Otago Polytechnic

A walk on the wild side

Dealing with deals with penguins, kea, takahe and other bird species has given Casey Daniell a fresh set of skills.

Casey Daniell

Study

Working with wildlife is a very different experience to working with the small animals in a vet clinic.

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.”

New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)

Do you want to be a professional Veterinary Nurse? This programme will enable you to become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse and to enter the New Zealand Register of Veterinary Nurses. Employment opportunities are diverse and, as well as working as a Veterinary Nurse, could include working within veterinary practice management, veterinary wholesale product sales, animal control, wildlife management, animal breeding, conservation or education (with additional training). From 2020, we are partnering with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to offer this programme online with block courses in Tauranga and with WELTEC to offer it full-time at the WELTEC Wellington Campus. *Wellington location still subject to final approval.

Student

Casey Daniell

Study

New Zealand Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Level 6)

Do you want to be a professional Veterinary Nurse? This programme will enable you to become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse and to enter the New Zealand Register of Veterinary Nurses. Employment opportunities are diverse and, as well as working as a Veterinary Nurse, could include working within veterinary practice management, veterinary wholesale product sales, animal control, wildlife management, animal breeding, conservation or education (with additional training). From 2020, we are partnering with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology to offer this programme online with block courses in Tauranga and with WELTEC to offer it full-time at the WELTEC Wellington Campus. *Wellington location still subject to final approval.