Ruby was found wandering the streets with severe burns, thought to be caused by chemical liquid of some kind. She was taken to PDSA where her burns were treated, and was offered a permanent home by Natalie.??Pictured: Ruby the cat with PDSA vet Sam Trewick-Coleman. ?


I have always been more of a hands-on learner so the Apprenticeship appealed to me as a good way to further my education whilst being proactive in a working environment.  It also has the benefit of allowing me to earn a good wage at the same time.  The PDSA actively promote their Apprenticeship Scheme and encouraged me to enrol on it – I was previously employed here as a Veterinary Care Assistant and it seemed like a natural progression.

The PDSA have been very supportive of my college work.  I have a three hour rotated session with my clinical coach weekly and I also put aside an hour or two a day at home to complete any work necessary and for revision.

I am particularly proud that I am part of a committee within the PDSA that can implement changes in the charity’s policies.  Currently we are trying to put forward two new animal welfare policies.  If these two policies go through it will be a huge accomplishment for myself and the charity.

Once I have qualified as an RVN I plan on staying with the PDSA for a few extra years to gain practical experience.  I then hope to move abroad and get involved in conservation projects.

I would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship.  As long as you are willing to put in the time and effort there are no downsides.  Earn while you learn!

Lucy Knight

Head Nurse, PDSA

I have had previous experience of employing an Apprentice Vet Nurse who qualified last year.  I feel it is a real development opportunity for people who wish to further their career within the veterinary environment.  I think that apprentices get the most experience as this is a very practical job and they learn as they go, as well as undertaking study to help give a better understanding of what we do in practice.  This practical experience means they are competent in basic nursing skills at the end of the three years when they qualify.

I think employing an apprentice is good for the team as it helps keep us up-to-date with the latest changes as well as using our skills and knowledge to teach and pass on.  Sam has become a lot more confident in monitoring general anaesthetics since starting at the Portsmouth Pet hospital.  He has also gained new skills for giving injections and discharging patients post operatively.  Sam’s development has been noticed by everyone who works with him and how well he is doing is obvious to all.

An Apprenticeship is a great opportunity for the apprentice as well as the business – it is a great investment.

I would definitely recommend offering an Apprenticeship, particularly as Veterinary Nursing is an area in which we struggle to recruit.  It is so rewarding to see your student pass and become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse at the end of the three years, it motivates your team as well as the individual.