XLVets will run its annual Day One competency CPD for final year veterinary students at Conference Aston, Birmingham on 9th and 10th November. The event has an agenda based on survey feedback from students about what they most need to know – namely how to deal with emergencies, both from a clinical and communication perspective, how to have difficult conversations with clients and dealing with common first opinion cases in a real-life context. Around 50 students attended the event in 2018.
One of the benefits of Day One for the students is the chance to talk to recently qualified vets within the XLVet community, ask questions and hear about their experiences. Students also have an opportunity to arrange EMS placements or make connections within practices that may be recruiting in the future.
To attend, the students have to submit a 100-word statement on why they are interested in the option of working in an independent practice. Successful applicants pay a subsidised fee of £95 for single room accommodation (or £75 for a twin room) and all their food over the weekend, saving over £300. The fee also includes a Saturday evening dinner with members of the XLVet community. Applications need to be received by 1st September and those who are successful are notified soon afterwards.
Jane Simpson is People Enabling Manager at XLVets and says that the submissions received for Day One last year were very inspiring. “Clinical freedom and making decisions that are in the best interests of the patient were the most commonly cited reasons for students looking to join an independent practice. People also valued flexibility – in critical areas such as working hours and pay – and the ‘family’ feel that independent practices foster, which meant they believed they would be better supported in their first job.”
Last year, one Nottingham student put it this way*, “As a conscientious and ambitious practitioner, I believe strongly in professional autonomy and having the clinical freedom to make the best choices for individual cases. I want to work for a proactive practice that takes a client centred approach in delivering a high standard of customer care whilst ensuring animal welfare; a practice with integrity that takes ownership for its values and the service it delivers. Work takes up a huge proportion of the day and indeed life, so it is important to me to work alongside like-minded individuals. I believe that people are key and envisage working as part of a collaborative team who carry-out their roles whilst having fun. For these reasons I think my best fit will be in a forward thinking, dynamic independent practice which values staff of all experience levels.”
Commenting from the perspective of a recruiting practice, Simon Wilson of Cain Veterinary Centre noted, “By attending you get to meet new grads and see what it is they are looking for in a job. We recruited a final year student from Edinburgh for farm animal only. It gave us a chance to meet her through EMS arranged after the weekend and to get to know her for a week before offering a position.”
Final year students should submit their application for the Day One event by using the link: http://tiny.cc/aqfs9y by 1st September. Students and veterinary professionals can find out more about XLVets and its community of independently owned practices at https://www.xlvets.co.uk/the-boss/ and www.xlvets.co.uk