Episode Seven: Natalie - Academia, Empathy & Behaviour

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In this episode you’ll hear from Natalie, the Academic Director of the Australian College of Vet Nursing. Natalie has Certificate IV qualifications in veterinary nursing, canine behaviour, training and assessment, and Diplomas in vocational education and training, surgical nursing, and emergency and critical care.

When I listened back to this interview it occurred to me that Natalie is an extremely empathetic person. So much of what she has to say comes from a place of sensitivity towards how another person, or animal, is feeling. This natural proclivity towards empathy is a perfect fit for Natalie’s passion for canine and (more recently) feline behaviour. Behaviour is also one of my favourite areas so I loved geeking out with Natalie on this topic.

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Natalie’s career moved from clinical nursing to academia following the loss of a very special dog and the cascade of events that followed. I’m really grateful to Natalie for talking about this and other topics with a level of honesty and vulnerability that I know was not easy. These experiences underpin Natalie’s drive to empower other nurses to recognise and manage stress and compassion fatigue; which is of course an essential part of our story.  

Links to some of the things we discussed:

Available on all of the major podcasting platforms. New episodes drop on the 1st Monday of the month.

Episode Six: Hayley - ECC and Reality TV


In this episode you’ll get to know Hayley from the Animal Emergency Service (AES) in Brisbane. I’ve been wanting to get the emergency nursing angle for a while now because I think it’s a really exciting part of our story. I reached out to Dr Alex Hynes who is a senior vet at AES and one of the new vets on the iconic Bondi Vet TV show (side note: it’s back, channel Nine, this year. You’re welcome!). Dr Alex recommended Hayley as one of AES’s most senior emergency and intensive care nurses.   

As a veterinary technician and nurse in the Pet Intensive Care Unit Hayley helps treat the most critical of patients. If you do watch Bondi Vet this year you’ll probably see Hayley, doing what she loves, caring for patients in the ICU. Which also makes her a reality TV vet nurse! Hayley’s been in the industry for over 20 years but is absolutely brimming with enthusiasm. Particularly about nurse empowerment, team work with our vets, and utilizing nurses to the best of our ability. Hayley and I are both talkers, and we also just clicked, so this is one of my longer episodes.


The podcasts Hayley listens to are:

The Instagram accounts we mentioned are:

Hayley completed her certificates in veterinary nursing with the Animal Industries Resource Centre and obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) at the University of Queensland. We also discussed the DISC Profile as a way to better understand your team.

Available on all of the major podcasting platforms. New episodes drop on the 1st Monday of the month.

Episode Five: Sue Crampton - Speaker, Trainer & Consultant

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In this episode I catch up with a well-known vet nurse and presenter in Australia, Sue Crampton. Sue is such an accomplished person; she’s the owner and founder of Crampton Consulting Group and the Animal Industries Resource Centre and - in addition to vet nursing - has a really interesting collection of qualifications including Bachelor of Business, Diploma in Company Directorship, and Masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming. As one of Australia's leading veterinary educators she’s on the go both in Australia and overseas two to three weeks of every month. It’s highly likely you’ve seen her present.

I first saw Sue at a conference in 2014 and, for me, it was an absolute game-changer. I was almost a year into owning and operating Ready Vet and studying my cert IV, but telling myself I was just doing the study to better manage my business. As someone who had been to uni for almost a decade for a different career, I was trying to suppress the growing suspicion that I actually loved vet nursing. But when I watched Sue present it really sealed the deal for me. She was speaking my language 100%, motivating and inspiring me, and I had this light bulb moment; yep, I am a vet nurse, and I love it.

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It’s hard to say what it is about Sue that enables her to connect with people and inspire in this way, but I think it’s this: she has this ability to identify and articulate the fundamentals of our industry, chunk them down, and present them within this framework of the veterinary health care team, rather this unhelpful binary of vets and nurses. It’s been four years since I first enjoyed Sue’s presentation at that conference, and I really enjoyed catching up again.        

Sue and I discuss:

Available on all of the major podcasting platforms. New episodes drop on the 1st Monday of the month.

Episode Four: Tiffany - Wildlife in Far North QLD

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In this episode you’ll hear from Tiffany - a vet nurse at Boongarry Veterinary Services in Cairns. She works with the legendary Dr Annabelle Olsson a consulting vet for wildlife, zoos, and the various government agencies that manage endangered animals. As well as being a busy general practice Boongarry also treats thousands of wildlife cases a year, pro bono. 

Wildlife cases in Far North QLD are different to wildlife anywhere in Australia. The wet tropics region (which is two million hectares between Townsville in the south and Cooktown in the north) is just 0.26% of Australia’s landmass but the highest combined biodiversity of plants and animals in the country. We’re so lucky to have this amazing variety of animals up here, many of which are rare or threatened, and found literally nowhere else on the planet.

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Tiffany does some crazy exciting nursing at Boongarry Vet which is purpose built to treat a huge variety of patients including big crocs – how big? Up to 4.5m. Yep, it takes a pretty unique skill set to be a vet nurse in a practice like this. Tiffany started working at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures when she was 14. She’s been looking after wildlife since she was 10, and caring for macropods for 17 years. It’s easy to be impressed by Tiffany, not just as a vet nurse. She recently bought her own house, which as a young, single mum on a vet nurse wage is something to be really proud of. I’m proud of her for sure, and the part of our story that she represents.

Tiffany and I discuss:

Available on all of the major podcasting platforms. New episodes drop on the 1st Monday of the month.

Episode Three: Sara - UK to Oz, Head Nurse to Rep

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In this episode you’ll hear from a British vet nurse, Sara, who came to locum in Australia and stayed for good. After working as head nurse in a busy hospital for years Sara made the transition to working as a rep for Dermcare, and she’s never looked back.

Sara gave an incredibly generous interview, sharing her honest and considered insights into both the dark and light sides of vet nursing. We shared so many laughs that I actually had to rub my face to alleviate the pain. But, on the flip-side, we also had some very real chats about burn out and the importance of looking after yourself. Sara recommends meditation, exercise, and acupuncture for feeling grounded and looking after yourself and the meditation apps she uses are Calm and Mindset.

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Sara is a fit and active, happy and upbeat vet nurse, and just a pleasure to be around. She is highly intelligent and incredibly funny with razor sharp wit that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m not going to lie, I nearly did my snort-laugh in this interview. I’m really glad I heard Sara’s story of England to Australia, and vet nurse to rep, and everything in between. I think you’ll like it too.  

Available on all of the major podcasting platforms. New episodes drop on the 1st Monday of the month.