Kylie Taylor - Equine Nurse
My interest in horses started as a child. I grew up spending my school holidays at a relatives farm and was exposed to farm life, horses, cattle and the responsibilities of caring for animals at a young age.
My mother saw my passion for horses and guided me into the direction of the riding for the disabled as she thought this would be a good pathway for me to learn about horsemanship in a positive environment whilst also volunteering and helping others. This would later prove to myself and my mother that I had a genuine interest in horses and was prepared to be a responsible horse owner and put in the hard yards.
I did the usual child/teenage things with horses; riding school, school holiday horse camps and competitions. At the age of 16 I left high school. I obtained a full-time job at an agistment farm and this is where I was introduced to thoroughbreds. I became fascinated with them and choose to explore what job options where out there. I then found a job in a racing stable.
After a couple of years I found the hours were challenging with having my own horses in work and still wishing to compete (as well as being a "social butterfly"), so I explored other options and found the stud side of the thoroughbred industry. The working hours where better suited to me and my circumstances.
Over some more time I was introduced to friends whom had gone to University and become human nurses. I found this to be of interest to me also and went off and studied as a mature aged student, gaining a qualification as a Division 2 nurse. I veered away from the horses for a period of years. But while I was working as a nurse I always kept my foot in the door with the horses by attending races, strapping horses and working at the yearling sales.
By chance, my two career paths met/crossed and I was offered the job as an equine vet nurse at a stud farm. I saw this as an opportunity to combine my passion of horses and career as a nurse. Otherwise known as a vet nurse.
I did the hours, built my skills, worked hard and became respected as an equine nurse. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work with a local vet who owned a local equine practice. When a position opened at the clinic for a vet nurse, I was the lucky one to fill that role. It was yet another branch of the industry I could try and gain invaluable experience.
Missing the mares and foals, I made my way back to the stud side after some time. I was fortunate enough to gain a vet nurse job at a well known thoroughbred stud, at which I am still employed
About the Job:
The role of an equine vet nurse includes many different facets.
On a daily basis I am responsible for mucking out of boxes/yards, disinfecting stables, feeding horses, leading horses, sterilisation of instruments, assisting with the preparation and clean up of surgeries, pre/post op care of horses, assisting with preparation of drugs and administration of intramuscular/intravenous injections, assisting/performing laboratory testing, admitting/discharging of patients, inventory and stores ordering, communicating with clients, data entry, answering of phones, assisting with x-rays, scoping and bandaging.
On a seasonal basis, I am in charge of holding mares in the crush for reproduction work, assist with collection of AI stallions, provide neonatal care and pre/post foaling mare care. I also assist vets on stud farm rounds.
Hours are generally around 7am-5pm. But as we know, horses don't know the time. Long and irregular hours are not uncommon especially during the breeding season.
Avenues in which to become a equine vet nurse include TAFE and university study, consisting of full and part-time studies.
Courses offered are Certificate 3 in veterinary nursing and certificate 4 in veterinary nursing. As well as on the job training.