MMI and BVNA to collaborate on upcoming webinar for Anti-Bullying Week 2021 - Veterinary Practice
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MMI and BVNA to collaborate on upcoming webinar for Anti-Bullying Week 2021

The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative has collaborated with the BVNA to produce a webinar, taking place during Anti-Bullying Week which aims to raise awareness of bullying and the ways that people can address and respond to bullies

The Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has collaborated with the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) to put together an upcoming webinar, taking place during Anti-Bullying Week 2021, about tackling incivility and bullying in the veterinary workplace.

The one-hour webinar will take place on Thursday 18 November at 7.30 PM and is entitled, “Why behaviour matters: what VNs/SVNs can do when faced with incivility & bullying” where attendees can hear from speakers who are experienced at supporting people affected by bullying in the workplace.

This year’s Anti-Bullying Week 2021 is taking place between Monday 15 to Friday 19 November and aims to raise awareness of bullying and the ways that people can address and respond to bullies. Bullying can have a devastating impact on someone’s life and it is something that affects adults as well as school children. The webinar has been jointly organised following a recent MMI survey of student veterinary nurses, recently graduated veterinary nurses and clinical coaches where 96 percent of respondents said that they felt bullying was a serious problem in the professions.

During the webinar, Helen Silver-MacMahon, senior trainer at VetLed, and Nicky Ackerley from the BVNA Members Advisory Service will talk attendees through the extent of bullying in the veterinary profession, how veterinary nurses (VNs) can find sources of support if they are being bullied and what techniques people can use in difficult situations to look after their well-being.

After the webinar, MMI and BVNA will continue to collaborate on anti-bullying activities with a new training programme launching in 2022 for VNs and SVNs.

MMI recently held their Student Veterinary Nurse Well-being Forum (3 November 2021), where people from across the veterinary nursing profession heard from a wide range of experts and took part in breakout discussions about numerous areas of well-being including bullying and incivility. A report of the event’s outcomes will be published in the near future, along with MMI’s new five-year strategy, which will have veterinary and student veterinary nurse well-being as a priority area.  

Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Initiative manager, said: “Bullying has no place in the veterinary professions. Each one of us has a role to play in calling out and addressing this unacceptable behaviour wherever it occurs. Our upcoming webinar is just the start of what I am sure will be an extremely fulfilling and positive collaboration with BVNA, who are as determined to address bullying in the workplace as we are.

“I would encourage everyone who has been affected by workplace bullying or wants to find out how to become a better ally to their colleagues who have experienced it in practice to attend our upcoming webinar and look out for further information on the training in the new year.”

President of the BVNA, Alec Taylor, said: “Bullying and incivility are too commonplace in the veterinary profession, which is why more awareness and action needs to be taken to tackle these issues. The BVNA’s collaboration with the [Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons] RCVS MMI team and the BVNA members’ advisory service will help support those affected by bullying and provide guidance on where to look for support, as well as what action they can take if they feel they are being bullied or experience incivility in the workplace.

“I am really pleased that this serious but important issue is at last being talked about, and I have no doubt that the support and advice given during Anti-Bullying Week and next year’s training sessions will be of great benefit to the veterinary nursing profession.”

Anyone interested in attending the upcoming webinar can register by visiting the event page on the MMI website.

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