Back to Practice

As the UK Government is slowly lifting the lockdown restrictions that are needed to control and protect ourselves from Covid-19, there will be more veterinary nurses and support staff returning to the practice.

Every person will have had their own difficulties and challenges during lockdown. Whether it was because of self-isolating, being furloughed, working reduced hours, or trying to manage a team that encompassed all of this - there will be a readjustment period as employers stage the return of their staff and clients back into the veterinary practice.

Free online event

The BVNA is proud to host another webinar in our Covid-19 series that will give you some tools to help with the transition back to work, as well as support for those who have been working in practice through lockdown.

 “Tame your Team - how to get through the return to practice and stay sane” online event takes place on Wednesday, 10 June at 1900 and you can register for free here.

It will cover:

●     Calming the circuits to stay in control of your emotions and feelings

●     Talking to people who are not like you!

●     Building your own toolkit of techniques

Our speaker, Dr Libby Kemkaran-Thompson, is both a veterinary surgeon and a consultant in leadership and communication. We also have our own BVNA Vice President Wendy Nevins there too.

Business as usual?

It won’t be “business as usual” for quite some time as together we need to make sure staff are safe, animal health and welfare continues to be addressed, and our industry remains sustainable.

There will be some people that will feel anxious to return into the practice or even travelling there if public transport is required, and staff should have their concerns addressed. Prior to the return of some staff, it may be useful to have a return-to-work meeting so they can understand the changes on how the practice now runs, the social distancing measures, the use of resources like facemasks and remote or reduced client contact.

For example, if some face coverings/masks are required or provided. The government has advised on wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where social distancing is not possible. These are different to surgical masks which should be used in procedures that warrant medical grade PPE - like in the case of performing surgery, or administering chemotherapy.

BVA Guidelines

The BVA has also released guidelines for safe working within the veterinary workplace which cover:

●     Undertaking risk assessments in the workplace and home visits

●     Minimising client contact as much as possible and manage their expectations

●     Staff who can work from home should continue to work from home at this time

●     Minimise staff contact in the workplace as much as possible

●     Hygiene and biosecurity measures

●     Re-thinking the physical space and layout

Other supportive veterinary resources include:

●     Talking to someone anonymously about your emotional health at Vetlife.

●     The RCVS flowchart on what type of work can be carried out while there are lockdown measures in place.

Government Guidelines

Government resources and guidelines:

●     The Health and Safety Executive have released some guidelines on how to become “Covid-Secure” in order to work safely and manage any risks associated with running a business or practice. There is an online guidebook you can print and read here.

●     The government has a 5 step approach on how to work safely:

○     Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

○     Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

○     Help people to work from home

○     Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

○     Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

So don’t forget to register for our webinar here, keep safe, and keep looking after each other!

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