Lucy Costello first stepped through the doors of Park Vet Group, now owned by Linnaeus, in 1973 as a receptionist.
With Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month in May, Lucy’s amazing dedication to animal welfare and caring for pets across Leicestershire and beyond, is testament to the rewards and job satisfaction of being a veterinary nurse.
When Lucy, now lead veterinary nurse at the Saffron Lane practice, first started at Park Vet Group it was a large animal base for two farm vets, a manager and herself, and her role included holding the animals, taking payments, answering the phone and cleaning.
Lucy said: “When I first started it was very basic, we didn’t even have calculators, and I think my salary was £14 a week.
“There was no cat flu, parvovirus or leukaemia vaccines, while we also had very few painkillers for the animals. We didn’t even have a vet bed for the animals to lie on.”
Lucy’s first qualification was as a registered animal nursing auxiliary (RANA), which is now recognised as being a registered veterinary nurse (RVN), and she believes her biggest professional achievement is obtaining the Linnaeus primary care anaesthetic award.
Lucy, who has only spent six years away from Park Vet Group, added: “I enjoy everything at work – the vets, the clients, the students, the other nurses, the receptionists, everyone in the team, and of course, all the lovely animals.
“I’m a people person and an animal person and I even enjoy the cleaning, but most of all I enjoy learning and never a day goes by without learning.
“Also, every day has a story to tell and I’ve probably seen many clients through several pets, while seeing their children and grandchildren grow. I have seen their heartbreak and their joy.
“As for now, it’s wonderful to see the nurses really fulfilling their roles and having the confidence to nurse in the way they’ve been trained.”
Harriet Tims, practice manager at Park Vet Group, said: “Lucy’s dedication and loyalty to Park Vet Group and, more generally, to caring for animals and pets, is inspirational.
“Judging by her continued love and enthusiasm for her job, we all hope she’ll be part of the team for many more years to come.”