Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon

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£40,000 – £56,000 a year
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No weekends


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Full Job Description

Job Details
We are a multi award winning, small animal and exotics Practice, just south of Bristol and are looking for a small animal vet to join our amazing 14 Vet team. About us We have grown over the last few years and now have a purpose-built clinic in Nailsea which opened in 2017. Our purpose-built, hospital standard Practice in Portishead was built in 2016 and extended in 2022, and our “original” Practice in Yatton enjoyed a total refurbishment in 2021 as well. We are fiercely independent, with owners who are committed, enthusiastic and 100% involved in all areas of the business. Steve, the main owner, qualified in 1993 and is a small animal vet who is passionate about the veterinary profession as a whole. Steve and Holly, the Operations Director & Co-owner are incredibly proud of the team. They are all dedicated, hard-working and passionate about what they do. We have fun when we can, but when things get difficult, we pull together as one. Each Practice has superb facilities with ultrasound, digital x-rays, dental x-ray, surgical theatres and multiple consulting rooms at each site. All three sites operate as a stand-alone Practice. However, Portishead also benefits from laparoscopy, video endoscopy and bronchoscopy, and our new extension at Portishead houses our shiny new 32 slice CT scanner ‘Donut’. A third larger theatre was specifically designed for laparoscopic procedures. We have also been able to create a new exotics consulting room and ward, additional dog consult rooms, feline friendly spaces and more office space. Portishead is also home to our rehabilitation service,, with our in-house Physiotherapist and Hydro-therapists offering a wide range of services including the use of our underwater treadmill and therapeutic laser.   We have a wealth of knowledge and a diversity of skills amongst out Vet team. Mario (Group Medical Director), Katy and Cristina are all Advanced Practitioners in Small Animal Medicine, and Mario and Cristina are also undertaking imaging certificates as well! Amongst the other vets, 6 have either completed or are on their way to completing certificates ranging from medicine, surgery, and exotics. We even have a TV vet among us, James, who works on The Pets Factor (CBBC), Morning Live (BBC) and The Pet Show (ITV). We are a very forward-thinking Practice and are often approached by other companies to trial new ideas or systems; for example, we were one of the Practices who were given early use of Librela and Solensia. We also do a lot of work with The Guide Dogs; we are one of only two sites outside the Guide Dog Centre who are approved to take hip and elbow x-rays for their breeding programme. As a Real Living Wage employer, we are also a Practice that believe in equality and fairness and pay all our colleagues the Real Living Wage. Here you will be absolutely treated as an individual and not just a payroll number. We cannot over emphasise how much we think communication is the key, both with our clients and amongst our colleagues. For example, we do not do the dreaded yearly appraisal, instead we have 1:1 catch ups every other month and an open-door policy, so we always know how you are. We have whole Practice meetings every 4 months, where we shut all the sites and get together over lunch. We also have vets’ meetings every 3 months, where we discuss cases and protocols. We are a really sociable bunch outside work and enjoy Practice parties, but also lots of informal nights out, dog walking get-togethers and we even have a Strava running group! We really do look after each other and have been known to send hampers or a ‘hug in a box’ if someone is going through a tough time. We continuingly strive to create a better workplace and our efforts were recognised by being awarded ‘highly commended’ in the last VMG/SPVS Wellness Practice Awards. What do our team think about working at Watkins & Tasker? “The Management Team care about making sure we don’t overwork ourselves. From my experience, things like being able to leave on time, and getting time back in lieu when that’s not possible, are pretty unheard of elsewhere!” Vet Louise “I love having time to research, prepare and work up my own cases. I would say it’s one of the major things I’ve found since being here. It is great having time to follow through on everything and not drag it over from day to day!” Vet Hannah “It is a fun place to work, with people who are 100% committed to working hard to produce a great service for the customers and their colleagues alike. I find everyone to be very helpful and I do feel cared for and appreciated.” Insurance Administrator Jude “Everyone at Watkins & Tasker is so friendly and welcoming, everyone is always willing to help and there is no such thing as a ‘stupid question.’ One of the main things I noticed when I started was how keen and willing the management team are to continue your development.” PA Gina I love working at Watkins & Tasker Vets because the team feels like one big family, and we always look out for each other! I also absolutely love speaking to our clients and of course all the fluffy and scaly cuddles!” Receptionist Bex I love being part of a team that strives for excellence in all that they do and where all patients are treated with care, kindness and respect.” Vet Katy D “I’ve had a really good experience with starting to work here. It’s especially great seeing how close knit the team are and watching everyone work together so well. I have been made to feel really welcome and been involved right from my first day.” RVN Talia   About you Well, we know you are committed after reading this far (well done) so if are you a Vet who:
  • Thrives on solving problems for pets and is biased to leap into action when needed
  • Loves a busy and varied case load perhaps with an area of interest which is crying out to be utilised to full potential or nurtured and developed
  • Has aspirations to or is undertaking a Certificate or has already completed one
  • Will hit the ground running and raring to go – we love learning so bring your best ideas to share
  • Enjoys being part of a caring team inside and outside of work – this is important to us!
  • Is comfortable with surgery and dentistry, and keen to be excellent if not so already
  • Sees doing our own out of hours service as an amazing opportunity for personal development, enjoyment of case continuity and giving the client/patient the numerous benefits of in-house emergency care
  • Can communicate and translate complicated clinical options with clarity and compassion – have we mentioned communication is one of our key words!
  • Loves the challenge of complex medical and inpatient work, supported by or working alongside amazing colleagues whose certificate level knowledge oozes from every corner of the Practice
  • Has good knowledge and understanding of our feline friends and bunny buddies (we have ISFM Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic and Silver RWAF Awards). We are also amongst the first Practices in the UK to achieve Dog Friendly Clinic status via BVA and Dogs Trust after being one of the test Practices
  • Considers themselves as compassionate, humble and wants to be a great all-round GP
  • Prospers in a conscientious yet flexible and friendly working environment
  • Wants proactive, supported career progression to develop those skills even more!
All of that sounds like you?! Great – have a read of the next bit too! We are looking for someone with some experience. We would love to chat to you if you are looking to take your career to the next level, or perhaps you have a specialism you want to develop. The role The role is 39 hours per week, and time off is given back if you work in excess of this. We are really flexible and try our best to fit around people’s needs. We do our own out of hours so we share the rota equally and there would be no more that 1:6 weekends (but currently 1:8) after which you get Mondays off – paid of course. Currently Saturdays are mornings only and are approximately 1:12. The exact details of the rota can be chatted through with you at interview. Our Vets may work at all three sites, but this role is likely to be predominately at our Nailsea Practice. Nailsea has excellent standalone facilities. The rota offers flexibility, and we are very happy for more complex cases such as orthopaedic/laparoscopic surgeries or animals needing CT to be brought over to Portishead so you can continue the work up or undertake the procedure yourself. We also encourage internal referrals amongst colleagues and hope that you might have the ability to take on cases in this way too. We would like your salary to reflect your whole value, not just the number of procedures you perform The Benefits: Obviously your salary is only one part of what you will receive, and we are looking for an experienced vet £40,000-£56,000. Unlimited CPD budget – if it is the right course for you and works for the practice why wouldn’t we support you?! (This includes fully funded Certificates!) RCVS fees, VDS cover and professional membership fees. There’s no specific limit to professional fees, we’re happy to support you with your interests, whether that be exotics, imaging, surgery, whatever floats your boat. Your Birthday off – spend the day doing what you want! Time back if you work past your finish time (or help out a colleague at a weekend) Online GP (24-hour help at your fingertips), direct to door Pharmacy and Employee Assistance Programme Wellbeing Hub – free online meditation, sleep advice and wellbeing support Great staff discount Enhanced sick leave Holiday entitlement increases with length of service Perkbox – access to over 350+ perks, a Birthday Box, free treats and much more!