Our Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses specifically states that “veterinary nurses must work together and with others in the veterinary team and business, to coordinate the care of animals and the delivery of services”.

Where communication between colleagues is inadequate and working relationships poor, the ability to deliver a good service to clients can be severely impeded. This applies not only to immediate colleagues in the same workplace but also members of the profession working in other practices and fields of work outside of clinical practice.

In the ‘Communication between professional colleagues’ chapter of our supporting guidance to the Code, we develop this further and say that overtly poor relationships between veterinary nurses and/or veterinary surgeons is not only potentially bad for business but can undermine public confidence in the profession.

Specifically, we say that veterinary nurses should not speak or write disparagingly about another veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon – including on social media or online fora. Again, this applies not only to immediate colleagues but all other members of the profession.

The guidance also highlights the animal welfare implications of poor communication between colleagues, for example, in the sharing of clinical records. It recommends that, in circumstances where more than one veterinary surgeon and/or veterinary nurse has responsibility for the care of a group of animals, veterinary nurses should properly liaise with colleagues. For example, to promptly provide relevant clinical information to colleagues who are taking over the responsibility for a case and to provide proper documentation for all referrals or re-directed cases.

To read the guidance in full please visit www.rcvs.org.uk/ communication. Our guidance on social media can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/socialmedia

Seminar for VN educators

On 30 April we hosted a meeting for higher education institutions and awarding organisations providing veterinary nursing training at our offices in London to talk about nursing standards and assessment.

Among the topics discussed with delegates were enrolments, examiner training, how to develop and implement a fitness to practise policy and examination marking. Julie Dugmore, Head of Veterinary Nursing, also took the opportunity to introduce our new handbooks for veterinary nursing training centres which incorporate our standards and procedures for the approval and quality monitoring of veterinary nursing qualifications.

These handbooks are available to download from www.rcvs.org.uk/publications

Farewell to Freda

In April we said a very sad farewell to Freda Andrews who retired as Director of Education after 15 years at the College. Freda had strategic oversight over our veterinary nursing and veterinary surgeon education teams which are headed up by Julie Dugmore and Christine Warman respectively.

Final exams

The final examinations for RCVS Awards will take place in June. The theory exams take place between 15 and 20 June while the OSCE practical exams take place on 26 and 27 June. RCVS Awards will wind down on 1 December.

Charter party

In March we held a special event at the Members’ Dining Room of the House of Commons to celebrate the recent implementation of our new Royal Charter which recognises veterinary nursing as a fully regulated profession.

Over 200 people – including veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons, Members of Parliament and Peers of the House of Lords – attended the event, including representatives from the BVNA.

 Among the speakers was Kathy Kissick, the Chair of VN Council, who spoke of her intense pride at the fact that veterinary nurses had now received full recognition as professionals.

Professor Stuart Reid, our President, added that the College was now looking into a full range of legislative options to gain protection of title – so that only those who are qualified and registered veterinary nurses can refer to themselves as such.

• VOL 30 • May 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal