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FAQs

Still have some more questions about your future veterinary career? Read below for the answers that you may have been looking for.

  • How can I specialise?
    There are different forms of further study that you could do, but not all allow you to be a specialist. ▪️ Certificate – self-directed study for advanced veterinary practice status ▪️ Post-graduate training (including non-clinical specialisms): - Masters degrees - PhDs - Internships (1 year. Vets normally do a rotating internship or specific interest internship before a residency) - Residencies (normally 3 years where you train under specialists to become a ‘diplomat’) Here are some articles with more information on a rotating internship and how to gain specialist status.
  • Can I call myself Dr when I qualify?
    Nothing prevents veterinary surgeons using the courtesy title 'Doctor' or 'Dr' if they wish to, however veterinary surgeons using the title must be careful not to mislead the public. They must include; (a) their name; and (b) the descriptor “veterinary surgeon”; or (c) the post-nominal letters “MRCVS”.
  • Can I take a year out?
    Some universities offer intercalation within the degree where you can take a ‘year out’ and study a new topic. i.e. Pathology or Bioveterinary sciences. Some degrees may offer the opportunity to do a placement/project at another university or opportunities abroad. This is typically before you go into your clinical years. Placements can be done abroad (dependent on being accepted by the university). There is usually a maximum number of weeks that this can be done for.
  • What is accreditation?
    Universities must have accreditation to allow their graduates to qualify for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) register. This is regularly checked by the RCVS and new universities work closely with the RCVS to achieve this. Other international boards: European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)* South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) *to work in North America, you will have to sit the NAVLE exam (same as North American students)
  • Can I study abroad?
    Yes, you can! There are vet schools around the world which have different entry requirements. But here are a few things that you'll need to consider: ▪️ Is the university RCVS accredited so that it's easier to practice in the UK if you want to work there? (You will have to do additional exams if this is not the case) ▪️ They may have a different application form/website and different deadline times. So be sure to check the university website on how to apply. ▪️ Cost - Of course you'll have to consider the fees for the course, cost of living, accommodation, the application process, any application exams and any visas, etc
  • Do I need to purchase any books?
    No, save your money! Most books are now uploaded online and some physical books can cost around £100. Veterinary Medicine students use an array of textbooks throughout the course. I also recommend using YouTube to learn basic principles and anatomy. If you really want books, wait until you start as some students may be selling old books. Some university/college libraries may also be giving away older editions for free.
  • What will I do on placement at university?
    Animal Husbandry Extra Mural Studies (AHEMS) (12 weeks) Learning how to look after and handle animals (Equine, Sheep, Cattle, Pigs, etc). These usually occur in non-clinical environments. Clinical Extra Mural Studies (EMS) (26 weeks) Working with clinicians and nurses with real cases as well as developing your own clinical skills. Rotations You then have rotations which are scheduled by your university where they send you out to hospitals (either their own or external). You are graded on these placements and typically do them with other students. You can pick additional rotation areas that you want to do but typical areas include: internal medicine, farm, equine practice, cardiology, etc.
  • Can I get support studying Veterinary Medicine as a second degree?
    You can study Veterinary Medicine as a second degree however you have to note the following things: ▪️ COST - Student loans for tuition fees are not offered to students who study Veterinary Medicine as a second degree. You can still apply for maintenance loans and grants. As the course will have to be funded by the student, external grants and scholarships can be looked for (although they typically have specific criteria). Some universities may allow students to pay in instalments (check with them first) so that the financial burden is (somewhat) lessened. Students can work part time jobs throughout their studies, but working during their final year rotations may be difficult. ▪️ 1st DEGREE - Universities that offer a 4 year graduate curse typically ask for a 2:1 in a relevant science degree. Please check with the university what degrees they accept. Degree holders can still apply for the standard 5 year course
  • Can I do placements abroad?
    No, student nursing placements must be done in the UK in RCVS approved training practices.
  • Can I specialise?
    Yes you can. There are further qualifications that you can do when in practice. This could be advanced veterinary nursing, a postgraduate certificate or even additional webinars or lectures that you can watch in your own time. Nurses can specialise in a number of things e.g. anaesthesia, exotics, behaviour, emergency and critical care, etc. Some nurses may choose to work in specialised referral hospitals where they work in one department (whether you have done further study or not). There is a rotating nursing internship available for nurses which you can do after qualifying. You don't have to work in referral-level hospitals to learn more about a specific subject. Even in a small first opinion practice, you could become the 'go-to' nurse when it comes to exotics. Anyone has the power to learn and share their knowledge with their team.
  • Can I become an Equine Nurse?
    There are specific equine nursing courses, but small animal Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) can train to become Registered Equine Veterinary Nurses (REVNs) through a ‘top up’ course (12-18 months).
  • What is the difference between FdSc and BSc Veterinary Nursing?
    Both courses allow you to be a Qualified Veterinary Nurse. Most courses will have you learn with each other anyway. BSc students may have a few additional assignments and an additional examination to show that you are working at a level 7. The additional BSc year typically includes a research project. You can ‘top up’ your FdSc degree to a BSc if you have been doing well academically (nice loop hole)
  • What will I do on placements?
    Placements are practical from day one. You will have a qualified member of staff teaching you tasks from restraining an animal safely for a procedure to monitoring anaesthesia. Student Vet Nurses will be given a log of skills that they will learn over the duration of the course. To qualify as a Veterinary Nurse, you must complete at least 1,800 hours in clinical practice.
  • Do I need to purchase any books?
    No, save your money! Most books are now uploaded online and some physical books can cost around £100. I also highly recommend youtube for learning basic principles and anatomy. If you really want books, wait until you start as some students may be selling old books. Some university/college libraries may also be giving away older editions for free. For nursing, most people find the BSAVA Veterinary Nursing textbook useful. But it is best to wait until you start the course.
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