In June 2021, MMI and VN Futures launched a survey to help inform its future work with the veterinary nursing profession.

The survey was specifically aimed at student and newly-qualified veterinary nurses, as well as the clinical coaches responsible for their practical training at RCVS-approved training practices (TPs).

Preliminary findings from the survey were published in September 2021, and you can read an overview of these findings on the Mind Matters website.

The Student Veterinary Nurse Wellbeing Discussion Forum was held on 3rd November 2021, and was attended by people from across all areas of veterinary nursing, including current students, clinical coaches, recently graduated vet nurses and employers.

The key outcomes from the discussions were:

  • More needed to be done to make it clear that the MMI is for the whole veterinary profession, not just vet surgeons.
  • There needed to be additional resources and training to educate employers and the wider veterinary professions about the legal rights for people with a chronic illness and/or disability in the workplace and their expectations in terms of reasonable adjustments.
  • Training needed to be given to help people understand how to address bullying in the workplace and that this should be given as early as their initial veterinary training.
  • Some students said they would not feel comfortable challenging a senior member of staff and said that they would benefit from having training in how to address the behaviour of someone in a senior position.
  • There needed to be a change in the culture around taking breaks and that staff should be actively encouraged to switch off during their break times.

A full report of the Discussion Forum, including highlights and key outcomes is available to download in our Resources section.

Mind Matters Initiative Manager, Lisa Quigley, confirmed that vet nursing and student mental wellbeing would be crucial streams in the MMI 2022 – 2027 strategy.