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New collaboration to empower vet nurses to challenge incivility and encourage sustainable changes in the workplace

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has collaborated with VetLed, a leading provider of Human Factors skills training for veterinary professionals and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), to lead a series of initiatives that aim to tackle incivility in the workplace and encourage work environments that make employee wellbeing a priority.

The recently launched Civility Training sessions are the first activities of this collaboration that explore how civility can be addressed in the workplace and the impacts that incivility can have across the whole veterinary team. The training was launched in response to MMI research into Student Vet Nurses, which revealed that 96% of student and recently graduated veterinary nurses said that they believed that incivility and bullying were serious problems in the profession.

As well as civility training, MMI and BVNA have collaborated with VetLed on the forthcoming “VetLed Safe to Speak Up campaign” which will launch on 2 May. The campaign aims to empower all members of the veterinary team to talk openly about their mistakes, concerns and new ideas by raising awareness of the importance of psychological safety. Psychological safety is the belief that there won’t be negative repercussions as a result of vocalising thoughts, ideas or concerns, and is an incredibly beneficial value for practices to adopt. Safe to Speak Up will include social media campaign that raises awareness of the benefits of psychological safety and provides advice for how workplaces and individuals can apply psychological safety in their practice.

The Safe to Speak Up campaign will also feature a day of interactive workshops focussed on psychological safety. Taking place on 11 May, the day will include free-to-attend sessions from VetLed that will explain what psychological safety is and how it can be created and maintained in practice. You can book your workshop place here.

The third part of the collaboration will include a series of four Veterinary Nurse Think Tanks; 90-minute interactive learning and discussion sessions that cover key Human Factor themes. The upcoming free workshops include:

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative Manager, said: “We have listened carefully to the feedback from our surveys and consultations to ensure we continue to deliver resources that tackle the wellbeing issues that VNs have concerns about. We are pleased to have partnered with two brilliant organisations that are as passionate about improving the mental health and resilience of the profession as we are. Every single vet nurse should feel comfortable and psychologically supported in their role, and we hope that the training and awareness campaigns that we are running over the upcoming year will ensure that more VNs will feel empowered to talk about their mental health and wellbeing at work.”

Alex Taylor, BVNA President, said: “The BVNA are so pleased to be part of the Civility Training, Think Tanks, and Safe to Speak Up Campaign, especially as these fall in line with our current theme of ‘building resilience’. We recognise how important the mental health of veterinary nurses is, not just for their own wellbeing, but for the good of the workforce too. We are very much looking forward to working alongside MMI and Vetled who will help to provide support and guidance on these important areas for veterinary nurses over the next year.”

Helen Silver-MacMahon, Research and Development Director at VetLed, said: “VetLed are delighted to be collaborating with MMI and BNVA to ensure that all members of the veterinary team are able to access training which promotes the importance of civility and psychological safety in practice and enables them to feel and function at their best. We look forward to running four, very special, Think Tanks for veterinary nurses over the coming year and raising awareness of how Human Factors can empower veterinary nurses to lead positive and practical change in practice.”

Visit the MMI Training Page for more on MMI Training offerings and to book onto a VetLed Civility Training session.