Sunday, 22 November 2009

New SVN Training (under consultation)

Well it is coming up to all change for the veterinary nursing profession and for the worst. I was going to stay out of it even though on the vetnurse site l go on we were being asked to input our thoughts.
I did ever so well until 22:45 on the 31st of October, consultations closed on 1st Nov. Then l let loose with both barrels. I did say that l doubted they would read my mail as l was sending insults with my comments as l was so angry.

Back towards the end of the 90’s they got rid of what was called the little green book. This training book was thin and easy to use. Had certain tasks that had to be done and no proof of seeing it other than a signature was required.

Then l ended up on the nvq system, on the first lot through l hated it as we all did. It was so badly organised that even the tutors at college did not know what we needed to do. External verifiers changed faster than someone could spit out chewed up bubble gum and all had different ideas. So what one allowed the next wouldn't and that meant more rewrites. With logs and reports and proof about everything.
This has been refined over the years to an over-heavy bit of paperwork and very expensive to run for the practices and has meant a lot of training practices have stopped doing training. The present system needs slimming down, more training practices need to be opened but not like suggested.

Apparently some government funding is ending so now they are throwing baby out with the bathwater and dumbing the whole system down. Of course it is all “consultation stage” yea right and you believe that, most of us (VN's) believe it is a done deal.
I do know that anyone from colleges l have spoken to or who has posted on it on the vet nursing forum l belong to is furious about the changes.

So the new deal will be open to 16year olds, great they are for the most part still very immature and not suitable, certainly for veterinary work.
At the moment students spend time at the practice while they find out if the person is suitable for veterinary nursing. Like all jobs many do not like the reality but even more so in vet nursing.
It has great moments that can make up for the bad for a short time. Over all though is a dirty sad and demanding job. You do a lot of cleaning, you see and help a lot of animals you also help a lot of them die or watch them die as nothing can be done to save them, often for something simple like a new puppy is preferred not the older dog, cruelty to animals is faced daily when you see all the misery that breeders have bred into the species let alone inflicted by bad owners or just random people, bad wages are a big bug, bullying is rife.

The bull on the consultation paper makes out that practices can have new "interns" every year, great you just get someone almost sorted so they can do something and then send them off and a new lot come though.
That practices can have their pick of students. Well actually they can have that now so nothing new there.
That practices won't have to pay students much not even the minimum wage, just a "training allowance". Well that will go down well with some bosses but overall, no pay no reliability or commitment. Wages may be bad now but at least students, are getting something.
At the moment you need to do a minimum number of hours/year in a veterinary practice before you can qualify as a VN that is now being scrapped.

And the really good one. The present system is being scrapped by 2010, the new one needs to be in place by September 2010 intake of students so colleges need to decide how to teach a new not yet designed system in 11 months. Well minus the time to decide what they system will be so call that ohh 4 or 5 months to arrange training.

New deal:

Year 1 - "full time" at college (2 days a week!!) with 25 days in placement made up from 5 days in TP, 5 days in non TP, 5 days in equine practice, 5 days in large animal practice and 5 days in animal based industry such as a pet shop.

I do not know what the difference between a small animal and general is, no one l have asked vet or nurse knows. Then there is the fact that vn’s have nothing to do with large animals generally. Even those that work at a large animal practice very rarely go out with the vets. Many small animal nurses have horses but many more have no contact and have no wish to, they prefer to work in small animal work. As to pet shops, WTF are we meant to learn there?
In 5 days you will only be allowed to mop floors and make coffees. Practices won’t allow untrained people, for the most part kids to do anything else, especially in this day and age when suing is rife.

Year 2 - full time as an employed student at any practice - could be TP or "auxillary" TP. The portfolio will be abolished and the student will have to fill in an online folio, no-one has mentioned if this folio is checked by anyone or if the student does it themselves. There will be no need for assessors or IVs - just mentors and moderators.

Link to the new guidelines

As to rcvs reading my comments, apparently they have sent thank you emails out to people that replied.. Funnily enough l never received one. I am of course devastated at this turn of events, l chose my words so carefully.


aromatic said...

Well it sounds a total (word I will not say.. but use your imagination!!) up....
As ever some bright spark who hasn't a dam clue yet get paid loads of money to make stupid decisions.....
The more I hear the more I am convinced that the world is going mad!!!
I totally understand your frustration but know only to well that it will fall onto conveniently deaf ears......!!

cambstreasurer said...

As someone who gets lots of enquiries about working with animals I have a horrible feeling this is all really about getting people out of the unemployment statistics. Plus I would guess the RCVS is getting flack about being too "elitist" and not promoting social mobility (not that vet nurses are paid well enough to get far on the mobility stakes).

Vetnurse said...

Sage l agree totally as the saying goes. Expert = ex (has been) spurt (short burst of energy)
I think the rcvs sees my name on an email or letter and throws it in the bin. l have this ability to cut through nicetys and write my mind.
I realise honey catches more than vinegar but in some things l just see it (in this case rcvs) and end up exploding.

Cambs my thoughts are not so much employment stats but cheap labour. The stats part is so that practices can say.. "we have qualified veterinary nurses" the fact that their training will be &()*()*&% is beside the point.