Alex Taylor RVN will lead the organisation for 2021/22.
Outgoing BVNA president Jo Oakden RVN handed over the reins to Alex Taylor RVN on Monday (4 October) at the BVNA Congress in Telford.
Speaking at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting, Jo reflected on her time as president, and outlined some of the various projects the BVNA has been working on throughout COVID-19.
In her outgoing speech, she said: “What a year it has been. It’s not been short of challenges, but I feel very proud to have been president of the BVNA. It’s not quite the year I expected when I became junior vice president in 2019, but it has not been a year wasted.
“We’ve been involved in significant movements this last year, including the Legislation Working Party, the wrap up of the first part of the VN Futures Project, and building relationships with Defra and other stakeholders.
She added: "We’ve also got our new website up and running and the members portal, making, BVNA accessible to all of its members. We are, as quoting from our 2019 AGM, standing taller.”
Jo is stepping aside to become senior vice president and will be supported by Charlotte Pace RVN as junior vice president.
"We need to get better at looking after ourselves"
Following the handover of the Chain of Office, incoming president Alex Taylor delivered her welcoming address in which she praised the profession for its hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic.
“There’s no denying it has been a difficult time for all of us when many of us have faced both personal and professional struggles like never before," she said. "And while we are hopefully over the worst of the pandemic, it has changed us all forever.
“The camaraderie, kindness and support shown not only by work colleagues but by fellow veterinary professionals everywhere, has helped give me the strength I needed to know, that this is still indeed an amazing profession, full of the most caring, determined and professional people you will ever meet.”
Alex announced that her theme for her upcoming presidential year will be ‘building resilience’ and highlighted the importance of self-care and putting your own needs first to be happier, healthier and more productive in the workplace.
“We as a profession need to get better at looking after ourselves, and never has this been more apparent than in the last 18 months,” she said. “As veterinary nurses, we are caring by nature, and we almost instinctively put the needs of our patients and others before our own.
“Whilst this is admirable, it’s not always the right thing to do. It may sound like a cliché, but you really cannot pour from an empty cup. We must get better at looking after ourselves if we want a more healthy, productive and sustainable workforce.
“Please be assured that the BVNA will be doing its best over the next 12 months to ensure that our members are given the knowledge and tools that they need to become more resilient, look after themselves, and succeed both as individuals and professionals.”
Alex concluded the AGM by announcing her chosen charity of the year as International Cat Care.