Many veterinary nurses and technicians are calling for their profession to be regulated so that standards can be raised.
There are approximately 1,000 to 1,500 veterinary nurses and technicians in Singapore, including those who work in the wildlife sector, research facilities and equine facilities, said Evonne Yong, a member of the Singapore Veterinary Nurses and Technicians Chapter (SVNTC) of the Singapore Veterinary Association. which was formed in the last month.
The profession is not regulated here, added the 35-year-old, who is the senior veterinary nurse at the veterinary clinic. For one thing, there is no fixed minimum qualification.
Some veterinary nurses will be hired and trained while others have degrees in veterinary science from polytechnics, said Ms. Alison Wah, 30, co-chair of the team that formed the SVNTC.
Some will enroll for courses after a few years, added Ms. Wah, who is also a senior vet technician at Hillside Veterinary Surgery.
Ms. Yong said that while there is no set salary for veterinarians, they generally make between $ 1,800 and nearly $ 3,000 a month.
The sector is also struggling with a high turnover rate caused by long hours, lack of career development and sometimes abusive pet owners.
Ms. Wah said, “On average, some nurses work about 11/2 to 2 years before moving to other jobs that may have better career advancement.”
Dr. Goh Lay Beng, director of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Applied Science, noted that only 10 to 20 percent of students who graduate after graduation in veterinary technology will hold onto veterinary degrees.
Ms. Shabrina Zulkifli, 27, a senior veterinary technician at Vetpal and an SVNTC member, said the opportunity for veterinary technicians to specialize in areas such as emergency care or anesthesia and take on specialist roles could encourage more to do on the job and at the level stay up.
Ms. Yong said, “It is necessary to recognize and respect our profession. Everyone knows veterinarians, but they did not recognize us, who help and support the veterinarians a lot.”