Offaly woman wins Irish Vet Nurse of the Year Award

Derek Fanning


Derek Fanning


Offaly woman wins Irish Vet Nurse of the Year Award

Offaly woman wins Irish Vet Nurse of the Year Award

An Offaly woman has won the Irish Veterinary Nurse of the Year Award.

The Judges chose Birr's Aoife Plunkett as their winner because of her compassionate and inspirational approach to her job. There were about seventy vet nurses across Ireland nominated for the award and it's a big achievement to win it.

The competition is run annually by the IVNA (Irish Veterinary Nursing Association), and it is sponsored by Royal Canin.
In the competition members of the public and members of the veterinary profession can choose to nominate a veterinary nurse who they think has gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that patients and clients have received the utmost care and attention, and are therefore perceived as being model representatives in the veterinary nurse community.

The nurses must be registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland and based in the republic of Ireland, and the people who choose to nominate a nurse must write a 500-word submission stating why they think their nurse should win.

Usually there is a big ball and dinner to celebrate the nominees and announce the winners but sadly this was put on hold this year due to the current pandemic.

The IVNA commented that Aoife's nomination was "truly inspiring and represented our profession in a way which is both progressive and compassionate".

"I absolutely loved being a veterinary nurse," said Aoife when speaking to the Tribune, "and I am very enthusiastic about the role. I love helping sick animals get better and I love teaching clients about animal care, nutrition or any queries they have. Starting from two years ago, I have developed weight management clinics which are very successful, nurse clinics (such as post-op wound checks), anything nutrition related (such as the best nutrition for the different life stages [from puppy to senior} & medical cases (renal disease/ urinary disease etc), supplements for good joint care, and grooming.

"I've created a range of information handouts for clients; I've completed a dental health and diabetes advisor course and I had developed puppy parties which were sadly put on hold due to the coronavirus.

"I also did an introductory course into in-house physio that nurses can offer to in-house patients and I am just starting an introductory massage course for veterinary nurses (however, this doesn't mean I am an animal physiotherapist; these courses are just to treat in-house hospitalized patients & boost recovery time)."

Aoife said she is very passionate about nursing and she does her best to help her clients.

"I love a challenge, and if there is a case or condition I'm not sure of, I will make sure I research as much as I can about it. The more I understand, the more I can teach to the client so they can understand the cause, signs and treatment process which leads to a better prognosis and recovery for the animal."