Veterinary professionals working with individuals and families facing pet bereavement can now undertake a new distance learning course that tackles this difficult and emotive issue.
Dealing with the impact of pet loss and the euthanasia of a much-loved pet on both clients and staff can be one of the most challenging experiences in modern veterinary practice.
To tackle this difficult and emotive issue, pets and people charity the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) has launched a new distance learning course aimed at veterinary professionals working with individuals and families facing pet bereavement.
Officially accredited by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), the course considers many forms of bereavement including the loss of a pet through illness, disease, ageing, accidental trauma or enforced separation due to changes in the owners personal circumstances.
As the leading provider of pet loss training in the UK, SCAS has over 15 years experience in delivering training in the field, as well as running the dedicated Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) in partnership with The Blue Cross. Established by SCAS in 1994, PBSS is a free service run by trained volunteers who offer advice and counselling support to people facing pet loss 12 hours a day and 365 days a year.
The Pet Loss Support in Veterinary Practice course has been co-written by leading international experts in pet loss support and aims to provide the specialist knowledge and skills required by the entire veterinary practice team. It offers up-to-date, in-depth information on many aspects of pet loss, including euthanasia, specific guidelines for children and older people, after death body-care and effective communication skills.
The course provides practical guidelines and tips on how to introduce pet loss support protocols into practice management and also looks at self-care for staff, offering useful suggestions on how to recognise and minimise possible signs of stress and burnout.
As a veterinary surgeon with 35 years experience in animal practice, SCAS chairman Elizabeth Ormerod understands the importance of supporting clients facing bereavement. She said: “We should not underestimate the potential effects of grief on peoples mental health and well-being and as vets we need to recognise the impact of pet loss on our clients and support them more fully than we currently do.
“Failure to fully understand and support the human-companion animal bond also has an adverse impact on animal welfare, and a negative effect on the success of a veterinary practice. Fifteen per cent of clients who are not supported following pet loss choose never to adopt another companion animal. Of those who do adopt again, there is generally an extended interval before adoption and the likelihood of registering the new pet at a different veterinary practice.”
The Pet Loss Support in Veterinary Practice course is delivered through a distance learning programme, and students can register at any point during the year.
The course, which includes all materials (a workbook and CD), is currently available at the special introductory offer of £375. SCAS members and members of BVNA receive a discounted rate of £325. Upon successful completion, students will be awarded 45 hours of CPD learning. For more information contact SCAS on 01993 825539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org