The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

Introduction & Syllabus

Author's Note
The information on this web-site was written to provide a modern approach to revision with full coverage of the RCVS Veterinary Nursing syllabus. It is dedicated to Stella.

Vanessa Bird
April 2000

When studying for my own veterinary nursing examinations, I realised that there were only a handful of revision texts available. With the recent developments in the training of veterinary nurses, such as the advent of the S/NVQ awards and the replacement of the Practical Book with the Portfolio, I felt that there was a need for an up-to-date comprehensive guide to revision. The guide is primarily intended for self-assessment, but can equally be used by college and practice tutors in lectures and practical demonstrations. I hope that the information will also prove useful as a reference guide to qualified veterinary nurses and other practice personnel.

What is your goal?
You have probably already worked hard in preparation for your veterinary nursing examinations by attending college and completing your Portfolio. You will of course have gained valuable experience from day-to-day life in practice and will build up the confidence and competence to perform a wide variety of nursing tasks. The more that you are able to undertake will mean a more interesting and fulfilling role at your surgery.

Veterinary nursing was always notoriously poorly paid, but at last we are gaining recognition for our skills and hard work. Conditions and pay structure have improved tremendously over the last few years. Many practice principals are encouraging continuing professional development (CPD) for all their employees, and the recent developments in training for veterinary nurses mean that your education need not stop once you have qualified. The Veterinary Nursing Degree and Diplomas in Advanced Veterinary Nursing offer excellent opportunities to further your career. Hill's Pet Nutrition and Pedigree Petfoods are running courses in nutritional advice and general health counselling, and the College of Animal Welfare offer's courses in bereavement counselling and behavioural therapy. The door is wide open for veterinary nurses if you have the desire to succeed in your career.

Sometimes however, professional motivation is not always enough to see you through the tough times, particularly when an examination is looming. The prospect of a pay rise is an excellent incentive, and most bosses will be proud of your examination success and reward you accordingly. It really helps to have something special to look forward to after an exam, and a holiday is ideal. If you are unable to take a trip away, book some days off directly after the exam to give yourself some time to recover. Arrange a shopping trip, book a table in your favourite restaurant or even just set aside some time to relax and enjoy not having to worry about revision.