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What is VCA Congress?

VCA Congress is a one day virtual event focused solely on roles within the varied veterinary care field - exploring all aspects of the roles; from the many different responsibilities, to the challenges that are faced on a daily basis.

You’ll get the chance to listen to a variety of relevant lectures from expert industry speakers and gain valuable CPD on topics including:

  • Client Care for the VCA
  • Compassion Fatigue: What Veterinary Teams Need to Know
  • An Introduction to Patient-friendly Practice
  • Next Steps: The Veterinary Nursing Diploma Route…
  • First Aid - How can I help?
  • Anaesthesia Monitoring: Putting together the pieces of the puzzle

Who should attend?

This congress is suitable for those studying for a Veterinary Care Support or Veterinary Care Assistant qualification, as well as for those already working within these roles and similar roles, within veterinary practices and animal care environments. The congress will be particularly useful if you are:

  • New to your role and looking for some guidance
  • Interested in learning more about veterinary care
  • Aiming to progress within your role
  • Interested in progressing onto veterinary nurse training in the future
  • Interested in keeping up-to-date with everything happening in the industry

Why attend?

  • Listen to lectures from a range of speakers who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge
  • Q&A sessions mean your questions will be answered by the speakers themselves
  • Gain practical takeaways on a variety of topics that you can implement in your practice
  • Gain online access to recordings of all the lectures and lectures from previous congresses up until the next event

Online Registration, Exhibition and Lounges

Chair's Welcome

Kirsty Jones RVN Cert Ed, The College of Animal Welfare

Client Care for the VCA

Dr Liz Walker BVetMed BSAVA PgCert SAM MRCVS, IntinsiaVet

The role of the VCA in clinical practice entails far more than animal care. Understanding the client journey and the role you play within it is essential for success in clinical practice. Learning tools and techniques for effective communication will support with each client interaction and help you to successfully navigate the challenging situations as they may arise.
This presentation will cover the following key learning objectives:

  • The importance of the client journey in clinical practice
  • The role of the VCA in the client journey
  • Communication skills for ideal client interactions
  • Tools and techniques for challenging situation

Compassion Fatigue: What Veterinary Teams Need to Know

Dr Rosie Allister BSc (Hons) BVSc MSc PhD MRCVS, VetLife

Veterinary teams work hard and look after others, to do that sustainably we need to look after ourselves. There are times when we do our best, and it still doesn’t feel enough. Some of our work means we encounter trauma and suffering that affects us in ways we might not expect. Research on moral injury and compassion fatigue offers some explanation for psychological aspects of the work we do and points to strategies for prevention and support. This session looks at what helps.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Morning Break, Online Exhibition and Lounges

An Introduction to Patient-friendly Practice

Linda Ryan BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare, VTS (Behaviour and Oncology), DipAVN (Medical), KPA-CTP, RVN, CCAB, Inspiring Pet Teaching

This session will introduce the concepts and theory of patient-friendly practice.

We will consider what patient-friendly practice is, and why is matters – across all aspects of veterinary care. We will look at some of the practicalities for use in day-to-day veterinary work, considering techniques to prevent and reduce distress as we care for patients.

We will cover what owners can do to prepare pets for low stress veterinary care; what veterinary staff can and should know and do to promote positive vet visits and support pets and their people; and discuss the power of a team in achieving success.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Lunch Break, Online Exhibition and Lounges

*Optional stream* Next Steps: The Veterinary Nursing Diploma Route…

Claire Hobson RVN Cert Ed Canine Hydrotherapist, The College of Animal Welfare
Lisa Forrest BA(Hons) GTP, The College of Animal Welfare

Are you thinking of taking the next steps to train for the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing? Are you concerned you may not meet entry requirements and are looking for ways to achieve these? If so, please join CAW’s Claire Hobson (Head of Veterinary Studies, Leeds and Wigan) and Lisa Forrest (Additional Learning Support Manager) for some additional guidance.

Claire will talk through the role of the Veterinary Nurse and the entry requirements needed to undertake the qualification. Lisa will follow with advice on how to achieve Maths and English if needed, and explain the difference between Functional Skills and GCSEs. You may find it is easier than you think! Both will available on the day to answer any further questions within the live Q&A session.

First Aid - How can I help?

Louise Chappell BSc (Hons) Dip AVN RVN, The College of Animal Welfare

This presentation will cover the following key points:

  • The VCA role in telephone triage - top ten emergencies and what questions to ask to get the most information for the veterinary surgeon
  • How to keep calm in these situations
  • The legalities of providing first aid and who has the ability to perform first aid
  • How to be prepared
  • Some scenario based discussions, to put the information into practice

Anaesthesia Monitoring: Putting together the pieces of the puzzle

Courtney Scales DipVN, NCert(Anaesth), RVN, Veterinary Anursethesia

When monitoring a patient’s anaesthesia, each physiological parameter is like a piece of a puzzle and it is vital to understand how they all fit together, to form the bigger picture.

In this presentation, we will look at all these physiological parameters whilst discussing what they actually mean and how to defunk the terminology.

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • The Palpebral Reflex
  • Eye Position
  • Jaw Tone
  • Pedal Reflex
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • Blood Pressure
  • Capnography
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Chair's Close

Kirsty Jones RVN Cert Ed, The College of Animal Welfare

Online Exhibition and Lounges

Please note this programme is subject to change.

Speaker information for our 2023 event will be available soon. In the meantime, see who presented at our 2022 event:

Claire HobsonClaire Hobson RVN Cert Ed Canine Hydrotherapist 
The College of Animal Welfare

Claire is the new Head of Vet Studies at our Leeds campus, and previously was the diploma lead. Claire teaches on the Veterinary Nursing degree practical elements for all years, and on the diploma in all areas. She is also involved with the student recruitment and assists with the interviews for potential BSc and diploma students.

Claire qualified as an RVN in 2004 and started working at CAW in 2014. She has a background in charity and referral practice. Claire particularly loves surgical nursing and rehabilitation.

Claire was one of the first small handful of nurses to gain an accredited qualification in canine hydrotherapy! She worked in an orthopaedic referral practice for eight years and was heavily involved in the rehabilitation and surgical teams.

Outside of CAW, she is also an online mentor for the RCVS Leadership and Management course.

Courtney ScalesCourtney Scales DipVN, NCert(Anaesth), RVN
Veterinary Anursethesia

Courtney is originally from New Zealand where she trained and qualified. She has been working as a veterinary nurse since 2007 and after working in several small animal clinics in New Zealand, an anaesthesia passion took her to a large referral hospital in Australia.

In 2016, Courtney made the move to the United Kingdom where she most recently had been working as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in the Anaesthesia Department at the Royal Veterinary College. Courtney is now a Clinical Educator for Burtons Veterinary Equipment. She has completed her Nurses Certificate in Anaesthesia and is starting the PgCert in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia through the University of Edinburgh this year.

Throughout her studies and career, she started Veterinary Anursethesia on various social media platforms to share anaesthesia tips with the veterinary community. She has written several articles for journals and enjoys speaking to Student Veterinary Nurses and Registered Veterinary Nurses on “all things anaesthesia”.

Liz WalkerDr Liz Walker BVetMed BSAVA PgCert SAM MRCVS

Liz graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, and subsequently went on to achieve a post graduate certificate in Internal Medicine with BSAVA. After several years in first opinion practice, undertaking turnaround projects and running her own clinic, Liz moved on to become a director of one of the UK’s largest veterinary corporate organisations. Having undertaken further studies at LSE and Henley Business School, Liz now works as a Director for an international veterinary management consultancy firm, IntrinsiaVet, as well as being a qualified Executive and Leadership Coach. Liz is also a mentor for young adults from underprivileged backgrounds, a trustee for a homeless charity, and a Non-Executive Director of an international veterinary corporate organisation.

Dr Rosie Allister

Dr Rosie Allister BSc (Hons) BVSc MSc PhD MRCVS

Dr Rosie Allister has received the BVA Chiron Award and RCVS Impact Award for work on veterinary mental health. Rosie manages Vetlife Helpline, a 24 hour support service for everyone in the UK veterinary community. Her research, based at the University of Edinburgh, looks at veterinary professionals’ mental health, wellbeing in transitions, and suicide prevention. She has written and spoken extensively about veterinary mental health in the UK and internationally. She has volunteered with Samaritans for 18 years and advises a number of national organisations on suicide prevention and self harm.

Kirsty JonesKirsty Jones RVN Cert Ed
The College of Animal Welfare

Kirsty qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1997 whilst working in a mixed practice in South Wales and studying at Berkshire College of Agriculture.  She then progressed to train as an assessor and actively trained and coached members of staff to obtain excellent customer service skills and practical nursing techniques.

After ten years in practice, in 2002, she made the move into Further Education; where she was managing and teaching on courses such as the Veterinary Nursing, Animal Care, Equine and Agriculture.  This provided Kirsty with the opportunity to demonstrate and show her strengths in supporting others to achieve their goals in life within the Veterinary Industry.

In 2005, Kirsty gained a certificate in Education and then went on to gain internal verifier and examiner qualifications.

Kirsty joined The College of Animal Welfare as a distance learning tutor in 2012 and in 2022, progressed to Deputy Manager for the Distance Learning School. This role involves working closely with the Head of Distance Learning in supporting over 400 Level 2 learners.

Whatever her role, Kirsty’s only goal has always been to be the best she can be.  She finds her current role both challenging and wonderful!  She provides educational support to assessors, tutors, employers and students; whilst problem solving and sourcing activities to develop learning in the Distance Learning School.

Linda RyanLinda Ryan BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare, VTS (Behaviour and Oncology), DipAVN (Medical), KPA-CTP, RVN, CCAB
Inspiring Pet Teaching

Linda is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behaviour, and in Oncology, and an ASAB-accredited Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (for cats and dogs).

Linda has been nursing for 22 years and - through working with her feline, oncology and critical care patients – she has developed a keen interest in behavioural health. She now specialises in cat and dog clinical behaviour work and training; and to integrating behavioural considerations into veterinary care.

Linda runs Inspiring Pet Teaching, seeing feline and canine clinical behaviour cases, working alongside veterinary colleagues, supporting caregivers, and providing continuing education for veterinary and training/behaviour professionals.

Lisa ForrestLisa Forrest BA(Hons) GTP
The College of Animal Welfare

Lisa began her career in banking and financial services after gaining a degree in Accountancy. She then moved into education and taught Primary for 10 years, with a range of responsibilities for phonics, ICT, reading, assessment, and spent her last year as Deputy Head. Lisa then made the decision to move into adult education and worked at Leeds City College training teaching assistants to work both in the classroom and one to one, supporting English and Maths and learners with additional needs such as Autism, ADHD and dyslexia. Lisa moved to The College of Animal Welfare and CAW Business School in 2018, initially as a basic skills tutor, and now teaches Functional Skills across the college, along with AAT Level 2, and is also responsible for supporting learners with additional needs with academic writing and developing materials to support English and Maths across all the subjects offered by the College.

Louise ChappellLouise Chappell BSc (Hons) Dip AVN RVN
The College of Animal Welfare

Louise qualified as an RVN in 2007 and has worked in first opinion, referral and emergency areas.  She went on to complete numerous additional studies, such as the Advanced Nursing Diploma and the BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing.

Louise particularly enjoys getting involved with those tricky medical and emergency cases and though she started working for the College of Animal Welfare as a Veterinary Nursing Lecturer, she still also works in practice as an emergency and critical care nurse.

Louise has also been involved in training of Veterinary Care Assistants in practice, along with the training of Clinical Coaches for student veterinary nurses.

Register your details now to receive information about this event and other CPD courses

Interested in exhibiting at VCA Congress?

VCA Congress is a one day virtual event focused solely on roles within the varied veterinary care field.

Why exhibit with us?

  • Limited exhibitor numbers - Unlike larger congresses where hundreds of exhibitors often mean that visitors will not remember everyone, exhibition space for these events is strictly limited. As such you will get the opportunity to engage with the delegates attending our congresses personally.
  • Make meaningful business connections – Network with those that influence decision making in veterinary practice and make relevant industry contacts virtually.
  • Cost effective – with exhibitor packages starting from just £50+VAT, our prices offer value for money and fall considerably below that of larger events within the industry.

To find out more contact Claire Gregory on 01480 422060.