Growing up on farms, vet nurse Jessie Broad has always been involved with animals.
“We had cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, dogs and horses,” the 21-year-old says of her parents’ farm at Mangaorapa in Central Hawke’s Bay. “All we lacked was a pig and a goat, but the neighbour had those.”
Halfway through her seventh form year as a Napier Girls’ High School boarder, Jessie’s father suggested vet nursing as a career. She attended an EIT Open Day and just three weeks after finishing school, she was studying for the National Certificate in Animal Care.
“The campus is beautiful,” she says. “You’re surrounded by trees and not right in the middle of town. I’m used to having a bit of space. “
Along with half of her classmates, Jessie progressed to “full-on” National Certificate in Veterinary Nursing studies.
“I loved it at EIT. The tutors were amazing. They were always so helpful – they were really engaging and made it fun. The course covered everything really well and then there’s the animal room – we had two rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs to look after. There were chooks and birds as well. It’s nice to get hands-on interaction.”
Jessie considers herself fortunate to have been offered a position at Vet Associates in Hastings, starting there just a few days after completing her year at EIT. Little more than two years later, she was promoted to head vet nurse.
It’s a responsible job being entrusted with the care of sick and injured animals, she says, but very rewarding when things go right.
Inevitably, she gets attached to animals in her care and looks forward to seeing them each day and to them getting better. Two cats brought in injured but unclaimed have become her pets and the practice currently has another looking for a good home.
While extended travel is several years away, Jessie is hoping to work as a volunteer overseas, perhaps in animal sanctuaries or neutering animals in the Pacific region.
“That would be a cool way of seeing a bit of the world,” she says.