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June 3, 2013

Northern Ireland Vet Nurse Of The Year 2013

The winners of the 6th British Veterinary Nursing Association Northern Ireland Vet Nurse of The Year Awards have been announced. Judges had an even tougher job this year, after receiving a record breaking number of nominations for the three categories.  Hill’s Pet Nutrition supports the Awards’ goal to celebrate vet nursing and the efforts to generate wider recognition of the fantastic work that veterinary nurses do every day.

This year’s nominations included many from veterinary practice clients, reflecting just how much vet nurses are appreciated within their communities.

–          Roisin George of City Vets in Belfast is NI Veterinary Nurse of the Year.

–          Barbara Miller of Millburn Vets in Coleraine is NI Student Vet Nurse of the Year.

–          Lisa Plunkett of Vets4Pets in Bangor is NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year.

“Congratulations to each winner.  We are honoured to get this opportunity to recognise your dedication and commitment.  We are also so proud to be associated with this event and support the veterinary community in Northern Ireland,” said Susie Hill, Territory Manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Winners received gift vouchers and trophies at the sparkling NI BSAVA congress gala party in recognition of their dedication to veterinary nursing, their patients, clients and colleagues.

Roisin George – NI Veterinary Nurse of the Year

It was Roisin’s excellent abilities in all aspects of her role as a veterinary nurse that swayed the judges to pick her above all the other excellent nominations. Praised for getting the balance right between professionalism and friendliness, Roisin is recognised for treating everyone as an individual. She is often found chatting with clients and even if she hasn’t seen someone for a while, will always remember names and the little details that make a difference. Described as “just lovely” by many clients, Roisin’s efforts are seemingly also appreciated by her patients – “the animals love her!”

Frequently displaying her encyclopaedic knowledge and practical skills when faced with any enquiry or task, Roisin’s colleague said “you can always be sure that if you can’t do it, then Roisin will be able to!” Roisin is also keen to pass on her skills to the next generation of vet nurses. “Her patience and effort have made such a difference to my ability and given me confidence,” one of her students explained.

Roisin’s colleague summed it up with “There are some veterinary nurses that excel in certain areas but Roisin manages to be great in every aspect. It’s difficult to encompass all of these qualities. That’s what makes her stand out.”

Barbara Miller – NI Student Vet Nurse of the Year

It was an overwhelming number of glowing nominations from clients and colleagues alike for ‘Coleraine’s own cat lady’ that made Barbara the obvious choice for the judges. Barbara was praised repeatedly by her nominees for her work hand-rearing and successfully rehoming abandoned kittens in addition to her willingness to go above and beyond.

From stories of Barbara going out of her way to visit a client’s house daily and administer medication to their cat to heroically rescuing a dog from a busy road, there were plenty of people that were keen to express their gratitude.  One partially sighted client described how Barbara helped him and his cat by innovatively generating care guidelines and timetables in large print. He finished by saying that she is ‘a tremendous advertisement for veterinary nursing’.

Lisa Plunkett – NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year

It’s not often that you find a nurse that will literally walk over hot coals for animals. That is exactly what Lisa did to raise funds for Cats Protection when she took part in a sponsored ‘Fire Walk’ as well as abseiling for Staffy Rescue and regularly participating in numerous other fundraising efforts.

Lisa’s dedication to her charity endeavours does not reduce the effort that she puts into her work though. Her customer service skills were praised, being described as someone who ‘never sits behind the desk’, instead making the effort to ‘give each pet and client a personal, warm welcome’.

Lisa’s colleagues also expressed how impressive her dedication to patient care is. She is frequently noted coming in on days off and working through breaks if her patients need her. One of the vets that Lisa works with said “If I were a client with a sick pet, then having someone with Lisa’s level of care, professionalism and dedication would do a great deal to set my mind at ease.”

On behalf of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Susie Hill thanked everyone who helped make this recognition event successful.

“We are also grateful for all the nominations we receive,” Susie said.  “Each one reminds us of just how incredible vet nurses are and of the many small and large ways in which they make a difference in pets and their owners’ lives.”

Hill’s Pet Nutition also aims to recognise the incredible work vet nurses do every day to change lives with the Drive Nutrition programme.  Find out more at drivenutrition.hillsvet.co.uk.


About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd. manufactures Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ brand pet foods, dietetic pet foods available through veterinary surgeons, and Hill’s™ Science Plan™ brand pet foods sold through veterinary practices and specialist pet  shops. Founded more than 70 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s™ is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets.  Hill’s™ produces high quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd, and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit hillspet.co.uk. Veterinary professionals can visit www.hillsvet.co.uk.