BVA policy officer - Hannah Jordan's working week

Hannah Jordan

Despite working primarily in an office, one week is never quite the same as another in my job. This is how one week in November turned out.


The week begins with a little pre-Monday preparation as I work on slides for a joint presentation I will be giving for the Veterinary Public Health Association at the London Vet Show. Our talk, inspired by Vet Futures, is about celebrating and communicating the wider roles of vets in society. We also hope to engage our audience on the challenges of communicating these roles and how the profession can improve their recognition.


Generally, I like Mondays – I volunteer at the PDSA and I never really know what to expect. Today was no different and began with a minuscule chihuahua pup in for microchipping, which looked like a classic shrieking candidate and proved us all wrong. What followed included a bunny MOT, a pug with an ear infection and a nervous husky with a wound. At the end of the day I managed to squeeze in a swim at the London Aquatics Centre.


My alarm is set for 6 am on Tuesdays and I set off by bike for the BVA's offices in Mansfield Street. The sun is rising, it's bitterly cold and the leaves on the trees in Regent's Park are strikingly beautiful. From 7.30 onwards the morning is consumed by incorporating divisional input into several consultation responses on bovine tuberculosis and, before I know it, I'm scrambling for my belongings and rushing to the RCVS for a meeting on meat hygiene and Brexit. It highlights several issues that may soon impact on the profession, such as a shortage in absolute numbers of vets, which I will feed back to the BVA Brexit Working Group. Afterwards, a quick trip on the tube reunites me with my bicycle and I head off for a running session at New River athletics track.


I start slightly later to make up for a long day yesterday and the morning passes quickly. I deal with messages waiting in my inbox and respond to a collection of inquiries from vets, nurses and members of the public. At lunchtime, I squeeze in a quick run around the Serpentine in the glorious autumn sunshine. Over the course of the afternoon I check a press release on pet travel against our policy and continue organising a series of upcoming meetings to be held in Northern Ireland. At 5.45 pm I call it a day before heading over to the RCVS for the President's annual reception. By the time I get home I have had several glasses more fizz than planned and I head straight to bed.


It's 5 am and I'm operating on autopilot. I manage to sort out tea, muesli and clothes before heading out to lead a group of triathletes for a pre-work cycling session in Regent's Park. I get to work feeling fresh and ready to take on the weekly content meeting, where we coordinate communication across the various BVA teams and media. I head to my desk and progress a couple of matters before spending the afternoon on project management training.


I pedal to work, internally prioritising what needs to be done before the end of the day and settle on Northern Ireland Branch council papers. We try to get these out two weeks before a meeting and it can be quite an involved process with lots of toing and froing. I manage to escape at lunchtime for a walk, which is good because it is easy to get cabin fever on a Friday – there are usually lots of loose ends to address before I am back in the office on Tuesday. It is sunny again; the weather has been kind this week and I am glad because it bodes well for my cross country run debut tomorrow. After a busy few days it is useful to reflect on the various veterinary roles I have encountered ahead of the talk next week. I eventually call it a day at 6 pm, papers nearly finished, and cycle home.

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