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Boost to support for veterinary nurses

8 October 2008

Vet Helpline, run by the Veterinary Benevolent Fund to offer 24-hour support to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses with emotional, addictive or financial problems, has agreed to extend its team of trained volunteers to include two veterinary nurses.

The move comes following concerns raised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Veterinary Nurses Council about sources of support for veterinary nurses, which led to discussions with the Vet Helpline team and the British Veterinary Nursing Association.

The issue has particularly come to the fore now that over 70% of veterinary nurses have joined the RCVS Register.

Registered Veterinary Nurses commit to demonstrate their professional responsibility to colleagues and the animal-owning public, which may lead to increased levels of stress, particularly as RVNs become accustomed to their new responsibilities.

In addition, in the College’s recent Survey of the Veterinary Nursing Profession, the majority of VNs agreed with the statement ‘VN work is stressful’. For both reasons the College is keen to ensure that accessible support is available to VNs.

“I am delighted that Vet Helpline has offered to train veterinary nurses as helpers. The helpline has always been available to veterinary nurses but this move confirms the willingness of the VBF to encourage VNs to use the service,” commented Andrea Jeffery, Chairman of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council.

“I would urge all VNs to use the support services available to them if they feel under pressure, or know that a colleague may need some help,” she adds.

A torch bearing the Vet Helpline number is available free to visitors to the RCVS stand at BVNA Congress this weekend (11 October), together with a leaflet outlining sources of support (pictured above), including Vet Helpline, the Veterinary Surgeons Health Support Scheme, the BVNA Legal Helpline, and the RCVS itself.

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