Auckland Zoo senior vet nurse Breeze Buchanan, who colleagues describe as an exceptionally skilled, compassionate, and inspirational team member, has been recognised as one of our country’s top three veterinary nurses in the 2023 Vet Nurse of the Year Award.
Our congratulations Breeze!
The New Zealand Veterinary Nurses Association (NZVNA) annual award (announced 13 October) recognises the hard mahi and dedication of veterinary nurses to their profession including their innovation, initiative, and commitment to patient/client care.
Breeze, one of two runners-up for this year’s award, grew up on the Thames Coast in a family of conservationists, and always wanted to work with animals. After roles in general practice, gaining wide experience with wildlife, farm, and domestic animals in Australia as well as in the fast-paced, high-stress environment of emergency vet nursing, she joined Auckland Zoo’s veterinary services team in 2014.
“Working at Auckland Zoo is my dream job as I get to combine my love for nursing animals in so many different capacities and help wildlife in the wild – something that felt unachievable when I was younger. It wasn’t until I did a placement at the Zoo that I saw how it devotes resources to conserving wildlife as well as to the Zoo whānau of animals, and knew it was exactly the kind of organisation I wanted to work for,” says Breeze, a vet nurse for the past 15 years who says she feels very honoured to have even be nominated for this award.
“It’s a huge privilege being able to work with such a passionate group of dedicated and knowledgeable people from across the Zoo and with our other partners, and the variety is incredible. I can be looking after a Tasmanian devil in quarantine, working with our amazing keepers to take blood samples from a tiger, assisting with surgery on an alligator or be out in the field helping DOC with transmitter changes and health checks on kākāpō down on Fiordland’s Pukenui Anchor) Island!”