Vetlink Employment Service
Western Australia Coastline at Sunset

A day in the life of Dr Natalie Mollett

Dr Natalie Mollett graduated from Murdoch University School of Veterinary Studies in 1988. After many years in mixed practice in rural areas across Australia, she met the farmer of her dreams and settled down in the South Coast of Western Australia. She now works for a local Veterinary Practice and runs a small animal branch practice for them. When not working as a Vet, she is a mother to three children and office manager/farm labourer on their 11,000 acre cropping enterprise in Jerdacuttup.

A DAY IN THE LIFE…

It’s Tuesday tomorrow. Vet Day. Half of me groans with angst. Have to be super organised in the morning. Get Mimi to school. Pack the car. (Don’t forget you have a horse to drench so need to take that gear too!) Won’t be able to exercise Sophie’s horse. (Not enough time.) I hope James doesn’t think I will be around to escort the seeding bar up the highway to the other farm tomorrow. The other half of me can’t wait to get there. Tuesday: the day I get my identity back. I am a VET! Tuesday: I get to spend the whole day in adult conversation with my best friend Wendy, my Vet Nurse. I get to hear about what has happened out her way on the north-west side of town and she gets filled in on what’s happened on the south-east side of town, in my little community. And we both get to let off steam about our cranky husbands – it’s not raining and we need to be seeding!

Tuesday. A parade of our favourite clients wanders through our doors all morning. We have appointment times, but they are only loosely adhered to. Everyone knows we won’t turn you away if you drop in to be seen. We have a bench outside where people like to sit and catch up on the gossip. It is a rare day when anyone complains about the wait. Why is this? Is it because we live in a small rural community? We know the value of a service provider. It’s a 400km round trip for the people of this town to get down to the main vet practice if they miss the Tuesday clinic in our town. An emergency arrives: oh well… cats are put in cages whilst the waiting room empties as people wander across the road to get a coffee from the Country Kitchen. They will be back when the snake-bitten dog is stabilised.

Lunchtime: all the consults have been seen. Oh and look at that – it’s 2.00pm already! Right! Wendy goes across the road and brings back pies and ice coffees to wolf down, then we look at the surgery board. Who will we do first? Who lives furthest away? Ok, the farm dogs from 200km away will get sterilised first, then their owners can get back to the sheep yards to get ready for shearing tomorrow. The cats from the next town on the coast will be done next, and then their owners can get back home before dusk when the roos are out on the road. We better get Mrs D’s rabbit finished before dark because she is walking down the hill to collect him. Then there are three townie jobs to do and we are finished surgery. Wendy has fielded calls from their anxious mums – yes, I know it’s dark, I know it’s dinner time. No, we haven’t gone home yet… we will just keep operating till we are finished. Don’t panic; your pets are fine. Mimi rings me – when will you be home, Dad’s still out on the tractor: what can I eat? Wendy has a similar call from Gemma, and then both of us get texts from our teenagers, away at boarding school in Perth. They have finished prep and feel like a chat with mum.

Finally, Wendy is mopping, I am balancing the till. We are finished for another week. What a great feeling! I have had the best day ever. I am a professional: I am good at my job. My clients give me loads of positive feedback; my patients are all doing well. Wendy and I give each other the best emotional support a pair of like-minded working mums can. I love living in a small rural community. I am so glad I belong to the Veterinary Profession.

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