• Half of pet owners don’t know what veterinary nurses do, VPMA
  • Half of pet owners don’t know what veterinary nurses do, VPMA
  • Half of pet owners don’t know what veterinary nurses do, VPMA
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Half of pet owners don’t know what veterinary nurses do

More than half of animal owners do not understand what registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) do, according to nine in ten vets polled by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

BVA’s ‘Voice of the Veterinary Profession’ survey revealed the vital role RVNs play in practice life, with vets rating the top two most important functions as monitoring animal-patients during anaesthesia (80%) and the medical nursing of in-patients (69%). RVNs undergo years of training, and must complete at least 15 hours of continuing professional development each year, as well as being registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). However the RVN title is not protected in law and currently anyone can refer to themselves as a veterinary nurse.

The findings from BVA, the leading representative body for vets in the UK, are released as a petition to legally recognise RVNs qualifications and expertise reaches its final fortnight. BVA and RCVS are urging animal owners, who benefit from veterinary care, to sign the online petition to protect the vet nurse title.

Sean Wensley President of the British Veterinary Association said:

“These survey results simply reflect what vets across the UK know already – that registered vet nurses’ skills and expertise, in areas including general anaesthesia monitoring and in-patient care, are linchpins of the clinical veterinary team. We’re urging animal owners everywhere to get behind the VN Title campaign and help recognise the expert services provided by RVNs within the veterinary team, and their huge contribution to all of our animals’ health and welfare.”

Liz Cox, Chair of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Veterinary Nurses Council, said:

"This survey underpins the need for all members of the practice team, including veterinary nurses themselves, to make sure that animal owners are aware of the skills and expertise they possess, the tasks they can perform and the training and responsibility that comes with being a registered veterinary nurse. The RCVS and the British Veterinary Nursing Association are currently undertaking the VN Futures project, an ambitious scheme to help the profession prepare for and shape its future, and how we can better promote the profession to the public is likely to be one of its key themes.

“Furthermore, we ask that both vets and veterinary nurses abide by the Code of Professional Conduct’s requirement to use appropriate professional titles for registered and non-registered staff in order to ensure clarity for the public. We would also urge that both members of the profession and the public sign our petition to protect the VN title before it expires on Sunday 14 February.”