Vet practices urged to continue student placements
Leading veterinary organisations have written to UK veterinary practices seeking their ongoing support for veterinary students and student veterinary nurses in the face of the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The presidents and chairs of the RCVS, Veterinary Schools Council, BVA, Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeon and Association of Veterinary Students are among the signatories of the letter, which concerns extra-mural studies placements for veterinary students.
A separate joint letter was sent to all veterinary nurse training practices from the RCVS and BVNA concerning training and employment placements for student veterinary nurses.
Both letters draw attention to the invaluable contribution of veterinary practices to the development and training of the UK’s veterinary and veterinary nurse students - especially how students rely on the support and guidance of practice teams as they work towards graduation and qualification.
They also praise Universities and Colleges for taking proactive steps to provide remote teaching, adding that the RCVS had agreed to several temporary changes relating to both EMS for veterinary students and registration rules for final-year SVNs.
The joint statement reads: 'The contribution of veterinary practices to the development of the UK’s veterinary undergraduates through the provision of EMS placements is invaluable and we all recognise that our students rely on your support and guidance as they work towards graduation.
'Veterinary schools have been proactive and innovative in providing remote teaching while lockdown measures were in place, and the RCVS has agreed to temporary reductions in the number of weeks of face-to-face EMS required, in addition to the provision of online learning to supplement EMS during this period. However, it is crucial that we all work together to move towards offering face-to-face EMS placements again as soon as possible.'
It continues: 'The safety of students and practice staff is of course paramount, but we are also keen that the impact on students’ EMS be kept to a minimum, as the experience gained on placements is invaluable and so important for their professional development. Vet schools with capacity to offer EMS placement opportunities on campus are now beginning to allocate these to students, where appropriate safety measures can be enacted.'