Helping nurses to reach their potential

Do you work in a forward-thinking, proactive practice, that empowers nurses to perform the medical nursing tasks that they trained hard for, and play an active role in patient and client care?

At ONCORE we are dedicated to helping nurses to achieve more, to feel fulfilled in their role, to be an active part of the veterinary care team in provision of medical care for your patients.

Whether you are a veterinary nurse aiming to gain more skills and have a higher level of responsibility for medical nursing in your practice, or you’re a vet or practice owner who wants to help the nursing team to achieve this – we can help you.

Why do nurses leave the profession?

Nurses often feel that they are not performing the true nursing roles in practice that they were trained to perform.

Pet owners do not understand or appreciate the importance of veterinary nurses as part of the team, as they do not see the work that they do, and even other members of the practice team may underestimate the capabilities of nurses.

Nurses may be left feeling demotivated, under-utilised and frustrated with their role.

Why do nurses feel unfulfilled in practice?

In some practices, nurses can become the ‘back room’ staff – there to support the work of the veterinary surgeons (which of course, is an integral part of their role too) but without having a nursing identity of their own within the practice.

They see many opportunities where the nursing team could play a more autonomous, responsible part in ongoing patient care, but these opportunities are not explored or actioned.

How does better utilisation of nurses help patients and their owners?

Continuity of care for chronically ill pets is key to better managementIn so many ways!

Preventative medicine should be our primary goal in practice, however often we only see patients for their yearly vaccination, or when there is a problem with their health. Regular, structured nurse clinics for different patient groups will enable practices to advise clients appropriately and in good time, to promote the health of their pets.

Many long-term chronic medical cases would benefit enormously from great contact with the veterinary team, but regular veterinary consultations can be too costly for many clients, so compromises are made. Lower priced nurse consultations, but on a more regular basis, can provide continuity of care, meaning that any problems are identified and dealt with sooner, and clients feel much better supported in caring for their pets.

How does it help veterinary practices?

All practices want to do their best for the patients in their care. By appropriately exploiting the unique and diverse skill set that nurses possess, by involving them in creating robust patient care schedules, whatever the species and age of the pet, and working as a vet-nurse team; we can achieve that.

Who doesn’t want to join and stay with a practice that puts preventative medicine and amazing veterinary care at the heart of what they do?

Is there a business case?

Veterinary practices are businesses – they have to be financially stable in order to survive and to continue to do what they do. Whilst animal welfare is ALWAYS the primary motive, business sense has to come into it too.

Using nurses effectively means that clients will have greater contact with us, will build relationships based on trust, will take our advice. This makes good business and good healthcare sense.

Nurse consultations can be tailored to be more affordable for our clients. This means that clients receive a great level of service at a lower cost, and also that nurses are able to create revenue to feed back into helping to build the practice, train staff better, buy new equipment, and invest in the future healthcare of their patients.

What can you do?

Does some or all of the above ring true with you? Are you feeling as though you could do more in practice, but are not sure how you can make this happen? Are you a vet or practice owner who wants their nursing team to be used effectively?

You might find one of our recent articles useful, and you can view it here.

You may want to talk it through with someone, and work out how you can create a culture in your practice where nurses are key to patient care.

Jill Macdonald, who owns and runs ONCORE, is a veterinary nurse with many years’ experience in practice, in setting up and running nurse-led clinics, and in promoting this culture.

Email her on jill@oncoreepd.co.uk, and request a call-back – she is always delighted to speak to those who want to push our wonderful profession forward.

As you probably already know, ONCORE have created a series of courses to empower nurses in creating a medical management role in practice, and you can view the series here.