Back in the Spring, ‘The College of Animal Welfare’ was keen to learn your views on the current veterinary nursing training qualification that leads to RVN registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
Your opinion was and remains very important. As promised at the time I am now in a position to provide feedback to you. 646 people took part in the on-line survey. We have selected some interesting slides to share with you, and where available, some of the written feedback. May I thank you for your contributions and time; we will run something similar in 2016, please watch this space.
Barbara Cooper Hon Assoc RCVS Cert Ed Lic IPD DTM RVN
Principal, The College of Animal Welfare
Who took part?
A broad range of contributors provided feedback, but, it is fair to record that the vast majority were from the small animal practice environment, and as you would expect from a college survey, the largest cohort was Student VNs followed by clinical coaches.
No huge surprises in this set of slides; entry level qualifications are seen as appropriate and the balance of theory and practice hours received a thumbs up. Interestingly, the minimum age requirement is seen as 18, but, worth noting that if the qualification level remains as it is then it is quite possible that a 16 year old could start the qualification. Considerable written feedback was recorded under the age requirement, here are a few quotes:
- “I feel that students leaving school need to enter a relevant course or education soon after while they are keen to learn and develop. I would worry that if they had to wait for a further 1 or 2 years they may spend time unemployed and not in training. I am aware however that not everyone knows what path they want toi take at 16.”
- “ At 16 a young person may not have the maturity to handle a commitment to the vet nurse requirements”
- “Each individual is different.”
- “We have started 16 year olds if they have the maturity for the position.”
- “I believe that 16-17 year olds need more life skills before joining the course. Some younger people still haven’t really decided what they want to do and leave the course. This takes up a place on the course when someone else could have it who will complete it.”
- “Dealing with controlled drugs , need to be 18+.”
- “As long as the student of any age can meet the training requirements – Working hours and completion of coursework, age should not be a barrier.”
How prepared for employment is a newly qualified VN?
We selected a few topics under this heading to feedback, mostly where 100 or more replied ‘not very’ and ‘Does the job’. From an employer’s point of view ‘not very’ is an answer they would prefer not to see. Some of the feedback included the following commentary:
- “Usually very adept at the practical aspects of nursing and make great VNs, however, usually train in one place so limited in experience.”
- “lack confidence, knowledge and skill.”
- “Too Young, not enough relevant work experience.”
In your opinion are there any subject areas that need adding or removing?
The two stand out lines are the majority wishing to remove ‘Equine’ & ‘Large animal’ from the curriculum. In the main the vast majority of subjects carry a no change narrative, but, where we have 100 or more respondents asking for an increase in education this does need addressing. In our next survey we will ask for suggestions on how best to tackle this going forward. However if you are a CAW student and you feel you need help in any of the specific areas above please raise it with your tutor at your next meeting.
Views on the amount of each assessment type
Based on the survey feedback the balance of assessments appears to be correctly supported by the NPL.