Former Halifax vet Clare Tapsfield-Wright pens new book for graduates

Vet Clare Tapsfield-Wright with her horse Spencer.
Vet Clare Tapsfield-Wright with her horse Spencer.

A former vet has turned her hand to helping out the next generation by writing a handbook for new graduates.

Clare Tapsfield-Wright, from Hebden Bridge, has written The New Vet’s Handbook, which contains information and advice on everything from job interviews and interacting with customers, to house calls and working with other vets.

Clare qualified from Glasgow University in 1978 and worked in South Yorkshire and Ripon before working in Hebden Bridge from 1984 to 2012 at West Mount Vets, on Pellon Lane.

She was an elected member of the council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which is the regulatory body for vets, for eight years until 2014, and chaired the Standards Committee.

She has 40 years of experience in veterinary surgery, and was a practice owner for more than 25 years.

“I’ve employed a lot of vets and a lot of graduates, some of whom did really well but others who did well but had a rocky road on the way.”

After writing an article for the Veterinary Times for graduates who were worried about starting work, Clare was contacted by a publisher asking if she was interested in writing a book.

“I didn’t know if I had it in me, but they liked the idea.

“I tried to write it from the perspective of a mentor and saying to them not to make the same mistakes I did.

“It’s about going into the working world, which is often foreign territory for new graduates, who will have gone straight from school to veterinary school, then into a working environment which is highly emotional, quite stressful and involves making hard decisions.”

She says the book took the best part of a year to write.

“I really enjoyed it,” she said. “There’s nothing nicer than talking about a job you love.

“I would be sitting at my laptop with a sore neck having been typing for three hours!

“It took quite a long time. I’m a carer for my son. I had to give up work so I spend quite a lot of time in the house with him, so I would work on it in-between caring for him.”

The New Vet’s Handbook - information and advice for veterinary gradiates is available now online.