Dear Reader

Don’t throw it all away

It is often said that we live in a ‘disposable’ age. A time when all is transient and nothing is made to last.

At home we no longer repair things. If they go wrong, we simply replace them – washing machines, TVs and mobile telephones. Indeed, so disposable have our lifestyles become, that we often don’t even wait for something to malfunction or wear out before replacing it. We simply must have that latest mobile phone, that trendy new line in designer clothes, those flashy branded trainers.

We are a bit like that with people too, especially those in the ‘public eye’. We build up celebrities and flatter their egos, only to knock them down once we are fed up with their antics or peccadilloes. And, thanks to social media and the internet, this demolition can be orchestrated within hours, even minutes.

It is not only individuals who fall prey to the cult of transience, but institutions and professions are now fair game.

In a Which survey carried out in September 2012, 82% of people placed nurses at the top of their list of trustworthy professions, closely followed by doctors (80%) and teachers (69%). Languishing at the foot of the table were estate agents and bankers (11% each), and journalists and politicians (7% apiece).

Although not specifically listed in this survey, it is a fair bet that as a ‘caring’ profession associated with the welfare of animals, veterinary nurses will be held in high esteem – at the moment. This standing is something that should be taken very seriously indeed and nurtured.

The recognition of the veterinary nursing profession is the result of many years of hard work by a few dedicated individuals. It has been a hard-fought battle. But it will not take much to erode the respect and goodwill currently enjoyed.

Already we have seen one registered veterinary nurse ‘struck off for unprofessional behaviour. And to any neutral observer, a profession – in which over 600 members appear not to care whether or not they retain their names on the professional Register, and less than 20% of its membership can be bothered to vote in its Council elections – doesn’t appear to be one which places great value on the responsibilities that come with official professional recognition.

The RVN professional qualification is not some passing fad. It is a privilege. Don’t throw it all away.


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12021 or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 28 pp 114

• VOL 28 • April 2013 • Veterinary Nursing Journal