There is no one moment that Rebecca Dingwall can pinpoint as to what made her decide to become a veterinary nurse, she has always just loved animals and wanted to care for them. However, she does say growing up she was more obsessed with animals than most kids as she wasn’t allowed to have pets and she is still just as obsessed with them. “I was always the girl playing with dogs or cats at birthday parties or putting my hand up first to hold the python on a school excursion,” she says.
Rebecca began her veterinary nurse career during her last year of study when she applied and was accepted into our three-month Animal Emergency Service internship. Just as her internship was coming to an end, Rebecca was offered a veterinary nurse position with the Pet ICU team.
For Rebecca, a case that was memorable and is one she still thinks about often is Squirrel the cat. Squirrel came into Pet ICU after receiving burns to a large percentage of her body from getting stuck in the hood of a car. It was the first major burns case Rebecca nursed, and a case she learnt much from. Squirrel required intensive nursing, including oesophageal tube feeds, recumbency changes, and physio, urinary catheter care, and bandage changes. “I learnt so much from her, and although we were not able to save her, I feel so grateful for being part of the team who was given the chance to care for her. I think about her often and still call her cage ‘Squirrel’s cage’ at work,” explains Rebecca.
For anyone looking to work with challenging cases like the ones Pet ICU sees, Rebecca says to go for it. “Definitely do it! I can honestly say I love my job so much and I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing team,” she says.