Rowena toasts 21st anniversary with diploma

Rowena toasts 21st anniversary with diploma

ROWENA Batey has extra cause to celebrate after clocking up 21 years at Ashlea Veterinary Centre and achieving a diploma in veterinary leadership.

Rowena, a qualified RVN, is practice manager at the surgery in Carlisle where she has been helping to care for pets for more than two decades.

Notching up another career milestone, she has just successfully completed the VMG – Veterinary Management Group’s dual qualification: VMG/ILM Level 5 Diploma in Veterinary Leadership and Management.

Both achievements reflect her hard work and dedication to the veterinary profession as well as her colleagues and clients.

The diploma was funded by VetPartners as we support colleagues to pursue their career ambitions and be the best they can be so they feel fulfilled at work.

The qualification was a long-held ambition for Rowena who waited until her two children were older and more independent before taking on the challenge.

She said: “I had looked at the course before, but it was never quite the right time. When my children were both at secondary school, I thought it was something I would do for me as I hadn’t done any formal practice management training.”

Fitting studies around family life and leading a busy vet practice wasn’t easy, but Rowena said support from her colleagues and family had enabled her to successfully manage her time.

The two-year diploma involved a combination of online sessions and independent learning, offering a range of modules so participants can focus on their own interests.

She said: “It was a juggling act, but I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge and a deeper understanding of the veterinary business, from the finance side to external factors that affect the practice.

“We looked at demographics and the client experience, such as how we promote our services to clients of different ages rather than using a blanket method.

“I also did a coaching and mentoring module which strengthened my understanding of how to draw on and use people’s strengths within our practice so that everyone gets to help out as part of the team.”

Rowena’s dream of a career as a veterinary nurse began when she undertook a work placement at a practice when she was at school. She qualified as an RVN in 1999 from Myerscough College and returned to her hometown to join Ashlea Vets shortly afterwards.

Since being promoted to practice manager in 2019, she has helped to grow its reputation for providing high standards of patient care and great customer service, while working with clinical director Laura Askew to also ensure it is a great place to work.

She said: “It is great that VetPartners is so supportive of anyone who wants to do any career development. At Ashlea Vets, we want our team to be happy at work so if there are things that interest them, the development opportunities are offered to everyone, from formal qualifications to webinars.

“We have a team member doing a certificate in diagnostic imagery and another nurse is doing a certificate in exotics.

“I like the variety of my job; no two days are ever the same. We have a lovely team, and it is great working closely with them. We all want to do our best for our patients, and we all bring something different to the team. Having been here for so long I know some clients very well and it is lovely still seeing them.”

Ashlea Vets is a veterinary nurse training practice where the team includes three student veterinary nurses, five RVNs, five vets, four receptionists and one animal care assistant. The practice will also soon be welcoming their first UCLAN veterinary student vets in February under a new partnership with Lancaster University.


Article by VetPartners PR and Communications Manager (North) Nadia Jefferson-Brown.