As a registered veterinary nurse (RVN) during COVID-19, it is a very different environment from what we are used to at the practice.

As nurses we are already well versed in biosecurity, high levels of infection control and exercising isolation protocols as these things are paramount. Now, it is even more so.

At the start, we were extra diligent in these cleaning protocols. A hand washing station was set up and all clients were asked to wash their hands-on arrival, ensuring to sing ‘happy birthday to themselves, twice! This was only the beginning.

A week later we were asking clients to try and maintain a one metre barrier from the reception desk.

Then lockdown was announced and many questions went through our minds. How would we continue to provide care to our patients when we have to implement social distancing? How will we cope with a significantly smaller team? How do we keep ourselves and our clients safe?

Speaking from what I can only describe as our ‘safe haven’ from within the practice, it is amazing how quickly we have adapted to a different working style. Albeit, a quieter environment, being able to provide care to our patients is what keeps us going through these unprecedented times.

In an extremely short space of time, we have gone from being face to face with our clients, from having a giggle, a joke, sharing a supportive hug, a friendly ear, a compassionate smile and a general natter to currently only communicating with them over the phone, with the exception of when we collect sick patients from the car park with a hasty greeting to the owner, ensuring we keep to the social distance guidelines.

It is difficult not to stand and have a friendly chat with you all but we know we have to be strict in following this new way of working so this new way doesn’t become the norm and we can all get back to our old life as soon as possible.

Sammi Hunt, RVN, Swayne and Partners Veterinary Surgeons