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Mrs Donna Leigh Lewis

Donna Lewis, VN Council 2021 election candidate RVN

Candidate 10 of 14

Proposers: Jo-Anne Hinde, Debbie Gray

Contact details

9 Parsonage Manorway, Belvedere, Kent, DA17 6LN

M 07976963342

E donnaleighlewis@hotmail.com

Candidate biography

Talk about yourself in less than 200 words not an easy thing to do! I have been working in our profession now for many years. I started working in practice when I was 18 years old, back in the day of Nuvan Top, Saffan and Thiopentone. Luckily, I am not quite old enough to remember the days of ether!

I have predominately worked in small animal practice and I am currently employed part time at a small animal practice in Kent. I also teach veterinary nursing part time at Canterbury College.

I served on BVNA council for 12 years and was president in 2009/2010, and I continue to represent the BVNA regionally organising CPD meetings and supporting local animal charities.

Veterinary nursing has evolved greatly since I started my career and I have seen many changes in the profession and the role of the veterinary nurse continues to grow.

The variety of my career to date and current experiences of working in modern day practice provide a good insight into the challenges and the aspirations of veterinary nurses. A seat on VN council will allow me to represent and be a voice for all RVN’s working across the profession.

Candidate statement

I am an experienced RVN and proud to still be working in practice after many years. My experience as a regional representative and my role in teaching has meant I have the great pleasure of meeting and listening to both RVN’s and student veterinary nurses.

Having worked in the profession for numerous years it is safe to say that this past year has been extremely challenging for many nurses. Our normal approach to gold standard care and welfare has been difficult, we have found ourselves communicating with clients through masks and visors in the car park, only to then add to their worry by taking their pet away from them.

Practices have been busy; staff have been furloughed and others have been working long hours to ensure we provide essential care and maintain animal welfare. This has undoubtably caused additional stress and pressure and I want to ensure nurses are fully supported with the evolving changes and demands of life in practice.

Sadly, the pandemic will have affected staffing levels, however we still need to advocate an RVN in every practice. Student veterinary nurses need to be supported and have access to clinical coaches and placement opportunities. In addition, we need to retain the skills of experienced nurses and provide progression opportunities.

Diversity in the profession is key for us to progress and push forward as a profession in our own right. We have had to adapt to new ways of working and learn new skills. It is important that we continue to grow and learn as a profession and maintain high standards. Continuing education is essential, and the new advanced qualifications provide an opportunity for nurses to develop and advance their skills