New PCA training courses introduced by Linnaeus for 2022
Three technical training courses for Patient Care Assistants (PCAs) are being rolled out in 2022 by Linnaeus, one of the UK’s largest veterinary groups.
A Diagnostic Support programme is being introduced in April, followed by Inpatient Care for Exotics in June and Laboratory Diagnostic Support in October.
The free modular courses will be offered to PCAs across Linnaeus. Participants can access online resources, a training handbook and a bespoke skills list developed in line with RCVS legislation. Practical work is completed under the supervision of a qualified mentor.
The development of PCAs and student nurses at Linnaeus is overseen by Trish Scorer, Lead Pre-registration Experience Manager within the group’s Veterinary Nursing Central Support (VNCS) team.
Chief Nursing Officer Dr Andrea Jeffery – who pioneered the creation of the VNCS team and has led its work since it was set up in 2020 – said:
“A growing number of our PCAs are working in specific areas of clinical practice. We want to ensure they have the necessary support to realise their full potential, develop confidence and progress further in their careers. There are a range of topics for our PCAs to access, with more technical CPD courses due to be offered in 2023.
“It’s vital our PCAs are fully trained and utilised in their jobs, so they can provide the best possible support to their patients and colleagues. Their expertise underpins the high quality of care that we can offer, demonstrating the immense value that PCAs bring to every team.”
The new courses follow three technical training programmes for PCAs introduced in 2021: Theatre Support, Inpatient Care and Sterile Supplies. Attendees for those courses, which continue to be offered, come from both referral hospitals and primary care.
Martine Rowley, a PCA at Linnaeus-owned Maven Veterinary Care in Sutton, has completed the Inpatient Care programme. She commented:
“I signed up to the training to refresh my skills but it will also benefit new starters as it allows them to learn new protocols gradually. It was really helpful to go through the different sections of the course with my mentor, as we discussed different situations in a lot of detail.
“I’m now studying the theatre support course and I can’t wait to learn more about preparing patients for surgery.”
Jasmin Douthwaite, a PCA at Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield, added:
“My training in sterile supplies really increased my knowledge in this area. I’m now planning to undertake the Linnaeus mentor training programme so I can support other PCAs.”
For more information about Linnaeus and its CPD opportunities, please visit https://www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk/careers/graduates-students-and-apprenticeships/patient-care-assistants-and-student-veterinary-nurses.