New practical guide for managing rudeness in veterinary practice launched

New practical guide for managing rudeness in veterinary practice launched

'Keeping it civil: a practical guide to managing incivility in veterinary practice' has been launched to provide veterinary staff with information and support on managing rudeness from clients and colleagues.

Developed by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with leading figures and organisations in the field, the resources are designed to help veterinarians to navigate situations which arise in their practices.

The guide meets a key need within the veterinary profession – managing the adverse consequences of rudeness. Research conducted by Dr Amy Irwin and her team has consistently found that rudeness from clients and co-workers can have negative, and long-lasting effects for veterinary staff. This can include reduced job satisfaction, reduced wellbeing, increased risk of burnout and increased quitting intention – leading some veterinary staff to exit the profession.

The guide also provides information on how to respond to rudeness, as well as how to develop a supportive practice environment. This was in response to more recent research by Dr Irwin (published this year in Ergonomics) which highlighted that the way in which veterinary staff respond to rudeness varies according to where the rudeness comes from (client or colleague) and the type of uncivil behaviour (ignoring someone or making demeaning comments).

Dr Irwin explains: “This guide represents the collective expertise of researchers and veterinary professionals. We have created the guide to provide an evidence-based reference point for anyone struggling with incivility within the veterinary context.

“We have different sections focussing on perception of rudeness, why rudeness happens, how you can respond, support for mental wellbeing and what practices can do to support their staff, there are also sections explaining neurodivergent and student perspectives. The guide has been written in a way to allow people to dip in and out and easily locate the information most relevant to the situation they face.

“We hope this will make an impact in enabling veterinary practitioners to not only navigate difficult situations better but to take action to address incivility and to encourage the development of a civil, supportive place to work.”

Amy Martin, Practice Director at Holly House Vets, and one of the contributors to the guide says: “We have been working to actively tackle incivility in our practice for the last couple of years. It has been really rewarding to be able to contribute this knowledge to a highly practical guide that others can use as a resource to support their own journey”.

Dr Luiz Santos, senior lecturer in veterinary anaesthesia at the University of Glasgow, adds: “This guide is an invaluable resource for academic institutions as well. It not only serves as a crucial tool for training future veterinarians but also sets a positive example for students on the importance of maintaining civility and a supportive environment in professional settings. Such resources are vital for fostering a healthy and productive veterinary community.”

You can download your free copy of the guide by completing this short online form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=rRkrjJxf1EmQdz7Dz8UrPzWD1fMtsphFp9uTPZy4PtBUODhRWVBTVElKN1ZRMlRXNVFRUEcyVDZCNy4u

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