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29-07-2014, 11:10   #1
Xios
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Career in Veterinary Medicine/Nursing

Hey guys,

My girlfriend is planning on pursuing a career in the industry. She's currently working full-time and has applied for courses in Bray and Dun Laoghaire for Animal care. The main plan was to go to UCD, but there was a mix up on the CAO and that course is out.

Would anyone in the industry be able to tell me if there are other options outside of full-time formal education? Is there an accredited distance learning or part-time(evening) course she could attend in the Dublin area?

Can you pursue the career without the formal education? She wants to work with animals, and obviously make a living doing it, but until she does find a paying job she'll likely volunteer in animal care or help on farms for the time being.

Also, can any Vets on here give me a jobs profile, what your career has been like, what got you to where you are and do you still enjoy your field?

Edit; Also, if there are no part-time courses in Veterinary practice, would it be beneficial for her to do a medicine based course part-time, such as medication administration or nursing for the year, would the overlap in skills be useful?


Mods; Sorry if this is the wrong forum.

Last edited by Xios; 29-07-2014 at 11:22.
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29-07-2014, 12:07   #2
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Hey guys,

My girlfriend is planning on pursuing a career in the industry. She's currently working full-time and has applied for courses in Bray and Dun Laoghaire for Animal care. The main plan was to go to UCD, but there was a mix up on the CAO and that course is out.

Would anyone in the industry be able to tell me if there are other options outside of full-time formal education? Is there an accredited distance learning or part-time(evening) course she could attend in the Dublin area?

Can you pursue the career without the formal education? She wants to work with animals, and obviously make a living doing it, but until she does find a paying job she'll likely volunteer in animal care or help on farms for the time being.

Also, can any Vets on here give me a jobs profile, what your career has been like, what got you to where you are and do you still enjoy your field?

Edit; Also, if there are no part-time courses in Veterinary practice, would it be beneficial for her to do a medicine based course part-time, such as medication administration or nursing for the year, would the overlap in skills be useful?


Mods; Sorry if this is the wrong forum.
A distance learning course in Vet medicine??? Or being a vet without formal education? Are you serious? It's a 5 year degree that for most people takes the guts of 590 LC points to get into. If she really wants to be a vet then surely she would know that UCD is the only university in the Republic that teaches it?
Being a vet isn't just "working with animals". It's a profession and takes a lot of hard graft and study to qualify in. I don't mean to sound harsh but it sounds like she isn't taking it remotely seriously if she didn't even fill out her CAO properly. Vet medicine isn't a career you just fall into. You're a practising medical professional responsible for animal's lives, you don't get into it by accident.
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29-07-2014, 12:32   #3
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A distance learning course in Vet medicine??? Or being a vet without formal education? Are you serious? It's a 5 year degree that for most people takes the guts of 590 LC points to get into. If she really wants to be a vet then surely she would know that UCD is the only university in the Republic that teaches it?
Being a vet isn't just "working with animals". It's a profession and takes a lot of hard graft and study to qualify in. I don't mean to sound harsh but it sounds like she isn't taking it remotely seriously if she didn't even fill out her CAO properly. Vet medicine isn't a career you just fall into. You're a practising medical professional responsible for animal's lives, you don't get into it by accident.
Yeah, I should've been clearer but didn't want to write an Essay. She's in it for the long haul. The CAO is an awkward system to get around sometimes, and when she realised the mistake, the CAO office were of absolutely no help in solving the problem.

And I didn't mean to paint the career path in a pale light. But there are stepping stones into the career and I want to explore other avenues into. I'm certain that UCD isn't the be all and end all of Veterinary practice in Ireland. Athlone and Dundalk offer degrees in Vet nursing as well, she already has applied for the 1/2 year courses in Bray and Dun Laoghaire which are progression FETAC's to get into UCD and the institutes. But she might not be willing to quit her job to return to education, so I want to explore other options for her.


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Being a vet isn't just "working with animals". It's a profession and takes a lot of hard graft and study to qualify in.
I'm also aware of this, but I figured I'd just cut the chase and go straight for the details.

Last edited by Xios; 29-07-2014 at 12:36.
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29-07-2014, 12:46   #4
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Yeah, I should've been clearer but didn't want to write an Essay. She's in it for the long haul. The CAO is an awkward system to get around sometimes, and when she realised the mistake, the CAO office were of absolutely no help in solving the problem.

And I didn't mean to paint the career path in a pale light. But there are stepping stones into the career and I want to explore other avenues into. I'm certain that UCD isn't the be all and end all of Veterinary practice in Ireland. Athlone and Dundalk offer degrees in Vet nursing as well, she already has applied for the 1/2 year courses in Bray and Dun Laoghaire which are progression FETAC's to get into UCD and the institutes. But she might not be willing to quit her job to return to education, so I want to explore other options for her.



I'm also aware of this, but I figured I'd just cut the chase and go straight for the details.
Has she looked up any courses herself or are you doing it all for her? I mean if she's so committed to it surely she's looked into it herself.
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29-07-2014, 12:49   #5
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UCD are the only college in Ireland where you can do Veterinary Medicine and afaik, there are only roughly 60 places on the course, so its very hard to get in to.

Be prepared though, if Vet nursing is what she wants to get in to, its very badly paid and you work very hard.
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29-07-2014, 12:59   #6
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Has she looked up any courses herself or are you doing it all for her? I mean if she's so committed to it surely she's looked into it herself.
She is, but i've so much more free time and it's a much easier for me to navigate these systems as i've done it a bunch of times myself.
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29-07-2014, 13:00   #7
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UCD are the only college in Ireland where you can do Veterinary Medicine and afaik, there are only roughly 60 places on the course, so its very hard to get in to.

Be prepared though, if Vet nursing is what she wants to get in to, its very badly paid and you work very hard.

She's in the defence forces, I think she knows a thing or two about hard work for crap pay.
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29-07-2014, 13:01   #8
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Well i was just informing you and letting you know the career it is, as not everybody does.
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29-07-2014, 13:03   #9
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Well i was just informing you and letting you know the career it is, as not everybody does.
Thanks, I appreciate that. I've dealth with Vets over the past few years and I appreciate that it can be a physically and emotionally demanding job.
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29-07-2014, 13:10   #10
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Thanks, I appreciate that. I've dealth with Vets over the past few years and I appreciate that it can be a physically and emotionally demanding job.
Yes, very. Depending if you go large or small animal. Large is a completely different job altogether and to be honest, no money would pay me to do that.

I work on a stud farm myself, in the office section now, but i studied Equine Studies at college for a few years. Im now working in one of the biggest studs in the country. But i see how hard our resident vet works. He could be on call during the night and still have to be in for daily rounds from 8am, its tough going.

Small animal is a lot easier and you have your set times of your practice and probably rotate on call duty so it would be a lot more flexible and normal working hours.

These are all the things to consider. If shes working in the defence forces, could she not get involved in the Army Equitation school or the Mounted Police if horses were something she was interested in?
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29-07-2014, 13:18   #11
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These are all the things to consider. If shes working in the defence forces, could she not get involved in the Army Equitation school or the Mounted Police if horses were something she was interested in?
Nah, I think the Equitation school hires in external vets and any Privates in the school are glorified sh*t shovelers (I'm open to correction, I don't really know)

But transfering within the defence forces is slow and I doubt they have much need for Veterinary Skills in the PDF, maybe in the Dog unit (if it still exists), but that's very small, specialised and very hard to get into.

Ideally she could keep her job while studying part-time, because the quality of life in the PDF is pretty good, outside the very dull run of the mill work that needs to be done.

There were opportunities to go do Medicine in Cork with the PDF, but that was a Medic's course.
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29-07-2014, 13:20   #12
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I think the only course she can do part-time is vet nursing, Vet Medicine is a full time course and it think its 4 or 5 years. I would def think long and hard if thats the route she wants to go down because it will be a long time before shes earning again if she chooses to do vet nursing or vet medicine.
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29-07-2014, 13:53   #13
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I'm a vet nurse, I qualified last year. Feel free to pm me if she wants any info on the course, or if she wants to email me herself il do my best to answer any questions.

The country is currently over run with nurses, two new courses recently got accredited so the output of nurses has nearly doubled but the jobs situation hasn't improved. Keep an eye on the ivna website and the Irish veterinary journal website and that'l give you an idea of the job prospects, England is the place to be at the moment, I don't think the money's much better over there but your skills as a nurse are better appreciated and there seems to be loads of jobs both at the bottom and head nurse positions. I graduated a year ago and still no nursing job, a guy I went for an interview with said he was bowled over with the amount of applications he received after he advertised a job.

As mentioned already there's the pretty crappy pay. If your lucky you get into a nice practice where you can really stretch your wings as a nurse but some are mostly reception work which can be a little irritating after studying for 3/4 years to nurse.

The animal care courses are no more than a stepping stone to nursing. I don't know the ins and outs of the legality of it but you can't carry out nursing procedures or call yourself a nurse unless your a registered or student nurse. They can be used to work as a receptionist, kennel cleaner and groomer (no legal requirements to call yourself a groomer).

Don't get me wrong I love nursing, I worked my ass off in placements for 3 years doing crazy hours with no pay and still enjoyed it. It's a very satisfying job when you get to see the end product of your hard work, animal comes in on deaths door and being able to nurse it back to health is very rewarding. There's the flip side that a lot of people aren't able to handle and it's dealing with euthanasia and being able to step back from cases sometimes. For that reason it can be very up and down work. I remember our lecture telling us before that suicide ranked by profession veterinary professions (I think mostly vets) are number 2, farmers number 1.

I'm on the phone so not able to go into much detail but feel free to pm me any questions
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29-07-2014, 14:22   #14
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I'm a vet nurse, I qualified last year. Feel free to pm me if she wants any info on the course, or if she wants to email me herself il do my best to answer any questions.

The country is currently over run with nurses, two new courses recently got accredited so the output of nurses has nearly doubled but the jobs situation hasn't improved. Keep an eye on the ivna website and the Irish veterinary journal website and that'l give you an idea of the job prospects, England is the place to be at the moment, I don't think the money's much better over there but your skills as a nurse are better appreciated and there seems to be loads of jobs both at the bottom and head nurse positions. I graduated a year ago and still no nursing job, a guy I went for an interview with said he was bowled over with the amount of applications he received after he advertised a job.

As mentioned already there's the pretty crappy pay. If your lucky you get into a nice practice where you can really stretch your wings as a nurse but some are mostly reception work which can be a little irritating after studying for 3/4 years to nurse.

The animal care courses are no more than a stepping stone to nursing. I don't know the ins and outs of the legality of it but you can't carry out nursing procedures or call yourself a nurse unless your a registered or student nurse. They can be used to work as a receptionist, kennel cleaner and groomer (no legal requirements to call yourself a groomer).

Don't get me wrong I love nursing, I worked my ass off in placements for 3 years doing crazy hours with no pay and still enjoyed it. It's a very satisfying job when you get to see the end product of your hard work, animal comes in on deaths door and being able to nurse it back to health is very rewarding. There's the flip side that a lot of people aren't able to handle and it's dealing with euthanasia and being able to step back from cases sometimes. For that reason it can be very up and down work. I remember our lecture telling us before that suicide ranked by profession veterinary professions (I think mostly vets) are number 2, farmers number 1.

I'm on the phone so not able to go into much detail but feel free to pm me any questions

Thanks for your response, she'll certainly appreciate this info. I'll let her know to PM you as soon as she gets to read this thread.
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29-07-2014, 14:22   #15
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OP I'm confused by your posts.. Has she got the points to get in to UCD or is she looking for a way around the points?!
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