BCVA has compiled a list of essential skills for new graduates. Based on the RCVS list of day one competencies, it includes the abilities to adequately restrain a cow, give advice on biosecurity measures and preventative medicine, and conduct castration, dehorning and caesarean sections.
BCVA has compiled a list of essential skills for new graduates. Based on the RCVS list of day one competencies, it includes the abilities to adequately restrain a cow for foot examinations and stomach tubing, give advice on biosecurity measures and preventative medicine, and conduct castration, dehorning and caesarean sections.
Desirable skills also include administering anaesthesia via paravertebral nerve blocks, knowledge of production data and performance indicators and the ability to manually conduct a pregnancy diagnosis from 60 days.
Recent graduate Heather Marie Niman, of the George Veterinary Group in Malmesbury, said the competency list was very useful and would have helped her at university.
She told Veterinary Times: “The RCVS competencies have to cover everything and it can be quite hard to interpret them for all circumstances, whereas BCVA have actually cited examples.”
She claimed the requirement to assess obstetrical problems was essential, and gave examples of how she faced many of the BCVA issues as soon as she started at The George, for example, having to advise on biosecurity on her first day in the job.
She said: “The list is pretty comprehensive, though maybe for point seven [advising and administering treatment for disease appreciating economic and practical challenges] BCVA could put bullet points showing you how to do that for mastitis and other conditions.
“However, the list is really useful and the points are very appropriate for cattle. There’s a broad spectrum of skills here and they’re really what you should aim for if you want to be a farm vet.”
Paddy Gordon, head of education at BCVA, said the list was created to help students make good use of their EMS.
He said: “We’re saying this is what you need when you graduate, so undergraduates can spend their time more wisely, rather than sitting in the car listening to the test match special.
“There’s an awful lot in the undergraduate curriculum and cattle will only be a focus for 4 to 8 weeks of the final year, so those looking at developing a career in large animal vetting really need to think about whether they’ve got those skills for competency when they start the job.”
The BCVA day one skills list can be found online at www.bcva.eu/bcva/content/day-1-skills
For further details, see next week’s Veterinary Times.