Thank you to Animal Star Awards 2019!

Well, the old saying that good news comes by phone and bad news comes by letter was uttered before email so its yet to be decided where it sits. For me earlier this month good news came by email as I found out I was a finalist in TWO categories!

I have been nominated by someone lovely as pet blogger of the year AND vet nurse of the year. It feels pretty amazing! Thank you to my nominators!

I’ll be attending the awards ceremony and Ebony can come too so we’ve got a lovely weekend away together!

I’ll keep you posted!

Recruit4Vets blog – an update

Recruit4Vets blog – an update

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

Milestones

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???

Milestones

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.

The future

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,

Much love,

Jane

A very veterinary Christmas 2018

A very veterinary Christmas 2018

 

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.

Trojan Dogs

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

Online pet sales – avoiding the heartbreak this Christmas

Online pet sales – avoiding the heartbreak this Christmas

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

 

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.

Student vet nurses – supportive blogs for SVNs

Student vet nurses – supportive blogs for SVNs

 

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

 

Anything else?

 

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 pagethere 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

#UKBA19 UK Blog Awards 2019 – Please vote (for me)!

#UKBA19 UK Blog Awards 2019 – Please vote (for me)!

It is with pride and amazement that I can announce I am nominated for the UK Blog Awards for 2019!

This stage is the public vote and if I get enough votes I’ll get to be a finalist where some fabulous past winners explore my content, my website and the community I’ve helped create – which is all of you.

You get one vote in each category so can vote for me in each category I’m in:

  • Nature and wildlife
  • Well being

The link will let you vote for my profile and I’ll get a vote in each category – all with one click!

Please click here to vote NOW!

Where it all began

Unlike many people I started my blog by being published in a popular publication online. Many people begin to blog for themselves via sites like WordPress or social media micro blogging sites like Instagram

I had been active on Twitter as @JaneRVN for a while, around 8 years ago and was using #PlanetRVN to create an online community for vet nurses, vets and pet owners and had been spotted by the digital content editor at Vet Times – the largest veterinary newspaper (yes that is A Thing).

A little direct message popped up and said they were running a 3 month trial on blogs and were looking for a vet, vet nurse and student vet, would I be the vet nurse contributor? Well, blogging was very different back then and even though I had enjoyed writing at school I thought I’d do it for 3 months and then it would fizzle out.

Please click here to vote NOW!

I got that a bit wrong didn’t I?

I just had my 6 year Blogaversary with Vet Times and write every fortnight for them and have also co-blogged with the vet blogger Nick Marsh and written some articles on coping with exams and recruitment. Fitting into a blog awards category was quite difficult!

I now blog every month for 4 companies – check my blog page here and manage a few blogs for myself, and some guest articles elsewhere. These are often based around the subjects I have been asked to present on at veterinary conferences in the UK and abroad. Focussing on safe social media use in vet practices, professional identity, well being and more.

Please click here to vote NOW!

Then there’s the videos

Oh yes, so the blogs and the response in particular to the educational support for student vet nurses motivated me to start a YouTube channel. Its initial focus was on providing support for the student vet nurse OSCE tasks, these are clinical skills practical exams every student vet nurse (and student vet) in the UK and many other countries sit before qualifying. Like your driving test but 12 driving tests in a row…

They are very scary and there are many myths around them so after writing some blogs on this I ventured into videos. The reponse to these has been phenomemal and it makes me so proud to be able to support student vet nurses and those that train them, their clinical coaches. Last year my channel was placed in the Top 75 vet YouTube channels in the world and is around number 30, is the top vet nurse channel and I think has just beaten the BVA to the top UK veterinary entrant.

I’m now doing a regular Vet Nurse Dictionary Corner as a relaxed way to learn new terminology and we’re currently on anaesthesia and capnography monitoring and in the new year will look at ways to improve your learning because…

Please click here to vote NOW!

Then there’s the book

It appeared that my writing had attracted more attention and a publisher approached me about what topics I thought vet nursing needed for new books. I wrote a list of about twenty titles and then we had a chat, and it was there I realised they would like me to write one of these books!

I checked my list again and realised some of these titles were quite ambitious for a first book so hastily moved on and focussed on an area knew needed help. My blogs and videos and the response they got both publicly and privately had shown me that research and study skills support was lacking for this community and maybe I was the person to help?

I’m proud to say my first book with 5M publishing is available to pre-order now (click here) and is out in March!

Please click here to vote NOW!

Blogging is an honour and a privilege and I feel lucky to have so many avenues to share with my community and beyond and to have been able to use this to explore other ways to create and share. Thank you everyone, love you.

Please click here to vote NOW!

Working with chronic pain in the vet industry – my experience

Working with chronic pain in the vet industry – my experience

Working in the veterinary industry usually means you need to be pretty fit and physically able. Yet there are many of us out there that live with health conditions that mean we need to practice a lot of good self care.

I shared what I do and have done during my journey living with chronic pain. Read the full blog here