You might have noticed that a regular blog is missing from the options above – my Recruit4Vet blog has not yet got its own space! This was for a variety of reasons and one issue was navigating the great blogs on the R4V site, I didn’t want to link to a page and make it look like all the blogs were mine when there were a variety of authors.
It now looks like we have that issue resolved and I can add a link to an area where the blogs are mainly by me! You’ll also see they are clearly labelled by author too so there’s no confusion…
Find my recruit4vet blogs here
I took the opportunity in December to look back at the variety of subjects I’ve covered in my nearly 3 years blogging for Recruit4Vets – starting with being asked to blog by The Dark Side, a recruitment company and then looking at all the great information we’ve shared.
Read the blog here
I was really pleased to have written the most popular blogs of 2016 and 207 and wait for the results of 2018 to arrive… which of my years blogs has been the most popular???
The R4V blog has also taken me past some personal milestones that have been important and have really informed my writing. I first started writing for R4V when I was trying to piece my life together during a period of ill health and working out what to do for employment in the longer term.
I can’t believe looking back now that I’ve had successful surgery and am now in a much better place and enjoying a very different work life now.
There are a great many positives and one of them is sharing my story of returning to work and working with health issues. The veterinary world is often a physically demanding one and to be able to still be part of that world means a lot to me and I love sharing this and supporting others in similar situations.
Blogs for Rectuit4vet in 2019 will take a slightly different format as we are looking at ongoing themes for the company and the industry so I look forward to sharing more with you in 2019.
Stay safe and well,
Christmas means so many different things to so many different people it can be hard to blog about the festivities. In the veterinary world we have our own definitions of many key festive phrases and features – I’m afraid we see poison and trauma in the simplest mince pie and garland of tinsel.
For Christmas 2018 I have created a definitive (for now) list of alternative veterinary meanings and also have shared some festive Vet Nurse Dictionary Corners too:
Find the blog here
Find the videos here
While these are a lighthearted way to look at Christmas but theres also the sadder side of this time of year. In clinic we see the awful impact of the impulse purchases of pets as gifts and this year I’ve written not one but two blogs on this subject.
Staying safe online
Firstly there’s a guide on how to spot dubious online adverts and in this case also the Instagram accounts of those who may not be so honest with their information regarding the animals they sell – find out about The Unholy Trinity of online pet sales here.
Then there’s the issues with Trojan Dogs and the situation the UK is in with the current movement of pets across multiple borders. Buying pets online often means they are shipped from abroad and this carries with it its own risks. Thanks to the British Veterinary Association for the information and here’s the blog I wrote.
Christmas should be a fun time so we’d all really like it if you only need to come to the vets for some food or treats or a repeat prescription… but if you need us we’re here – 24/7 365 days a year..
Happy Christmas every one – stay safe and be well
I’m really pleased to see my early December blog for Vet Times is getting a lot of attention across a number of platforms.
Sadly this festive season there will be heartbreak and tears for many as the poorly puppies and kittens that have been bought online and shipped require urgent veterinary treatment and un many cases don’t make it to the New Year.
It can seem obvious that buying living creatures without seeing them first and then getting them transported across the country – or even further – may not be the best way to get a pet but online adverts can seem very appealing.
This was brought home to me last year during an afternoon out with my dog Hollie. A lady thought that as I had a Peke in a buggy I would understand her desire to buy a Pug puppy… from an account on Instagram!
Check out what happened and how you can spot untrustworthy online adverts – read more here
You might also like to consider my blog for Any UK Vet that supports setting up client information evenings on getting a pet. An idea from a few years ago where pre-pet parties are a way to bond with current and future clients and try to reduce the heartbreak and stress of sickly pets arriving in your consult room very soon after they arrive in their new home.
Part of the evening or afternoon could be getting local rescues to speak and share their available pets, some information from vets and vet nurses on different pets and breeds and their suitability to where you are located. Finally it would appear that educating clients on how to spot untrustworthy online adverts for pets is needed – the more we can share this information hopefully the less appealing a pretty Instagram account will appear.
Check out the blog on pre-pet support for clients here
Earlier this year the RCVS asked for feedback on the proposed changes to the current vet nurse Advanced Diploma – see the news here. The qualification requires re-validation as all qualifications do on a regular basis and this has fallen at a time when VN Futures is looking at career progression and education of vet nurses.
This has resulted in some possible changes to the qualification including moving the academic level up to a Level 7 qualification and opening up the possibility of shared modules with the vets CertAVP qualification. So far, so good.
I have already given my feedback to the RCVS through their survey so what I wanted to raise awareness of here was the subject areas that are proposed for the diploma to cover and more specifically one big area that was missing:
First opinion vet nursing
We are used to seeing advanced qualifications be based around medical or surgical nursing or ECC or anaesthesia. While all these are worthy CPD routes it strikes me that not everyone may want to become a ‘specialist’ nurse in a specific clinical area and although I have done advanced training in some of these areas myself I consider myself very much a first opinion nurse. A good (I hope!) all-rounder who moves from behavioural first aid in the waiting room to ECC nurse in the prep room and lots in between.
First opinion, primary or general care whatever title this area is given is sometimes neglected for the specific training needs it has and there are a few facts to support the need to have a ‘general specialist’ qualification for vet nurses:
- This is where most vet nurses and vets are employed
- Most cases seen don’t ever need a ‘second opinion’ so a complete care journey is achieved by these practitioners
- The knowledge held by staff is not ‘general’
- These practices provide valuable training and support for student vets and nurses
There are also the non-clinical aspects of first opinion vet nursing to consider. It is often the nurses who provide the administrative support to allow a practice to function and this covers everything from pet insurance claims to rotas. There is often a level of financial skill needed in sourcing new products and keeping the practice prices competitive but making a profit. First opinion vet nurses are also key in ensuring great communication between the team and with clients and finally as ever I do believe all vet nurses are leaders.
With all these necessary skills to master and I’m sure you’re thinking of many more right now could it be time to harness suitable training under a First Opinion specialism?
Could we see a GP AVN qualification added to the RCVS plans for the Dip AVN and bring together the skills needed – nursing, business, management, customer care communication and leadership? I really hope so as we need to be proud of the quality of first opinion care we provide in the UK and celebrate it.
Over the years I have written a number of blogs for student vet nurses covering many different aspects of training to be a vet nurse in the UK. Student vet nurses are quite different to many other students as the title ‘student vet nurse’ is a legal one which carries quite a high level of responsibility.
If you scroll through the blogs on here you’ll see a collection of words below each picture and these are WordPress ‘tags’ and the link blogs by group. I use quite a few and there is always some overlap but you’ll find a great list of student vet nurse blogs if you click here
How do you get to be a student vet nurse?
There are several ways to become a student vet nurse and different courses to attend. The most popular is the Level 3 Diploma in the UK and this has two awarding bodies – CQ and City and Guilds. Completing either course will allow you onto the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) register of vet nurse in the UK. These courses are often run as day release courses at local colleges and most students then work in or attend placements in vet practices.
There are also degree course in vet nursing that could lead you to a FdSc or BSc in vet nursing and again you can enter the RCVS register. These students aren’t employed by a vet practice but are placed on placements by their university.
Check the blogshere
So I can train at any vets?
Well, that’s the hard bit. To train vet nurse clinics need to be registered with the RCVS as Training Practice (TP) so not all practices can train you but they can all offer work experience to see if you like vet nursing and this is often an important part of getting on a course.
TP – tick, College place – tick – am I an SVN?
You’re nearly there! There’s only one more thing you need… and that’s to be registered as a student vet nurse with the RCVS. Once this is done you can commence training and also be responsible under the RCVS Code of Conduct for caring for patients and clients. You’ll have a named person responsible for training you and that’s a clinical coach, and they’ll get other people in the clinic to also train you.
Check the blogshere
During your time as student you’ll learn lots – how to study, cope with exams and more. You’ll assist clients with sad and stressful situations and also help them greatly too. This is all a lot to take on so my blogs cover subject areas across:
- Student contracts
- Working with your clinical coach
- Studying for exams
- Surviving your OSCEs
- How to approach MCQ exams
- Degree vs diploma nurses The Myths
- Finance for vet nurses
And more – Check the blogshere
Being a student vet nurse is a great privilege and very hard work so it’s worth reading around what’s already been written and you can sign up for future blog alerts via email on the Contact Me page– there are people to support your journey!
Jane qualified via the NVQ route around 15 years ago and still remembers what its like to be a student. She teaches and supports students in a number of ways including OSCE sessions, writing support sessions and more. Find out more in Work with Jane