SPONSORED: Creating a platform for veterinary nurse voices

Written by: Medivet
Published on: 3 Feb 2021

Medivet

Our teams feature more than 1,400 nurses across the UK who benefit from a high standard of training, support, and development from patient care assistants right up to our head nurses.

With a network of more than 320 practices and 22 state-of-the-art 24-hour centres, building the best place to work in the veterinary industry means putting patients first and investing in all our people.

Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs) are vital to how our practices operate; they’re dedicated, compassionate, and committed to providing the very best care, every single day. It’s a rewarding and fulfilling role, but one that often goes unrecognised and undervalued across the industry.

Shona Brennan“I joined the committee to give a voice to all nurses working tirelessly in their career and who are aspiring to be the best they can be. I want to make a positive impact on highlighting our hard work and continuing to help the profession grow.”

 

Shona Brennan, Student Veterinary Nurse PCO

At Medivet, we’re focusing on the future of the veterinary nursing profession. That’s why we’ve launched our Valuing Veterinary Nurses Committee, one of our many initiatives intent on learning and growing from the forums we build, so we can operate practices where people want to work and make a difference.

Rachel West“Veterinary nursing is very close to my heart; I joined the profession more than 20 years ago. I am very proud to be a part of this committee to help listen, help generate new ideas from all our colleagues and then support the development of these new initiatives to benefit all.”

 

Rachel West, Clinical Operations Manager

Recognising hard work and dedication

Every single role within Medivet has a key part to play in delivering exceptional care. We value our colleagues’ thoughts and feelings and encourage them to share ideas; we understand that working together is the key to being the best company we can be.

This mentality has always been part of our culture, which is why we are committed to establishing committees and working groups to help shape and build the best place to work in the veterinary industry. RVNs deserve to feel valued for their hard work, dedication, and contribution; not only do they help with clients and pets, they often support wider areas of the practice, dealing with administration work, supporting the vets, and much more.

Unfortunately, the turnover rate of nurses across the profession is higher than it should be, so we thought it was time to question why and take action. The creation of this committee was an important step, and the aim is for our outcomes to influence the attitudes towards veterinary nurses industry-wide.

Dan Sutcliffe“I want every member of our amazing teams to feel supported and encouraged to be the best they can be in their role, in particular our nurses, who are often unsung heroes in practice. Nurses are the glue that holds a practice together and along with the other committee members, I hope to encourage not only within Medivet, but the veterinary community as a whole to utilise our skilled, knowledgeable nurses to their full potential. Nurses are incredible but so undervalued. Let’s make a change.”

Dan Sutcliffe, Area Manager

Building the committee from across the company

Opinions have to come from all levels, which is why our committee has members from all parts of the Medivet family including our support centre and field operations team.

The committee includes: Heads of Clinical Operations, Clinical Operations Manager, Area Managers, Head Nurses, Deputy Head Nurses, Registered Veterinary Nurse, Student Veterinary Nurse, Mobile Registered Veterinary Nurse, Night Registered Veterinary Nurse, HR Business Partner, Learning and development team members, Branch Partner and Apprenticeships Managers.

By bringing together so many different roles, we can strengthen what we can achieve as a committee through individual ideas, building on each others’ insight, and ultimately, seeing things from all perspectives. We believe that to achieve success everyone must work together on an equal level and we know this committee achieves exactly that.

Already there has been positive impact from the committee’s very first meeting; based on nurse feedback, there has been a change in Medivet’s pay structure.

During the second meeting, the committee heard from one of our branch partners who is completing a project on the motivation of veterinary nurses. Throughout this project, she will be focusing on the inclusion of Schedule 3 surgeries and procedures, and other skills nurses have, to ensure our nurses are being used to their potential. This insight will allow our nurses to feel even more valued within their teams.

Rebecca Nickerson“I am an RVN and have been nursing for more than 10 years. Being undervalued has always just been accepted as something that comes with a vocation such as ours. I never thought this would change until now. Being given a platform to voice how beneficial it is to value nurses is exciting, and I'm hopeful for the future that this will become common practice for us all, and that committees like ours won't be such a novel idea.”

 

Rebecca Nickerson, Night Registered Veterinary Nurse

Being at the forefront of change

We want to lead change; from issues such as pay and work-life balance to job satisfaction. By discussing the issues some of our nurses may be facing, we’re making it clear that we are open to hearing feedback on ways of working and everything in between.

This committee plays an important part in being able to implement new procedures and strategies at Medivet, and to help us invest further in our people.

Charlotte Shaw“I have been an RVN for three-and-a-half years and have worked in the veterinary industry for more than eight years. I have seen so many nurses come and go, and it was never really questioned why. I have spent periods of my career feeling undervalued but just took it as the norm. When I got the email to say this committee was being formed, I jumped at the chance to be the one to question ‘the norm’. Medivet has really supported me during my two years in their employment and I get so much job satisfaction; this is something that should be felt across the board.”

Charlotte Shaw, Head Registered Veterinary Nurse

Medivet is committed to continually supporting and valuing its nurses, as shown by the creation of this committee. No one in this profession should feel unappreciated, and committees such as ours are the first steps to long-lasting change.

We call on the wider veterinary industry to do the same.