A VETERINARY nurse, who began her working life mucking out stables, answering phones and cleaning out kennels, has landed a key role at The Minster Veterinary Practice.
Some 23 years after joining the practice as a Student Veterinary Nurse, Emma Darling has been promoted to Practice Manager at Minster Vets, which has six surgeries across York, employing 16 vets, 23 veterinary nurses and 19 reception and admin staff.
Emma joined the practice – then called Grant & Partners – aged 18 in 1994 after leaving Bishop Burton College in Beverley, where she completed her National Diploma in Animal Care, and is the practice’s longest-serving member of staff.
After qualifying in 1997 as a Registered Veterinary Nurse, she specialised in looking after small animals when the practice became known as Minster. She stepped up to Head Veterinary Nurse in 2000 and was then appointed Practice Co-Ordinator in 2015.
Since Minster joined VetPartners, owners of some of the UK’s most respected and trusted veterinary practices, Emma has played a key role in the practice, which recently underwent a £65,000 revamp of its main veterinary hospital in Salisbury Road, York.
She said: “I started right at the bottom and learned all about veterinary nursing.
“I started when we were a mixed practice so I had to muck out stables, clean up after chickens had post mortems, did the drug ordering and answered the phone. We didn’t have a rota as there were only four nurses so we worked when we had to.
“Minster Vets is special because of the dedicated and highly skilled staff. When you spend so long at one practice, you develop emotional ties and, as colleagues, we have gone through big events together on life’s journey, like weddings and children.”
Minster Vets is a founding practice of VetPartners – a collaboration of veterinary practices across the UK – and joining a bigger group created new opportunities for veterinary nurses to develop their careers.
VetPartners practices, Ashleigh Vets in Knaresborough, Mount Veterinary Group in Malton and Balanced Being Vets in Wetherby, all come under the Minster umbrella, and are supported by Emma and her team.
Emma added: “VetPartners changed the course of my career by providing more opportunities to progress. You are listened to and recognised for your skills, plus you have the chance to learn while doing a job you love.
“After joining VetPartners, Minster hasn’t stood still because it has embraced positive change. We used to do things well, but it is all about how you can do it even better than before.
“Once veterinary nurses qualify, they wonder what they can do next, but within VetPartners there are opportunities to progress. The challenge for the veterinary industry is to retain nurses. They are valued members of the team and it takes a long time to train, so we don’t want to lose them.”
Minster’s main veterinary hospital recently underwent a revamp following a £65,000 investment to improve facilities for clients, pets and staff.
The number of veterinary consultation rooms has increased from four to five, there is a new cat-only waiting room, larger reception, additional offices and each consult room has been upgraded.
For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Head of PR and Communications, on 0191 274 7910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org