Veterinary Nurse, Surgery - College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
Closing date
Dec 7, 2023

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Veterinary Nurse, Rotating - College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine invites applicants to apply for the position of Veterinary Nurse, located within the Small Animal Clinical Sciences Department. The primary purpose of this position is to provide nursing care for all small animal services on a rotating basis. Duties include but are not limited to making patient assessments, performing triage, and preparing patients for exams or treatments. Rotates between hospital services to provide veterinary nursing coverage when the respective service has an unusually large caseload or when the regular service technician is absent. Position helps with performing diagnostic tests and analyzing results and records patients' medical histories and symptoms, including observations. Position administers medicine and treatments, establishes plan of care, and operates medical equipment. Position supports teaching efforts by instructing students, interns, and residents.

Depending on experience and qualifications of successful candidate, individual will be hired in as a Veterinary Nurse 1, Veterinary Nurse 2, or Senior Veterinary Nurse 1.


Typical Responsibilities:

Provides veterinary nursing support to a variety of hospital services as needed. Administers drugs to patients and monitors for adverse reactions. Calculates, double checks, and adjusts drug dosages as directed. Monitors patient vitals, mentation, pain score, delivery systems, and any electronic monitoring devices that may be attached to the patient (anesthetized, sedated, or awake), and records all information in patient chart. Assesses problems that could become detrimental to hospitalized patient's health, and notifies clinicians as indicated. Places IV catheters, urinary catheters, bandage materials, naso-gastric tubes etc. to allow for proper patient care. Orders lab tests as needed, or ensures that proper test is ordered by students or other veterinary staff. Collects samples required for submission (blood, urine, aspirates, etc.) and submits samples to appropriate lab. Performs simple diagnostic tests not run by labs (NOVA, PVC/TS, SNAP tests, etc.). Preps and positions patients for surgical procedures. Preps equipment and supplies for non-surgical and minor surgical procedures. Evaluates anesthesia candidates for potential risks and relays information to anesthesia clinicians. Triages and stabilizes critical patients, and initiates CPR for patients as needed. Obtains radiographs and other diagnostic imaging. Restrains patients for physical exams.

Maintains communication with both UTCVM and non-UTCVM clients, referring veterinarians and in-house services. Evaluates information provided, and relays pertinent info to appropriate clinicians as needed. Provides services, clients or clinicians with updates on patients, including info on procedures, estimates for appointments/procedures, and upcoming appointment details. Logs all outside communications in computer system. Takes prescription renewal requests from owners and outside pharmacies and obtains clinician approval as needed. Calls in prescriptions to outside pharmacies. Obtains info/history from owners and referral clinics. Fills out and submits requests to other departments for anesthesia, radiology, labs, and service consults. Coordinates with other services to ensure procedures, consults, and anesthesia are done correctly, safely, and in a timely manner. Screens ER calls and relays important info to clinicians. Advises owners over the phone on best course of action if they believe they have an emergency. Provides info to referring veterinarians and owners about animals in through ER, necessary referral documents, and provides estimates.

Teaches students, house officers, and new employee's proper policies and procedures, including but not limited to methods for venipuncture, catheter placement, anesthesia maintenance, monitoring, diagnostics, sample submission, communications, etc. Assists services with patient needs IE sample collection, physical examination, wellness checks, patient care, etc.

Provides required, rotating, on-call coverage for emergency and critical care, which is roughly 4 to 6 weeks per year.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)- accredited program in Veterinary Technology with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree
  • Must hold a Veterinary Technician license and must obtain a license to practice in Tennessee within first year of employment
  • Future graduates of an AVMA-accredited program in Veterinary Technology will be considered as long as degree is obtained prior to filling the position.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Additional relevant experience

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