Enhanced support introduced for Veterinary Technician Specialist holders and candidates
A pioneering package of support has been introduced at veterinary group Linnaeus for its nurses who are Veterinary Technician Specialists (VTS) or are studying towards this prestigious status.
VTS status recognises veterinary nurses who specialise in a specific discipline and can demonstrate a mastery of knowledge, skills and techniques. This achievement requires around four years of practical experience in a specific discipline, CPD that meets strict criteria, and 12 months of case evidence, a skills list, case logs and reports. Candidates are then invited to sit an exam if they accomplish the required standards.
Linnaeus has established a unique standardised process for all VTS candidates, to ensure everyone is provided with the right level of support and resource. This includes access to an internal mentor at site level and regular contact with Linnaeus’s nursing central support team.
A training agreement covers areas such as additional CPD allowances, study time and networking opportunities specific to the candidate’s specialism. Linnaeus also runs an internal VTS networking group to support both candidates and holders.
VTS holders can now access an enriched CPD package at Linnaeus to support their re-certification process, which takes place every five years. This includes an enhanced CPD budget and time allowance for attendance at international specialist conferences. Holders are also invited to interprofessional discipline-specific away days and offered membership to a specialist organisation.
Vicky Ford-Fennah, Professional Development Manager at Linnaeus and a VTS holder in anaesthesia and analgesia, commented:
“Achieving the VTS status requires hard work and determination. This new process will provide our nurses with the support to set them up for success. It also recognises the different requirements of our VTS holders to maintain their status.
“Not only do our VTS candidates and holders improve their own skills; our education and networking opportunities enable them to share knowledge and become fantastic role models to other nurses wanting to progress their careers.
“Highly skilled nurses are critical to all aspects of veterinary practice, and the expertise of our VTS holders helps to ensure our teams are really efficient, innovative and effective in delivering patient care.”
Linnaeus currently employs 14 VTS holders across its nursing teams, with another 15 working towards their VTS status.
Sophie McMurrough is Nurse Team Leader in internal medicine at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn and a VTS holder in small animal internal medicine. She added:
“VTS status is an incredible achievement that is well-known and respected around the world. Becoming a VTS holder has opened so many windows of opportunity for me. I have been able to master advanced clinical skills, teach my peers and share my knowledge through writing and speaking. I would encourage anyone with a passion for a specialist area to pursue the VTS.
“The additional support now available for both candidates and holders demonstrates how the qualification is highly regarded across Linnaeus. As well as helping with study requirements, this support continues once the VTS is achieved. It enables nurses to continue contributing to the veterinary profession, while maintaining the high standards required to maintain their VTS status.”
For more information about nursing careers at Linnaeus, please visit www.linnaeusgroup.co.uk/medical-and-nursing/veterinary-nursing-support-team/professional-development-team.