Agria Vet Nurse awards recognise profession’s caring heroes
The Northern Ireland Veterinary Nurse of the Year Awards 2022, sponsored by Agria pet Insurance, marked a six-year anniversary of an event that is now bigger and better than ever.
The challenges facing veterinary practices have been particularly tough in the past two years, so having an event to recognise their diligence and care was hugely welcome
Organised by Susie Hill, Business Development Manager for Agria Pet Insurance, the awards, which were handed out at the AVSPNI Spring Conference in La Mon, are supported by BVNA Regional Representative Louise Taylor and the Association of Practitioners in Northern Ireland (AVSPNI).
Nominees and winners let their hair down at a 70s themed dance, embracing the night with some truly distinctive styles.
Judges representing Agria, BVNA, and AVSPNI commented on the high quality of the nominations from practices all over NI, from Belleek to Newtonards, as well as the number of entries.
Clinching the NI Veterinary Nurse of the Year award was Naoimh Toner, above, of Roe Valley Vets, pipping fellow finalists: Charlotte Coyle – Parkview Vets, Strabane and Janice Harbinson – Oldstone Vets, Ballymena,
Judges said of Naoimh: “Her nomination reflects her many fine qualities but focuses on her work with loss and bereavement. She has been proactive in making things happen within her practice, and I believe this is above and beyond, yet priceless to pet owners. Veterinary nurses like Naoimh, who strive to promote issues within their own practice, just don’t realise the positive impact this has on the service users. Thank you, Naoimh, for easing the journey through loss.”
Other winners on the night included Clinical Coach of the Year Sarah Crockett, City Vets, Belfast, who pipped Beverly Smith – Cromlyn House, Royal Hillsborough, and Jayne Getty- Cedar Grove, Belfast, to the accolade.
Sarah was described as “genuinely caring about the quality of training of the students and aims to improve it in our practices, which is refreshing to see.”
New in 2022 was the Young Vet of the Year gong, with Aoife Ferris – Lakeland Vets, Beleek, edging out Richard Johnstone, Riada Vets, Ballymoney, and Hannah Eastwood, Coleraine Vets, Coleraine.
Aoife was hailed for building up “an almost non-existent small animal practice from scratch, training a nurse and two new graduate vets along the way.”
Speaking on the night, Susie Hill, Business Development Manager at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “We are delighted to be back at the AVSPNI Spring conference to present these well-deserved awards, with a record number of nominations in 2022.
“Veterinary practice has been busier than ever with the increase in pets and Covid precautions, making the working day ever-more complex and demanding for the team. It’s great to see the well-deserved recommendations from vets, nurses and pet owners.
“The whole Agria team and I would like to congratulate all those incredible short-listed individuals and say a massive well done to our amazing winners.”
NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year Kathryn McBride and runner up Samuel Galway with Nick White of Agria who presented the awards.
NI Veterinary Receptionist of the Year Jessica Magee and runner up Melissa Donoghoe with Nick White of Agria who presented the awards.
NI Clinical Coach of the Year Sarah Crockett and runners up Jayne Getty and Beverley Smith with AVSPNI President Colin McCrea.
NI Young Vet of the Year winner Aoife Ferris and runner up Richard Johnstone with AVSPNI President Colin McCrea.
NI Student Veterinary Nurse of the Year winner Cassie Kilgoreand runners up Marianne McMahon and Georgia Gray, with Alex Taylor, President of BVNA.
NI ANimal Nursing Assistant of the Year runner up Samuel Galway with his colleagues from Rathgael Vets, Kirsty Walker, Jane Reilly and Lynsey Hamilton.
NI Animal Nursing Assistant of the Year winner Kathryn McBride with Niamh Menzies, Sandra Dunbar, Sarah Brashaw, Sian Walton and Siobhan Menzies, from Holistic Pet.