The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is sponsoring the latest series of Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks, run by VetLed, a leading provider of ‘human factors’ skills training for veterinary professionals, supported by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA).
The Veterinary Nurse Think Tank series is running as part of an ongoing collaboration between MMI and VetLed, aiming to tackle incivility in the workplace and encourage working environments which make wellbeing a priority.
So far, the collaboration has included the running of six fully-funded civility training sessions, a full day of free psychological safety workshops as part of VetLed’s Safe to Speak Up campaign, and the first of four Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks.
VetLed first established the Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks in 2021, to provide a safe and dynamic space for veterinary nurses to explore veterinary “human factors” – an established discipline which utilises scientific knowledge about the human body, mind and behaviour to better understand human fundamental capabilities and limitations. Human Factors such as stress, fatigue, and communication barriers can have a huge impact on working culture and, when misunderstood, can stunt positive progress.
According to a 2021 MMI survey of student veterinary nurses, recently graduated veterinary nurses and clinical coaches, 96 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that bullying and incivility was a serious problem in the profession. A recent VetLed poll of veterinary teams also revealed similar findings, with 97 percent of those polled having been on the receiving end of incivility in practice.
Based on the findings of the surveys, it was decided that the Think Tank events should focus on four key areas. The first think tank was titled “Identity and values”, and the remaining sessions will be focused on the following:
- “Everyday leadership” – Thursday 21 July 2022
- “Innovation and problem solving” – Thursday 20 October 2022
- “When things go wrong: The importance of a just culture” – Thursday 19 January 2023
Mind Matters Manager Lisa Quigley said: “It’s fantastic to be working with VetLed and the BVNA to run these think tanks. Maintaining a positive working culture is essential both for the wellbeing of the practice team, but also for the well-being of the animals in their care.”
“Veterinary nurses carry out vital work and are an essential part of the practice team. It’s therefore of utmost importance that they feel empowered and safe to have their voices heard, and supported to drive sustainable, positive change.”
Helen Silver-MacMahon, research and development director at VetLed, said: “VetLed is delighted to be collaborating with the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative, supported by the BVNA, to ensure that every nurse has free access to CPD which supports their wellbeing and helps cultivate positive practice cultures.
“The next Think Tank will focus on everyday leadership, where we will be exploring some of the potential challenges facing aspiring and current veterinary nurse leaders, and the ways in which these challenges can be approached. The session is interactive, so we actively encourage people to share their experiences, to allow us all to learn from and support each other.”
The Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks are open to all veterinary nurses, including students. Each session lasts 90 minutes, commencing at 7.30pm. Places are available to book via the MMI Civility Hub.