If you are considering emergency veterinary medicine, you’re in for a few surprises. Emergency vets arguably have one of the best jobs in the world! There is always something to do and there is never a dull moment – from treating wildlife to exotic birds and even snakes! You’re saving lives everyday. So if you’ve ever considered getting stuck into the exciting world of veterinary emergency, let’s start by exploring the benefits of being an emergency vet.
So, what is an emergency vet?
Emergency vets are veterinary emergency doctors. They treat sudden injuries and life-threatening illnesses in animal patients, often at the most critical time of need. They must balance an understanding of medical emergencies with emergency vet knowledge about different species – so it’s no surprise they’re always busy!
How do you become an emergency veterinarian?
Emergency veterinarians must complete pre-veterinary undergraduate degrees – usually four years long – before going on to train as emergency vets through specialist training programs. Some people might be able to start off working towards being an emergency veteran by undertaking post graduate studies such as: Emergency & Critical Care Certificate (ECC); Doctorate degree; or sit their ANZCVS Membership.
It’s also worth noting emergency vets must undergo a rigorous application process to become licensed emergency veterinarians.
Here at AEA, we have developed our specialised Internship and Fast-Tracks programs for those who make the switch from general practice to the ED. For those that want to sit the membership, we also have a 14 month long, structured program focussing on preparation for ECC Membership examination. Either way, we are here to support your career path.
The pros of emergency vet work
As an emergency vet you get to help patients in moments of truly urgent needs. You can even save lives. Everyday is a new adventure to save lives and treat critically ill animals and no two shifts will be the same. You will be constantly exposed to something rare or something new. We believe that in only 1 year in the ED of one of our AEA hospitals, you will see as many challenging cases as you would in 10 years in general practice. How is that for a wide variety of cases?
As an emergency vet you get regular opportunities to help animals in crisis and a great sense of accomplishment when a patient is successfully treated. You will be working cases from start to finish which can be a bit daunting in the beginning but rest assured our experienced mentors are only an arm length away and here to support you. Our staff tell us the camaraderie that builds amongst other members of the emergency team while you work together to save lives is like no other!
The cons of emergency vet work
One downside to emergency veterinary medicine is that emergency veterinarians usually work when general practices are closed, that is on public holidays, weekends and of course after-hours. On the other hand, you don’t need to work too many shifts per month to make ends meet.
For some, the constant variety of cases and not knowing what will come next through the door is simply too much. Too much multitasking, too much stress and too challenging. To succeed, you need the ability to take a breath and stay centered, no matter what is going on around you. If you are not sure if you can do that, we recommend you come for a test shift. Look behind the scenes and experience our culture, mentoring and support. If it doesn’t suit you, then no harm done. At least you know.
Is the Emergency Department for you?
The benefits of emergency veterinary medicine are all around. From saving lives and helping animals recover, to experiencing the diversity of species and issues of patients – it’s one way that you can truly make a difference in the world! If you’ve been thinking about changing or advancing your career in ECC, perhaps Animal Emergency Australia sounds like the perfect fit for your personality. Or perhaps it doesn’t. Either way, if you want more information about how to become an emergency veterinarian professional, then look no further – get in touch with Animal Emergency Australia today!