Well we are into the third week of the blog updates and finally we are smoothing out the creases that have developed with writing these. The prose is becoming more natural and the words are springing more readily from the keyboard. At least, tha'ts what I feel anyway! This week I would like to talk about something that is pivotal in the life of veterinary surgeons and nurses alike, however is not well known: CPD.
A roundabout way of explaining it
Without doubt the most famous vet of all time (after Murray, Pip and Sophie of course) is James Herriot. Real name Alf Wight, James Herriot was the protagonist in a semi-autobiographical series about life of a vet in a mixed practice in the Yorkshire Dales. His stories have been turned to screen by the BBC more than once and has been an absolute sensation. The reason why I mention this is that one particular story resonates in my head. Hopefully I am not infringing on anything by repeating this.
James gets a phone call at about 2am as there is a problem calving on a farm up on the Dales, with the farmer suitably worried. So the diligent vet he is, James agrees to come out and is on the farm within half an hour. The strange situation is that the farmer looks perplexed at James' rather crumpled attire and sleep-deprived face once he arrives.
“Did I wake you or something?”
Exasperated, James replies: “Yes, of course, what did you think I was doing?”
“I dunno, revising?”
As we know, all vets are human (probably) and need their sleep like the rest of us however this requirement for revision does have some ring of truth. After graduation from respective schools, all British vet graduates are enrolled into the RCVS (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons), hence the acronym MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). This is also true for any Registered or Listed Veterinary Nurses. The RCVS is the regulatory body for all vets in the UK and no vet or vet nurse is allowed to practice in the UK without this accreditation. Part of the requirements for remaining within the RCVS is to participate in Continued Professional Development or CPD.
CPD can be almost anything that will enhance a veterinary professional's skills in a chosen area. All veterinary surgeons graduate as omni-competent, meaning that they should be able to help all common pet, livestock and equine species to equal potential. It is unlikely in the current vet world that any one vet will require all these skills and will tend to choose to focus on one group of animals instead. Therefore within the branch which the vet has chosen, they can use CPD either to further their knowledge, for example expanding into soft tissue surgery, or to reaffirm what they already know, like interpreting radiographs. The RCVS state that all veterinary surgeons must do at least 105 hours of CPD in a rolling 3 year period (equating to roughly 1 week a year) and veterinary nurse must complete 45 hours in a given 3 year period (around 2 days a year).
Who's doing what CPD?
Murray: As was mentioned in the first revamp of the blog, Murray was disappearing off on CPD. Well he is back and has done quite well out of it. Since veterinary is also a business, Muz went to the Practice Owners and Managers Congress. Whilst there, Murray was involved in the big debate of the day, which was independent veterinary practices against cooperates practices. Unsurprisingly, he was the not so little guy standing up against some of the biggest names in cooperate practices, and from what we gather, Muz managed to stand his ground.
Pip: A few of you may know this already, but Pip is our orthopaedic surgery expert. Because of this, she is heading off in April to learn about how to deal with a broken pelvis. This will mean that she is even better prepared for any situation regarding broken bones.
Sophie: Travelling to external congresses and seminars isn't the only way to complete CPD. Back in October, Soph enrolled herself in an X-Ray diagnostic imaging course online. Coming out in instalments, it helped with her analysis and interpretation of X-ray screening. She did so well in it, that at the end of CPD test, Sophie managed a casual 100% (?!).
Debbie Ash: Debs is off to Tilley Farm in a few weeks to expand her horizons on a method known as T-Touch. T-Touch is behavioural management treatment to calm and alter behaviours within an animal by circular movements of the hands and fingers across the patient's body. For more information about T-Touch, head to http://www.ttouch.com/.
Once again, shameless requests for money are forefront. Hayley and Bridget are braving the cold, rain and wind to run around Bath in aid of HEART on the 2nd of March, so if you like to donate, just pop in either surgery and put your name down.
Also, if you would like to contribute to the blog in any way, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come in and leave a message, and we will try to get back to you asap. You never know, you may feature in next week's instalment.