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Our Future – Donna Hall

Registered Veterinary Nurse, Veterinary Rehabilitation Therapist (Paragon Veterinary Group)

– Tell us about your career path

“When I was younger, I always wanted to be a jockey, but I suffer quite badly with back pain. In my final year at school when they asked me what I wanted to do I thought well I can’t do what I want to do so what would suit me? I'm quite a practical person and I like to be kept busy with my hands and I can't sit at a computer all day. I’m animal orientated so veterinary nursing was the logical thing and sounded practical. I went and did two weeks’ work experience and I loved it. I’ve never left, and I never looked back.

“I started work in orthopaedic surgery and got involved in arthritis cases and found I had an interest in mobility. Hence, I started working from mobility clinics about five years ago, working mainly with dogs, some cats and even the odd rabbit. I’m really passionate about helping animals and I asked the company for a laser therapy machine. They got it for me on a trial basis then I had to survey clients and put together a business case for keeping it and they did. I’ve done further training and plan to ask for some more equipment to further develop the facility.”

– Why did you choose to live in Scotland but work in Cumbria?

“Because I find my job really interesting and I like the 20-mile drive, it gives me time to switch off. I live in a little village with about 60 houses so if I want to shop or go to a big supermarket I come to Carlisle and just go to my local club in Scotland. I'm used to driving here and there for everything I want.”

– What’s your top tip for anyone wanting a job like yours?

“If you want to do something, ask for opportunities, and pursue them. Don’t doubt yourself and question if you can do it or not. It’s hard to know what jobs are out there as you tend to have a list but often wonder what is even out there. Do your research and take every opportunity of help and advice.”

– What’s your advice to anyone thinking about whether they should work and/or live in Cumbria?
  • “Cumbria has it all: Do it. I’ve got friends in England and Scotland, people who like town and city life and others who like to live in rural areas. Cumbria has it all and I think Carlisle is more affordable to live than other areas. There are loads of forest walks, lakes, cycling routes and so much to do and you’ll be able to travel up to Scotland.
  • Career progression: I find my job hard but really rewarding. I have a nice mix of work involving nurse clinics and on Wednesdays I spend the day in the hospital. Plus, there’s lots of scope for progression. I can climb the ladder to head nurse, specialise in dental nursing, clinical coaching, anaesthesia, or other areas.”

Back to Young People: Careers in Cumbria

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