She’s the highly experienced veterinary nurse who oversees all the Equitrans operations, and, judging by the feedback we continually receive here at HQ, she’s really rather good at it! Meet Victoria Johnson the Equitrans operations manager whose love of animals brought her to the UAE 14- years’ ago, and she’s simply never left…
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in a small town in Norfolk in the UK. As a kid, I loved all animals and used to ride once a week at my local riding school. It was the quintessential stable experience, where we spent each Saturday helping out in exchange for rides… we loved it!”
You are a fully qualified veterinary nurse, can you tell us a little about the process and your experience?
“After I left university, I spent my free time volunteering at a local farm rescue centre. One of the horses needed to go to the animal health trust in Newmarket for a surgery on her eye, so I went along and got talking to the nurses there. The whole experience made me realise this was really something I wanted to do.
Not long after this, a trainee nurse job was advertised in the next town, I applied and got the job, clearly it was meant to be! Over the years, I’ve worked in many different practices, in the UK, Australia, New Zealand the UAE. Everything from first opinion practices to referral hospitals, working with orthopaedic specialist vets and even those specialising in soft tissue.
My last job in clinic before coming to the UAE was doing night shifts, so handling and dealing with emergency cases as they came in and looking after the hospitalised patients overnight.
I have always most enjoyed the orthopaedic surgery cases, nursing these patients back to health is very rewarding. For example, a dog arriving that can’t walk due to a prolapsed disc. Completing the successful surgery, and then being the nurse to get them back to walking again is intensive yet deeply rewarding. These cases require lots of care, keeping them clean and dry, consistent physio and of course, lots of TLC. These dogs would often be really pretty aggressive when they arrived, (as they were in a lot of pain), to see them transform back to their usual sweet selves after recovery is always fantastic.”
How did you end up in the UAE?
“In 2010 had been back in the UK for about five-years after travelling and felt like I wanted a change again. I saw a nursing job advertised in the UAE and applied. Around two- months later I was here! I then worked as head nurse in a local clinic for four-years.
When did you join Equitrans?
“I joined Equitrans in 2014 as an operations coordinator. I am now the operations manager.”
“What do you like most about your job?“
“I enjoy the big events, the planning and organising of them. It gets me out the office and allows me to get up close with the horses. I also actually really enjoy traveling on a horse flight from time to time, it’s good to see how it all works and what goes on at the other airports.”
What would you consider the highlights of your time with Equitrans?
“For me, one of the biggest highlights was the shipment of Spanish Riding School horses that came to Abu Dhabi in 2019. I spent a lot of time travelling back and forth from Abu Dhabi as we were overseeing the import and export flights and overseeing the set up of the temporary quarantine with the Ministry and running it while they were here (about 10 days). It was great to be hands on, and on the ground with the shipment and clients. They have always been horses I wanted to see perform and finally I got the chance.”