Jonny Shine is receptionist and E-SQP at the Ipswich surgery of independent veterinary practice Ryder-Davies & Partners. Here he tells us the importance of being adaptable and how his SQP status has helped develop his career…
Q. What was your background before qualifying, and what inspired you to train to become an AMTRA SQP?
My background prior to becoming an SQP was in the recruitment sector. After being made redundant, I began my animal career, working for an online pet pharmacy in 2011 as a customer service apprentice. After finishing that course, I began my SQP studying. I qualified as a companion animal and equine SQP in 2013, and then qualified further as an avian SQP in 2018. I’d always loved animals, so jumped at the opportunity to firstly have a service role in the animal sector and then to study to become an SQP.
Q. What does your average workday involve?
My current role is as a veterinary receptionist. I’m on the front line of a mixed animal practice, dealing with a wide variety of people, advising them and promoting gold standard animal health. I also oversee the social media for the practice and print the quarterly newsletter, for which I frequently write topical articles.
Q. What do you feel is the most important aspect of your role as an AMTRA SQP, and what do you feel your customers should be aware of?
I feel as SQPs that we have undertaken a lot of training and development to firstly qualify, and then to maintain our SQP status through our continued CPD requirements. So, if anything, I would like to promote the knowledge that SQPs have, in particular to parasites which always seem to be a big problem for a lot of people, as we are constantly training to have the most up to date knowledge.
Q. What are the most important skills and qualities you must demonstrate?
I think it is important for SQPs to be adaptable. In the animal care sector, you never know what questions/health problems customers may present with their animals, and we have to be ready to be able to assist throughout an animal’s whole life. Communication is key also, to understand the customer’s needs, both in terms of providing a good service but also in regards of the prescribing and supplying aspect of being an SQP. We need to be sure we are giving clear advice, identifying the animal’s needs to ensure the correct products are being supplied and that the customers are clear on their usage instructions.
Q. How do you feel your status as SQP will help develop your career?
I think my status as an SQP has helped my career in the past, and will continue to do so. In previous roles it has enabled me to have a more involved position within the company, and allowed me to take on various extra responsibilities. Also, I believe that having a qualification that relies heavily on personal study is attractive to employers.
I’ve always enjoyed the CPD aspect of the SQP qualification, and try to do as much as I can. I love to learn and develop my knowledge, so I attend as many CPD events as I can, as well as completing quizzes and webinars.
Jonny Shine is receptionist at Ryder-Davies & Partners