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News & Comments


Report: Behaviour in veterinary practice

The first ever formal attempt to identify the extent and impact of bullying at veterinary work places was recently conducted by vetsurgeon.org and vetnurse.co.uk supported by Vet Times and VN times through an online survey.

The survey generated over 3500 responses from vets, vet nurses, practice managers etc.  According to the survey most commonly experienced behaviours were:

- being belittled in front of other staff or clients;
- being criticised minutely;
- management or senior staff talking badly behind their back;
-  having their authority undermined.

The report revealed that vet nurses are likely to be bullied by other vet nurses and vets by other vets.

The report compiled by Sally Everitt MRCVS recommends five points for action, which could be summarised as:
(1) encourage discussion in practice
about questionable behaviours,
(2) create awareness of impact of
questionable behaviours on others
(3) reduce likelihood of unpleasant
behaviours occurring in the first place
(4) consider the possibility that the perpetrator’s behaviour
may be triggered by stresses they are facing themselves
(5) provide practical support to individuals
when things aren’t going well.

We admire Mr Arlo Guthrie for taking the initiative to conduct the survey and appreciate those who supported the survey.
The BVU believes that there is no justification for bullying in the workplace and suggests that veterinary employees and employers should work together to implement the recommendations of the report and foster an environment free of bullying and inequality.

Read full report

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