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Discussing the future of veterinary nursing
Imagining change: could the use of different imagery on websites and TV raise public awareness of the VN role?
Delegates review the outcomes of the VN Futures Interim report at BVNA Congress.

The VN Futures Board hosted a Fringe Event on Saturday (2 October) at the BVNA Congress in Telford to showcase the achievements of the project so far and to explore how far the VN Profession has already come.

VN Futures is a joint RCVS and BVNA project resulting from the Veterinary Futures Initiative. The project aims to encourage more people to join the profession, enhance the role of the veterinary nurse and offer more opportunities for career progression. 

It comes after the RCVS announced the publication of the VN Futures Interim Report 2021, which provides an overview of the project's achievements over the past five years and a summary of its initiatives.

Attended by delegates both in-person and online (via live stream), the Fringe Event took the form of a general discussion, with delegates given the chance to talk in small groups about the outcomes of the report and how their career has progressed since they graduated. 

On hand to talk to delegates were Jill Macdonald (VN Futures project manager), Alex Taylor (incoming BVNA president), Charlotte Pace (incoming BVNA junior vice president), Belinda Andrews-Jones (VN Council member), and Matthew Rendle (chair of VN Council). 

The range of topics and questions discussed included -

  • How can veterinary nurses encourage vets to delegate more?
  • What part of your training prepared you best for the role?
  • How can veterinary nurses raise public awareness of the VN role?
  • What environmental policies has your practice implemented, and what else can you do?
     
On raising awareness of the role of the VN, Matthew stressed that wearing a name badge and introducing yourself to clients as a veterinary nurse is key. Some delegates highlighted the importance of charging for a veterinary nurse's time (i.e. not running free nurse clinics) and marking this on the invoice as 'professional nurse time' to show that an RVN has provided treatment to a pet.

Some delegates felt that the image of the veterinary profession has been somewhat tarnished by reports in mainstream media, with one nurse stating 'the image of the profession is not in a good place publicly, let alone in the nursing profession.' 

How RVNs are depicted on practice websites and television can also be part of the problem, said another delegate. With the public only seeing images of vet nurses holding cute, fluffy animals and not monitoring anaesthetic or getting a blood sample, for example.

On environmental policies, one group of delegates said their practice had introduced recycling bins and signs to show what items can and cannot be recycled. Creating wildlife-friendly areas outside the practice, switching lights off when leaving rooms and having a dedicated PPE waste bin (so that PPE gets incinerated rather than ending up in landfill) were also mentioned.

Other points raised concerned the availability of eductaional handouts and ensuring that information is made available to clients online rather than in the traditional pamphlet form. One delegate raised the idea of putting a small team in charge of environmental policies at your practice, while another suggested schemes such as Terracycle to recycle PPE.

The session is the first of two VN Futures Fringe events happening at the BVNA Congress this weekend. On Sunday (3 October), delegates will convene again to discuss future projects for veterinary nursing and where efforts should be focussed. 

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RCVS Fellowship applications open

News Story 1
 Applications have now opened for RCVS Fellowship 2022. The RCVS is encouraging anyone who would like to be considered for Fellowship to apply, and if successful, they will be welcomed into the Fellowship next year.

The process for joining the fellowship has changed slightly for this year, as applicants will now need two signed referee forms instead of three professional references, and five assessors will review each application instead of three.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, and more information on how to apply can be found here. If applicants have any questions, or would like informal advice from previous successful applicants, they are encouraged to contact Ceri Via Email 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.