In our second Meet The Speaker blog, we profile Holly Witchell, who qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2008. Holly joined Langford Vets in 2011, where she began her role as a night nurse and went on to work within the ICU. Here Holly gained her certificate in emergency and critical care in 2013 and became head ICU nurse in 2014. Holly achieved a veterinary technician specialist status in emergency and critical care in 2015 and is currently studying towards her advanced diploma in veterinary nursing. We spoke to Holly to get a bit of insight into her career, her

The Webinar Vet: Tell us a bit about yourself…

Holly: I work in the ICU at Langford Vets, Bristol Vet school as the head ICU nurse. I’ve worked at Langford Vets for 7.5yrs. In my spare time I enjoy dog walks with my lively cross breed Kara on the beach. I also enjoy live music and going on a camping adventure when I’ve got time!

TWV: Is this your first Virtual Congress?

Holly: Yes, I’ve not even done a webinar before so this will be interesting!

TWV: What area do you specialise in?

Holly: My interests are in Emergency and Critical Care, I have achieved a CertVNECC and a VTS(ECC) status.

TWV: Why did you choose this career path?

Holly: I started out as one of the first team of night nurses at Langford Vets, I wanted to get into a larger hospital/referral work and moved from the Midlands down to the South West. I enjoyed working in the ICU on the night shifts and applied for a day position in the ICU. I have always wanted to work with animals and I enjoy biology, I am very lucky to have this career and job.

TWV: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Holly: It sounds cheesy, but working within the ICU I am able to help assist staff with those deteriorating patients and also use my ECC skill to help the patient. I see a variety of cases in ICU which means the job doesn’t get dull. Being able to see patients you’ve worked hard to nurse and manage as team that make it out of the ICU is very satisfying.

TWV: If you weren’t doing this career, what do you think you would be doing instead?

Holly: I would be either into some sort of textiles job or a phycologist (a biological scientist specialising in the study of algae and phytoplankton).


Holly will be speaking at Virtual Congress about “Common Feline Poisons”. This webinar will discuss common plants, pesticides and household products that felines may encounter, along with clinical signs seen and current treatment options available. This lecture will be aimed towards nurses in all types of small animal practice who wish to feel more confident in dealing with types of patients and to improve upon their nursing management of these cases.

Holly’s webinar will be broadcast live at 8:00 a.m (BST) on Saturday 19th January on the third stream of VC2019. To watch this webinar, and others like it, make sure to get your ticket to Virtual Congress today.

This webinar is sponsored by JHP Recruitment. There are two other webinars in this collection, which are the following:

Anaesthesia of the BOAS Patient

By Helen Binge

Brachycephalic breeds have increased massively in popularity over the past few years, and so it is far more common that we have to anaesthetise these patients on an almost daily basis. This lecture explains what BOAS is and how it can be diagnosed, along with how to manage these patients from the time of pre-medication, right through to the recovery period.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand what BOAS is
  2. To learn how it can be diagnosed
  3. To learn what breeds can be affected
  4. To gain confidence in anaesthetising these patients
  5. To appreciate what risks these patients can be exposed to whilst undergoing general anaesthesia

Nursing the fragile eye and recognising ocular pain

By Kelly Shackleton

There are a few things to consider when nursing patients with a condition causing the eye to become fragile that could make a huge difference to their care and potentially their outcome. This presentation will help you to recognise ocular pain and give you some tips that will provide more specific nursing care to our ophthalmology patients.

Learning objectives:
1-Recognise ocular pain
2-Handling and restraint of ophthalmology patients
3-What we mean by fragile eye
4-Possibly causes of a fragile eye
5-Care for a ‘fragile eye’ patient









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