for soft items (cotton balls, swabs etc, no sharp items). o Laminate - window packs. Good for light instruments, not sharp. Small items/sets. o Polypropylene wraps/single use wraps. Linen around this if getting excess moisture in chamber. · Chlorhexidine is a cationic chemical, povidone-iodine is an anionic chemical and they cancel each other out.
May 05, 201901:17:37
Lou - the Vet Nurse

Lou - the Vet Nurse

In this episode I caught up with social media super nurse and all round lovely human, Lou the Vet Nurse. If you don't already follow Lou on Facebook or Insta, you should. Her social media content is full of vet nursing tips and positive inspo. You can find links to Lou's social media and everything else we discuss in the show notes on my website

Lou is an RVN in the UK with a special interest in intensive nursing and anaesthesia. In addition to active nursing, Lou is the clinical nurse lead at her practice. She's responsible for monitoring and reviewing clinical standards and mentoring the nursing team in line with her additional qualifications. Lou has some great ideas about how to work at improving firstly our own skills and knowledge as individuals, and secondly the standards of care of the veterinary health care teams as a whole. She is also a huge advocate for vets and nurses working together and sharing ideas.

Whether you're listening to Lou in this interview, or enjoying her social media content, it's obvious that she is all about encouraging vet nurses to appreciate their self-worth and to go out and create the careers they've always wanted. It's inspiring to hear another vet nurse speak this way and to promote what is becoming a reoccurring theme on this podcast; that we are qualified, knowledgeable professionals, and our voices are worth listening to!
Mar 31, 201901:20:32
Janet - President of the VNCA

Janet - President of the VNCA

In this episode you'll hear from Janet, the President of the Vet Nurse Council of Australia (VNCA). Janet is from New Zealand, currently living in Perth, and is a lecturer in vet nursing at South Metropolitan TAFE. Janet has been nursing for 20+ years and has multiple qualifications including a Bachelor in Veterinary Nursing and an Associate Degree in Adult and Vocational Education.

Janet's career has taken her all over the world including specialising in Emergency and Critical Care at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Janet recently travelled to the VMX conference in Orlando Florida as the only international recipient of the Dr Earl Rippie Veterinary Nurse Leadership Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes veterinary technicians and nurses who demonstrate leadership abilities and make a positive impact on the growth of the profession.

When you hear about Janet's involvement with the VNCA and the upcoming launch of the AVNAT scheme it will be obvious why she received this scholarship and was then treated like vet nursing royalty at VMX. Janet has had a massive year at the helm of the VNCA and I can't wait to see what she does next.

We discussed:
· A podcast called Coffee Pods with Holly Ransom
· The Dr. Earl H. Rippie Veterinary Nurse Leadership Scholarship
· RECOVER basic life support and advanced life support workshop. Online RECOVER course available through the VNCA as a membership opportunity.
· The April 2019 VNCA conference
· The launch of the AVNAT Scheme
Mar 03, 201901:24:49
Natalie - Academia, Empathy and Behaviour

Natalie - Academia, Empathy and Behaviour

In this episode you'll hear from Natalie, the Academic Director of the Australian College of Vet Nursing. Natalie has Certificate IV qualifications in veterinary nursing, canine behaviour, training and assessment, and Diplomas in vocational education and training, surgical nursing, and emergency and critical care.

When I listened back to this interview it occurred to me that Natalie is an extremely empathetic person. So much of what she has to say comes from a place of sensitivity towards how another person, or animal, is feeling. This natural proclivity towards empathy is a perfect fit for Natalie's passion for canine and (more recently) feline behaviour. Behaviour is also one of my favourite areas so I loved geeking out with Natalie on this topic.

Natalie's career moved from clinical nursing to academia following the loss of a very special dog and the cascade of events that followed. I'm really grateful to Natalie for talking about this and other topics with a level of honesty and vulnerability that I know was not easy. These experiences underpin Natalie's drive to empower other nurses to recognise and manage stress and compassion fatigue; which is of course an essential part of our story.
Feb 03, 201901:29:27
Hayley - ECC and Reality TV
Jan 06, 201901:28:38
Sue Crampton - Speaker, Trainer & Consultant

Sue Crampton - Speaker, Trainer & Consultant

In this episode I catch up with a well-known vet nurse and presenter in Australia, Sue Crampton. Sue is such an accomplished person; she's the owner and founder of Crampton Consulting Group and the Animal Industries Resource Centre and - in addition to vet nursing - has a really interesting collection of qualifications including Bachelor of Business, Diploma in Company Directorship, and Masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming. As one of Australia's leading veterinary educators she's on the go both in Australia and overseas 2 to 3 weeks of every month. It's highly likely you've seen her present.

I first saw Sue at a conference in 2014 and, for me, it was an absolute game-changer. I was almost a year into owning and operating Ready Vet and studying my cert IV, but telling myself I was just doing the study to better manage my business. As someone who had been to uni for almost a decade for a different career, I was trying to suppress the growing suspicion that I actually loved vet nursing. But when I watched Sue present, it really sealed the deal for me. She was speaking my language 100%, motivating and inspiring me, and I had this light bulb moment; yep, I am a vet nurse, and I love it.

It's hard to say what it is about Sue that enables her to connect with people and inspire in this way, but I think it's this: she has this ability to identify and articulate the fundamentals of our industry, chunk them down, and present them within this framework of the veterinary health care team, rather this unhelpful binary of vets and nurses. It's been four years since I first enjoyed Sue's presentation at that conference, and I really enjoyed catching up again.
Dec 02, 201801:08:43
Tiffany - Wildlife in Far North QLD

Tiffany - Wildlife in Far North QLD

In this episode you'll hear from Tiffany - a nurse at Boongarry Veterinary Services in Cairns. She works with the legendary Dr Annabelle Olsson a consulting vet for wildlife, zoos, and the various government agencies that manage endangered animals. As well as being a busy general practice Boongarry also treats thousands of wildlife cases a year, pro bono.

Wildlife cases in Far North QLD are different to wildlife anywhere in Australia. The wet tropics region (which is two million hectares between Townsville in the south and Cooktown in the north) is just 0.26% of Australia's landmass but the highest combined biodiversity of plants and animals in the country. We're so lucky to have this amazing variety of animals up here, many of which are rare or threatened and found literally nowhere else on the planet.

Tiffany does some crazy exciting nursing at Boongarry Vet which is purpose built to treat a huge variety of patients including big crocs - how big? Up to 4.5m. Yep, it takes a pretty unique skill set to be a vet nurse in a practice like this. Tiffany started working at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures when she was 14. She's been looking after wildlife since she was 10, and caring for macropods for 17 years. It's easy to be impressed by Tiffany, not just as a vet nurse. She recently bought her own house, which as a young, single mum on a vet nurse wage is something to be really proud of. I'm proud of her for sure, and the part of our story that she represents.
Nov 04, 201801:06:42
Sara - UK to Oz, Head Nurse to Rep

Sara - UK to Oz, Head Nurse to Rep

In this episode you'll hear from a British vet nurse, Sara, who came to locum in Australia and stayed for good. After working as head nurse in a busy hospital for years, Sara made the transition to working as a rep for Dermcare, and she's never looked back.

Sara is a happy, upbeat person who is highly intelligent and incredibly funny. She has a razor sharp wit that I thoroughly enjoy. I'm not going to lie, I nearly did my snort-laugh in this interview. I'm really glad I heard Sara's story of England to Australia, and vet nurse to rep, and everything in between. I think you'll like it too.
Sep 30, 201801:08:01
Jo Hatcher - VNCA President 2017

Jo Hatcher - VNCA President 2017

In this episode you'll hear from Jo Hatcher who was president of the VNCA in 2017. Jo has been a vet nurse for almost 20 years and was one of the first names added to the Radio Vet Nurse guest wish list. She works at Gawler Animal Hospital in South Australia and is also a nurse trainer with the Animal Industries Resource Centre. Jo is very actively involved with the VNCA and is a highly qualified, knowledgeable and passionate vet nurse.

Jo started her career as a vet nurse in 1999 and attained her Certificate IV in 2002. She then went on to study the Diploma of Veterinary Nursing Management and the Veterinary Technician Certificate. Jo gained accreditation in 2008 and has a special interest in medical nursing and emergency and critical care. She is very passionate about helping train veterinary nurses of the future and is a vocal advocate for better recognition of the profession as a whole.
Sep 02, 201801:16:17
Rebekah - Gypsy Vet Nurse

Rebekah - Gypsy Vet Nurse

In this episode you'll hear from a British vet nurse named Rebekah who travels the world as a locum. Rebekah originally wanted to be a vet and was devastated when she failed at the last hurdle when it came to university admission. Her back-up plan was to complete a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Nursing at the Royal Veterinary College in London and then transfer to vet. It didn't take long for Rebekah to fall in love with vet nursing and decide that she had found her fit and didn't need to become a vet.

Rebekah's locum and volunteer history is incredible; it spans the UK, Europe, Australia, Africa and South East Asia and includes a camel sedation and treatment of infected wound, dental procedure on a lioness, post-mortem of a water buffalo, and an elephant enema! Not only is Bekah a vet nurse, she's also a dive master, and sometimes she's able to combine these skills. Obviously I had to meet her, and so do you.
Jul 29, 201801:07:11