BVNA Communication Portal Grows into 2017

Final month’s prize draw winners and expanding #VNVoice forum

Lucky veterinary nurse Clare Jones has received a New Year treat after she was drawn as the winner of the BVNA’s December #VNVoice competition.

Clare won £400 of shopping vouchers after she signed up and completed the December poll questions on BVNA’s members’ forum.

The latest polls (5&6) asked VNs for their experiences when it comes to giving advice on pets to clients, nurse consulting, and whether they offer advice on certain clinical conditions as a VN within their practice.

The number of VNs engaging in these poll topics was the highest yet, showing how nurses are keen to get to their #VNVoice heard and to spread the word across the veterinary profession. The headline results from the questions were as follows:

Vet referral to a nurse

80% were NOT surprised by Onswitch research that found only 4% of observed vet consultations resulted in a referral to a nurse.

The #VNVoice survey statistics appeared to agree with the Onswitch figures. When asked, Within your own practice, of the cases which you feel could potentially have nurse led input, how often are you asked to get involved/referred to?”, 4% of respondents reported that cases were referred to them 75-100% of the time.

What clinics do nurses offer?

The most commonly-run nursing clinic or advice offered was in the topic of weight management. 87% of respondents said that they offered clinics on this subject. One respondent said, “We are talking to clients on reception or on the phone about many areas but the only one we have specific nurse clinics for is weight [management]”.

Other respondents talked about being able to offer a variety of clinics. The survey found that 47% gave advice for diabetic patients and 45% on wound management.

Use of nursing skills

Only 24% of respondents answered that their practice made great use of their skills

65% said they felt their practice made SOME use of their skills. A comment from one of the nurses explains, “In my experience, nurses are often under used in practice and especially when it comes to any species or condition specific knowledge they may have; which is a shame as many nurses have a favourite topic that they are hugely knowledgeable on and can offer vital assistance to the client / pet / team”.

Winners of December’s #VNVoice prize draw
The winners of December’s VNVoice competition were Clare Jones who wins £400 of shopping vouchers, and Jessica Tattersall, who wins £150 of vouchers. Five runners-up – Sophie Bedford, Jo Oakden, Emma Osborne, Sarah Duckering and Rebecca Ridely win a £50 voucher each.

All winners receive the value of prizes in shopping vouchers. Congratulations to all!

Many thanks to all our generous sponsors who have made the prize draw possible.

BVNA President Sam Morgan said:

“I’m delighted that our responses are growing month on month – it shows the depth of feeling of our members about these topics. Nurse consulting is growing as a service within the profession and benefits both the client and the practice. However, it is disappointing that our #VNVoices have found such a variation. Some practices who have embraced nurse consulting have found benefits not only to their clients, but also to the nurses, who feel valued and that their career has progressed. Other practices who are not making the most of their nurses’ skills are not experiencing these benefits. I’d like to pull out one of the comments in particular, “I locum quite a lot at different places and I don't think nurse clinics are utilised a lot and unfortunately nurses tend to be in the back ground. The only advice I’ve been able to give was actually during my training which was on weight clinics. I have worked at a practice where the vets did all the clinics nurses could do including flea and worming

“I believe that nurse consulting is an area of the veterinary nursing role that helps achieve two of the VN Futures’ aims, by offering a structured and rewarding career path and maximising nurses’ potential.  Although nurse clinics are popular, I hope they will become more wide-spread.”

The portal competition has now come to a close but members are strongly encouraged to carry on participating in the polls, which will continue to run monthly. The online platform is run through Moodle and is open to all BVNA members, who can sign up to take part via the BVNA members’ section on the website

Any BVNA member interested in giving more in-depth feedback about the profession is encouraged to sign up to the Consultation Panel – you will be asked to complete longer surveys online on an occasional basis.

The data gathered from the poll questions and the Consultation Panel questionnaires is used to inform the BVNA Council so that they can use the feedback to further their services and representation for veterinary nursing profession.

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