Veterinary Nurses Change Lives!

Every day, the Hill’s team visit practices all over the UK and Ireland.

"We’re constantly blown away by the level of passion, commitment and sheer hard work that we see being delivered by Veterinary Nurses in the support of their patients and their owners. We’re not just talking about the general day to day stuff here, we’re talking about going above and beyond, day in, day out. But you know that, right? If you’re reading this then you’re probably one of those special nurses, changing the lives of your patients and clients, every day.

Each year, we have the pleasure of judging the Hill’s Nurse Awards, when we get the opportunity to acknowledge and reward nurses for the incredible work they do. This blog gives us the chance to share some of the great activities being initiated by some of last year's winners. We hope that they inspire you, and who knows, maybe we’ll be receiving an entry from you this year?

2019 Hill’s Senior Support Nurse Winner was Danielle Doughty. The client and colleague testimonials that supported Danielle’s entry clearly demonstrated not only the way Danielle was changing pets lives but also inspiring her veterinary practice colleagues to think about how they could ensure the very best senior care for pets visiting the practice, be that for hospitalisation or simply visiting Danielle’s senior support consults. Danielle introduced an ‘Are you sitting comfortably’ campaign where senior pets were given soft beds in the waiting room to use while waiting to see the vet, as well as providing ramps for senior pets getting in and out of vehicles in the car park. She also considered the mobility issues for pets being hospitalised- recognising that sitting in a cage all day isn’t ideal for the typical senior, and therefore probably arthritic pet. Introducing some basic massage/ physiotherapy techniques in house provided these patients with that extra level of care, as well as giving the nursing team the opportunity to use their skills and demonstrate the value of the Veterinary Nurse when it comes to delivering Gold Standard in patient care. These are just a few examples of the extra care extended by Danielle and her team.

Hill’s Senior Support Nurse Runners Up, Becky Smith and Laura Jean Hammersely, were hot on Danielle’s heels, with some great activity in their practices. Both are very active on Facebook, sharing activities and making sure owners are aware of the great services that are available to them. All entries are asked to supply evidence of the work they do, and both Laura Jean and Becky provided examples of the great materials they have produced, for both internal and external use, their educational and product/ services displays, initiatives such as ‘Star Pet’, introduction of anti-slip flooring for arthritic pets……………………...the list goes on! Great work ladies!

Our 2019 Hill’s Managing Weight with Excellence Winner was Amy Hood. Weight consultations are an important part of the life of the typical Veterinary Nurse, so what did Amy do to make her our winner last year? Once again the testimonials of clients and colleagues clearly told us of the difference Amy has made- with the word ‘passion’ coming up again and again. Rewarding as weight consults can be, we also appreciate how frustrating they can be, with many owners dropping out of the plan or failing to be compliant in our recommendations. Amy uses every tool at her disposal to support owners, and along with the typical written plan, rewards and incentives, Amy calls her weight loss patient’s owners every week to check on any queries or concerns, and to offer support and encouragement between weight checks.

Finally, let’s take a look at our Most Successful Canine and Feline Winners and the nurses who helped them on their weight management path to success. We don’t judge our winners solely on the percentage of weight they lose, although this does of course significantly contribute to their success. However, we also consider other factors that might contribute to the difficulty of the case, such as concurrent disease or any personal issues being faced by the owner.

Our Most Successful Canine Winner 2019 was slimmed by Lisa Bellas. Chester Ryan lost 35% of his total bodyweight and his owners were thrilled! Our Most Successful Feline was Gonzo Floyd Adams and was dieted by Jane White. Gonzo had tried many diets in the past but it was Jane who finally helped Gonzo succeed and lose a whopping 19% of his total bodyweight. Just take a look at these before and after pics!

We’d love to hear about the great work you’re doing in practice and we’d love to receive an entry from you this year. Or perhaps you have a colleague you think deserves to win? You can nominate them and supply some evidence on their behalf. Entries close on 6th September for our Hill’s Senior Awards and on 14th September for the Hill’s Weight Awards. To see full terms & conditions or to enter the awards, or to nominate a colleague, go to or .

We have 3 categories and you can enter all 3 should you wish.

  • Hill’s Most Successful Slimmer 2020 - With a feline prize and a canine prize available. You can enter as many slimming pets as you wish and there is a prize for the patient as well as the nominating nurse.
  • Hill’s Managing Weight with Excellence 2020 - Acknowledging the great work done by either an individual or weight management practice team.
  • Hill’s Senior Support Nurse 2020 - Acknowledging the support of mature pets by either an individual or practice team.

We look forward to receiving your entries!"

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