First opinion nursing – a focus for further qualifications

First opinion nursing – a focus for further qualifications

 

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.

Delegation for SIII for vet nurses

Delegation for SIII for vet nurses

I’ve somehow managed to have a few pieces on a similar theme out at once, excellent or awful planning depending on your view point but for me it does allow me to put together a themed blog for the first updated of my new website so I’m quite happy with that!

SIII delegation is the legal right for vets to delegate certain protected skills to vet nurses who are on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons register. They must also be competent and trained and willing to accept the delegation. This is a two-way process that needs to be fully understood but all parties – vet, vet nurse, team and client.

Recently I have written for Vet Record, The Webinar Vets new Gazette and also for Vet Times on this subject and I’m really pleased with the picture its building of what we need to to do with SIII delegation and why.

The RCVS survey of 2017 showed vets and vet nurses didn’t fully understand the process of delegation, but both parties wanted to delegate and accept delegation more, so I’m hoping that in these articles I cover how we can do this, why we should and where we can get some help.

After all #PlanetRVN is only one letter away from #PlanVetRVN

The Webinar Vet Gazette article with links to RCVS case guides is here 

The Vet Record article is free to download as a PDF until the middle of November and is here

Finally the link between EMS, the TP scheme and the AVS all rolled into one and is available here

One last trip…

One last trip…

I have waited to post this blog on here for a while as now it seems real that we are a One Pet family, for the first time in a long time.

Tillie soldiered on to the end ignoring that she had no kidney function left at all and even ate some cat treats when at the vets, but it was to be her final trip to the vets as we didn’t want to wait until she started to show any signs of pain or distress. read more about our journey together here

SIII survey results confirm the vet nurses role

SIII survey results confirm the vet nurses role

Thanks to the RCVS SIII survey the results are in and what vet nurses do every day across the UK has been confirmed. Those of us in #planetrvn know what we do, but ensuring the team, our employers and the wider public know what we do is hugely important.

These results show that we need to work with vets and our employers to ensure the vet team utilises nurses skills fully. Increasing job satisfaction, career routes and hopefully retention of vet nurses.

Read the original blog here