Vet nurses tell of workplace bullying and stresses

Vet nurses tell of workplace bullying and stresses

A new survey has revealed that 96% of student veterinary nurses, recently graduated veterinary nurses and clinical coaches agreed that bullying and incivility is a serious problem in the profession.

The study, which questioned more than 650 people, was carried out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative.

It also found that early three-quarters (70%) of respondents had personally experienced a mental health concern and only half had received professional support for their concern.

Over eight in 10 (82%) said that they thought veterinary nursing was a stressful career.

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative manager, said: “A number of our survey findings are extremely concerning, particularly the high levels of bullying, incivility and discrimination reported by participants.

“We conducted the survey with the intention of finding out more about what systemic issues across workplace practices were impacting on the profession’s mental health.

‘Upsetting accounts’

“We want to thank everyone who took part and shared their experiences with us. There were some upsetting accounts shared with us about experiences of bullying and discrimination – no one should go through this at any point in their life, let alone at their place of work.

“Decisive action needs to be taken to tackle this and we will be using the findings of the survey to help form our 2022-2027 strategy and decide what resources and training we create for the profession. Supporting the wellbeing of veterinary nurses and student veterinary nurses is one of our key priorities, and will be part of all future MMI activities.”

Some of the additional key findings from the survey were:

  • One in five (20%) respondents have witnessed or experienced discrimination in an educational setting and around one-third of respondents had witnessed or experienced discrimination in a practice setting
  • Less than one in five (18%) respondents said they believed that veterinary nursing is a well-respected profession
  • Just over half (51%) feel positive about their future in veterinary nursing

The full findings of the survey will be revealed at the upcoming MMI Student Veterinary Nurse Wellbeing Discussion Forum, taking place on Wednesday, November 3.

Sign up to our newsletter here >>>>