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Nursekind campaign launches after survey reveals industry looking for ‘growth and further recognition’

ROYAL CANIN®, a leading provider of pet health nutrition, has today launched the Vet Nursekind campaign, encouraging pet owners to be aware of and utilise the expertise and training of Vet Nurses and Technicians across New Zealand, and provide much needed resources and additional education opportunities for Vet Professionals.

This comes after ROYAL CANIN® and the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) recently conducted an extensive survey examining the experiences and perspectives of almost 300 Vet Nurses and Technicians in the New Zealand veterinary industry. The survey reveals the profession wants greater recognition of their role caring for our pets, with more than eight-in-ten Vet Nurses and Technicians supporting mandatory registration of Vet Nurses.

The study highlighted over 90% of Veterinary Nurses across Australia and New Zealand are hungry to keep learning as they support pet owners across both countries. The results showed Vet Nurses are skilled professionals, with over 85% of New Zealand Vet Professionals having advanced qualifications in veterinary nursing, with the most likely reasons for further study being looking to build on their knowledge or expanding the services they can offer to pet owners in clinic.

Royal Canin is teaming up with Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business to support this growth mindset of Veterinary Nurses in Australia, jointly sponsoring 50 New Zealand Nurses and Technicians to undertake a 12-month pilot with education from a training program called Emerging Leaders, starting this year. The program will provide tailored non-clinical skills development for them, assisting in areas such as greater effectiveness in their roles, fostering healthier workplace relationships and enhancing their leadership.

“As a Vet Professional myself, formal qualifications prepare you well for the clinical aspects of the role, but less so for the complexities of running a clinic, how to handle difficult conversations with pet owners, or help contribute to a strong working culture,” Royal Canin Chief Health Officer, Dr Bronwen Slack said.

“We are so pleased to be coming together with the NZVNA and respective education provider, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business, to launch the Emerging Leaders campaign.

“Vet Nurses and Technicians are dedicated and have a passion for animal welfare. Without them, the healthcare of our pets will suffer. Pet owners can play a role in

supporting Vet Nurses by demonstrating our appreciation for the skill and commitment they show to the care of our pets,” Dr Slack said.

“This targeted non-technical competency training has proven over the last 11 years to support more wellbeing, satisfaction, and effectiveness for Veterinary Professionals, as well ensuring healthier cultures and enhanced outcomes for the organisations they work within,” Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business Director, Dr Michael Powell said.

“We are delighted to be involved with this initiative aimed at empowering Nurses and Technicians to experience more success and fulfillment in the important work they do, as we appreciate the critical role they play in the success and sustainability of the profession.”

The new program comes on top of Royal Canin’s investment in the Clinical Coaching program, investing $40,000 for the last two years helping mentor student Vet Nurses. The program offers Vet Nursing students an opportunity to be mentored by a registered Vet Nurse throughout their training, offering theoretical and practical clinical skills students need to prepare them for their roles.

With the support of the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA), we want to develop the professionalism of Vet Nurse and Technician specialisation by also advocating for mandatory registration of all New Zealand Vet Nurses – something 82% of New Zealand Vet Nurses surveyed support.

“The NZVNA Executive Committee is delighted to be working with Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business and Royal Canin to offer the Emerging Leaders pilot program to several of our members. By offering this program we are not only giving our members the opportunity to advance their skills for career progression, but also supplying them with the ability to help themselves and other allied veterinary professionals that are experiencing burn-out from what can be an emotionally challenging career,” Amy Ross, NZVNA President said.

“We are excited to be able to offer this fantastic opportunity to help grow veterinary nursing leaders in Aotearoa with the help of Royal Canin and the Lincoln Institute. We know many veterinary nurses are in leadership roles and we are confident this programme will enable them to support themselves and their teams better.” Laura Harvey, NZVNA Vice-President said.

Additional key findings from the survey also showed:

● There were 85% of vet professionals surveyed that possessed advanced qualifications in Vet Nursing, yet there exists a disparity in how their expertise is perceived by pet owners in comparison to veterinarians. This lack of recognition can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of not only our pets, but the vet nurses themselves.

● 32% felt as though their jobs would be made easier with something as simple as being acknowledged and recognised for their work, being made to feel appreciated from pet owners for the hours and multiple roles they are doing.

● With preventative health at the forefront of discussion vet nurses are having with pet owners, the top four issues discussed were worming and flea prevention, vaccinations, dental/oral health and nutrition. However, only an average of 70% of the time are these topics being brought up, with time being the number one barrier. The survey showed that the lack of staff and acknowledgment from pet owners is impacting on the conversations and ultimately the health of our pets.

“For the long-term success of your vet clinic and the vet professionals that work in it, take the time to say thanks and acknowledge the expertise of your local vet nurse and technician for the work they do, to offer the best care to our pets,” Dr Slack concluded.

Tips for how to be Vet Nursekind From the Royal Canin Chief Health Officer, Dr Bronwen Slack.

Learning how to interact effectively with your Vet Nurse / Technician can not only improve your experience but can positively impact your pet’s health and wellbeing.

Here are some top tips for interacting with you Vet Nurse / Technician:

1. Be Respectful and Courteous: Just like with any healthcare professional, it’s important to treat veterinary nurses with respect and courtesy. They play a crucial role in your pet’s care, and showing kindness goes a long way.

2. Provide Clear Information: When discussing your pet’s condition or symptoms, be as detailed and clear as possible. This will help the vet nurse understand the situation and relay accurate information to the rest of the vet team.

3. Ask Questions: Vet nurses are highly knowledgeable and can provide valuable insights about your pet’s health. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about treatments, medications, procedures, and nutrition. They can offer explanations in an accessible language. Communicate any concerns by asking questions on how to best manage the issue.

4. Update Medical History: If your pet has had any recent medical issues, surgeries, or changes in behaviour, make sure to update the vet nurse. A comprehensive medical history helps them provide the best possible care.

5. Discuss Costs: If cost is a concern, you can discuss it with the vet nurse. They can provide estimates for treatments or procedures and help you explore different options.

6. Express Gratitude: If the vet nurse has gone above and beyond in caring for your pet, expressing gratitude is always appreciated. A simple thank you can make their day.

Remember that veterinary nurses work alongside veterinarians to provide the best care for your pet. Building a positive and respectful relationship with them can lead to better outcomes for your pet.


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