Online pet bereavement support programme from Improve International - Veterinary Practice
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Online pet bereavement support programme from Improve International

Global veterinary education specialist Improve International is launching an online modular pet bereavement programme designed to help veterinary professionals support owners and colleagues through this difficult experience

With levels of pet ownership growing globally and the impact on owners of losing a much-loved animal companion increasingly recognised, global veterinary education specialist Improve International is launching an online modular pet bereavement support programme. The course has been designed to help veterinary surgeons, nurses and the supporting clinical team learn the skills and provide the tools they need to support owners and colleagues through this difficult experience.

FIGURE (1) Lisa Jayne Howe, RVN, Cert Pet Bereavement, course director for Improve International’s Pet Bereavement Support Programme

The programme covers the principles of pet bereavement and the physical, emotional and psychological effects it can have on both clients and the practice team. It offers practical advice, for example, to support those experiencing pet bereavement for the first time; sets out best practices for euthanasia and explores the most effective ways to support grieving clients. The course is led by Course Director and Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) Lisa Jayne Howe, Cert Pet Bereavement, with support from Companion Animal Bereavement Counsellor Carrie Kearns, VCA, ACC Dip PBC, Cert Pet Bereavement, and Kevin Spurgeon, owner of the Dignity Pet Crematorium.

Course content is divided into eight interactive modules, designed to be completed during a 15-month period. Each module includes nine lessons, two reflective studies, course notes and weekly summary videos. As with all Improve International’s online learning programmes, the modules are available 24/7 and are hosted on a world-leading online learning management platform, which also includes interactive ways to learn such as quizzes and a discussion forum. A dedicated Programme Coordinator provides support and assistance to delegates.

This programme provides 50 hours of CPD and delegates will receive an attendance certificate upon course completion.

Commenting on the new programme, Operational Head for Improve International in the UK, Dr Charlotte French, said: “Pets are seen as family members by most owners and dealing with their loss can be difficult and, sometimes, traumatic. Veterinary nurses can play a crucial role in helping them through this painful time. They can also ensure that any affected colleagues receive the support they need.

“Developing skills and experience in this key area is an opportunity for veterinary surgeons, nurses and the supporting clinical team to carve out an additional role for themselves within their practice – a role that will strengthen the bond between clients and the practice, as well as protecting the wellbeing of their colleagues.”

More information on the pet bereavement support programme can be found on the Improve International website.

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