NZ Diploma of Veterinary Nursing learner Casey Daniell has had her eyes opened to the world of wildlife care.
Casey is just one of Otago Polytechnic’s Veterinary Nursing learners to be taking a walk on the wild side.
This year we have introduced an on-campus New Zealand Diploma of Veterinary Nursing option (previously, the second year of the Diploma was only available as a distance programme).
Our learners, including those enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology – Veterinary Nurse Assistant, now have the chance to learn from the experts at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, which operates from the same building.
Learners are involved in placements that give them insight into wildlife procedures relevant to the skills and competencies within the Veterinary Nursing programme: from surgical nursing and anaesthetic monitoring to nutrition and assisted feeding.
“Working with wildlife is a very different experience to working with the small animals in a vet clinic,” says Casey, who is the second year of her New Zealand Diploma of Veterinary Nursing.
“The animals we handle in a vet clinic are domesticated. They are used to being handled.
“In contrast, the Wildlife Hospital deals with penguins, kea, takahe and other bird species that have had minimal handling during their life, so we need to minimise stress to them by only handling them when required for feeding and medical procedures.”