Education & Employment

We welcome veterinary students during the clinical years of their studies but, to ensure the best possible education opportunities, we restrict the numbers at any one time. As the practice provides both an ambulatory first opinion service and a referral hospital, it should be possible for students to gain a wide experience of the differing types of equine practice. Vet students will be expected to muck in with the nursing staff and vets and to be on call out of hours throughout their stay.

Our extramural studies scheme offers a choice for seeing practice to veterinary students.

  • (1) SEEING PRACTICE STUDENTS:

     

    We welcome veterinary students at any stage of their clinical training. We find it is frequently of most benefit if students have already seen some general practice before visiting a specialist equine hospital. During their stay they will have the opportunity to observe and assist with many different aspects of equine medicine and surgery that we see in a vast variety of different horses, ponies and donkeys. Our students are expected to go out on calls with our ambulatory clinicians and the aim is to demonstrate the main and varied aspects of specialist equine practice.

    We request that seeing practice students spend a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 weeks with us for any one booking. We will only accept one such student at any one time to ensure there are the best possible learning opportunities for every trainee that comes to Bell Equine.

    Practical details for seeing practice students

    • The secretaries will be able to provide a list of Bed & Breakfast type accommodation nearby so that you can make your arrangements in advance.
    • There is limited accommodation available in walking distance within the village of Mereworth so you must tell us when you book, if you do not have your own transport.
    • What to bring – respectable work wear that should be suitable for stable yard situations. Students should bring kit appropriate for the season including adequate waterproofs and clean protective clothing, such as coveralls. Scrubs and clogs are provided for wearing in theatre. Respectable jeans are allowed. Sensible protective footwear must be worn at all times and trainers are not permitted.
    • No pets or smoking are allowed on site.
    • All students are asked to bring their college name badges to be worn at all times, whilst working here. If you do not have one please ask the secretaries to provide you with a badge on arrival.

    If you would like to apply as a seeing practice student, please contact secretary@bellequine.com giving a list of the dates that you are available. We would ask that your application is emailed together with two up to date photographs.

  • (2) HOSPITAL EXTERN:

     

    The extern programme has been running since we opened purpose built, on site residential accommodation for visiting students and vets in 2008. The extern scheme caters for final year veterinary students, who wish to focus their veterinary studies on equine surgery and medicine.  Our externs work alongside the established intern programme and will be given responsibilities for in-patient care under the supervision of our clinicians and interns. Externs are invited to spend a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four weeks with us.

    Practical details for externs:

    • We can accommodate up to 3 externs at once and expect everyone to participate in the out of hours rota at the hospital alongside our interns
    • Accommodation is provided on the hospital premises in the form of individual bed-sits, each with its own bathroom and kitchen facilities. We provide bed linen, but not towels and a charge (currently £58.48 per week) is made to cover costs.
    • No pets or smoking are allowed on site.
    • What to bring: Work wear should be suitable for stable yard situations, i.e. appropriate for the season to include waterproofs and clean protective clothing, such as coveralls. Scrubs and clogs are provided for wearing in theatre. Respectable jeans are allowed. Sensible protective shoes must be worn at all times and trainers are not permitted
    • All students are asked to bring their college name badges to be worn at all times whilst working here. If you do not have one please ask the secretaries to provide you with a badge on arrival.

    The programme has become very popular and the waiting list can be long as these opportunities are a very beneficial part of equine veterinary training. We have specific links with certain universities who send their final year students to Bell Equine as part of their specialist equine training. These students have priority. If you would like to apply for an externship, please contact secretary@bellequine.com giving a list of the dates that you are available. Your application should be supported by one referee, who should be a veterinary surgeon and we would ask that this reference is sent with your application, together with two up to date photographs.

  • (3) INTERNS:

     

    The hospital also runs a one-year Internship program suitable for new and recently qualified graduates. Interns work in all the hospital areas and have patient care responsibility under the supervision of senior clinicians and also have the opportunity to attend some ambulatory calls. There is an out of hours rota and accommodation in purpose built flats on site. Our internships provide a suitable foundation for most equine post-graduate specialist qualifications and also provide excellent training for general or specialist equine practice.

    Where feasible, we recommend any potential interns to spend time seeing practice with us beforehand.

  • (4) WORK EXPERIENCE:

     

    We also accept school pupils (aged 16 or above) who are interested in a career in equine nursing or veterinary science on work experience placements. These may be part of their formal school work experience or arranged informally during school/college vacations. We also take occasional students from Equine Studies Courses. Students will work alongside the veterinary nursing team in the equine hospital. Each student can spend 1 week with us. Placements offered are on an observational basis, although some horse handling may be expected.

    Work wear should be suitable for yard situations, i.e. appropriate for the season. Scrubs and clogs are provided for wearing in theatre. Respectable jeans are allowed. Sensible shoes must be worn at all times and trainers are not permitted.

    PLEASE NOTE: All students, but especially our younger trainees need to be aware of the need for total confidentiality. Also, unfortunately, due to the nature of our work, not all cases have happy endings. The decision to euthanase a horse is not taken lightly but is sometimes necessary for humane reasons if there is no chance of recovery. This is always with the horse owner’s consent, and whilst students are not frequently exposed to such situations, they must be aware that they do occur. Students are not required to partake or observe any situation in which they feel uncomfortable. Students should be aware that whilst on the work experience programme they act as part of the Bell Equine team and as such must conduct themselves in a suitable manner, particularly in the company of clients.

    The work experience programme is in great demand as we only take one work experience student at any one time. For more information or to apply for the Work Experience Programme please contact secretary@bellequine.com with your preferred dates to visit us.

  • (5) MATURE WORK EXERIENCE STUDENTS:

     

    As well as school children interested in a veterinary career, we welcome mature students with specific equine interest and expertise. This includes equine studies students, frequently from Hadlow College, some of whom attend on a once a week day release basis as part of their studies. In the past we have also had equine physiotherapists, university researchers and qualified vets from many countries ranging from Iran to Australia spending time studying at Bell Equine.

    Again we limit the numbers to fit in with our other students as above, so that everyone has sufficient opportunities to see what we do and the numbers do not overwhelm the horses under our care. If you feel you wish to visit as a mature work experience student, please contact secretary@bellequine.com