A Night in the Life of A Night RVN

March 28, 2022

Night Nurses have an important role to play within the patient care and nursing teams at Southfields Veterinary Specialists. They ensure the continuity of a high standard of patient care from day to night and back into the day. They look after not only our inpatients, but also aid in the admission of out of hours emergencies

What does a Night Nurse do?

1. Take over from day team

At 8pm, the late ward nurse will hand over all of the inpatients. This includes; their presenting complaint/ condition, any procedures carried out, medications and treatments prescribed and continuing treatment plans. This is also the opportunity to learn further personal details about each patient, for example, their favourite food or any behavioural quirks.

2. Evening routine

All of the inpatients are walked and their vital parameters, demeanour and if necessary, pain scores are assessed. IV catheters are checked and flushed and any wounds or bandages are examined.

3. Emergencies

Sometimes our Night Nurses are required to assist the day or night interns with the admission of emergency cases out of hours. This may include creating new patient files, collecting history from referring vets, triage assessments, collecting bloods, placing IV catheters and organising their admission into wards. We ensure that our patients receive the same high level of care whether they are admitted day or night.

4. Monitoring/medication

Throughout the night, the nurses are responsible for administering medications and carrying out treatments including physiotherapy, tube feeding, wound management and more. An important part of the role is to communicate any changes in a patient’s condition to the night intern to decide if further action is needed. As it can be quieter in the wards overnight, this presents itself as a prime opportunity to spend time bonding with our patients, to help them adjust to hospitalisation and feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. It is important to a patient’s recovery that they get adequate amounts of rest and sleep. To encourage this we like to make the wards as quiet as possible, dim the lights and sometimes play calming music for added ambience.

5. Morning routine

Around 6am the patients are walked, weighed and have their vital parameters checked again. At this time, we also place any IV catheters for the day and collect any blood samples requested.

6. Handover to the day team

At 7am the night nurses will hand over the inpatients to the early ward nurse, this is important to highlight any changes in a patient’s condition overnight.

To find out more about the different roles within our Nursing team, visit –


To join our team and view all of nurse vacancies visit – southfields.co.uk/join-our-team/nursing