A big shout out to all veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians for the fantastic work they do, as we celebrate World Vet Nurse Day this Friday 9 October.

In celebrating the event, the Veterinary Nurses Council of Australia (VNCA) is keen to highlight the changing role of veterinary nurses and the important areas in which they can enhance veterinary practice.

“We need to be building the client advocacy arena. It needs to be shifted much along the same lines as human hospitals, where you see the nurse first then on to the doctor. Veterinary nurses have a wealth of knowledge and what they don’t have, you can teach them. Vets are overworked and few on the ground, so we need to be smart about how to fix the problem. Putting in place protocols and procedures will help to direct veterinary nurses in their roles and increase their skill sets as they go”, said VNCA Board Member Janet Murray. 

There are many ways in which veterinarians can help vet nurses be the best they can be, and Ms Murray recommends implementing three key actions to empower veterinary nurses – trust, support and recognition.

“Trust is so important. Trust that a vet nurse can do a task set out for them, however make sure to set them up right in the first place so they can achieve this. The VNCA has published a set of day one competencies, which is a non-exhaustive list of all the tasks that on completion of the Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, vet nurses should be competent at – vets can build on this, making tasks achievable for their staff.

“Support leads on from this. Veterinary nurses need the support – it is a two-way thing. They are there to support the veterinarian but it has to work both ways. Support can be given in so many ways, such as in the form of time directed to further learning or education, time to teach junior staff, or support in writing and editing protocols for the practice”, said Ms Murray.

The third way to empower veterinary nurses is through recognising their value and worth. World Vet Nurse Day is an ideal time to acknowledge the importance of their role, whether by celebrating the day with an awards ceremony, providing a special lunch, providing access to professional development events or through the simple act of saying thank you. Read more >