The Pet I.C.U is very proud that our staff members feel more like a family than co-workers. We want you to be a part of that family as well. To help you get to know us a bit better, please meet one of our amazing vet nurses, Natalie Hunt.
Position: ICU Nurse
Qualifications: BappSc (VT)
When did you join the Pet ICU?
What drew you to helping animals?
When I was a child, I was always interested in caring for animals. I would be the kid who always wanted to go to the pet store and veterinarian clinic to look at the animals and the vets, because I was always interested in what they did. Growing up in regional Queensland, we always had cats (and birds, and sometimes mice). As I grew up, I decided I wanted to work in the veterinary industry. I did have a short detour into other areas after school but always came back to wanting to work with animals. It’s about trying to have a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. And I’m always that person who goes to a gathering and finds the animals. After my degree, I was lucky enough to find a position in a specialist hospital in Brisbane, and after all those years, it set in that working with animals was what I was meant to do.
How did you end up in emergency medicine?
I worked a few years being a specialist medicine nurse and really enjoyed the critical care cases. I thoroughly enjoyed the high level of patient care that was required for these pets, and after days, even weeks of looking after them, it’s amazing to see them improve from being so sick to be able to go home to their families. When I got the job at Pet ICU, I was ecstatic. I knew that I could focus all my time and energy into helping those who needed it the most. I feel working in the ICU really makes a difference, especially now where we have access to advanced veterinary medicine and we can save these little guys more than ever before.
What is your favourite story from working in emergency medicine?
Although I form a bond with all of my patients, there are always those who leave an impression on your heart. For me, one of those patients was Lucca. I was lucky enough to be there when he first presented (intubated due to tick paralysis), and to be there when he went home, which is a rare occasion for me. I watched him be on the ventilator for a number of days, and then recover gradually over a number of days. His owners were lovely, kind people and you could tell how much Lucca meant to them. When he finally started eating and getting back to his normal self, it was exciting knowing he would be able to go home. Seeing these patients come in so critical, needing your help, and then being able to nurse them back to health is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
Compared to other hospitals, what is the best part of working in the Pet ICU team?
We are a close-knit team and everyone has the same goal to provide high-level patient care. We all have an interest in the continued advancement of veterinary medicine and always work on improving ourselves so we can help our patients. Because we are such a small team, I feel the fact that we all share the same goals and mindset, is how we succeed in helping some of the most critical patients in the veterinary industry.
Outside of quality equipment, how does the Pet ICU offer the best care for ill pets?
The nurses and vets care. We really do. It’s not just a job for us, it becomes ingrained in our lives, and that’s because we love what we do. These patients become part of our lives during their stays with us. As well as our interest in always improving ourselves, I think that’s why we can provide amazing care for these sick animals.