With the importance of non-clinical skills, such as communication, leadership and management, increasingly recognized as essential to the sustainability of the veterinary profession, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is to launch a series of webinars to help all members of the veterinary healthcare team build their knowledge and competence in these key areas.
Opportunities to use new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to support veterinary teams in raising the quality of care they provide to their patients will also be explored during the webinar series, in addition to emerging areas of companion animal nutrition practice, such as the role of probiotics in supporting gastrointestinal and immune health. The series, available free of charge to WSAVA members has been generously supported by the Purina Institute, Diamond Partner of the WSAVA and long-term supporter of the WSAVA’s Global Nutrition Committee. Those wanting to find out more or to register are asked to visit www.wsava.org/webinar-series/.
Commenting, WSAVA President Dr Ellen van Nierop said: “As veterinary team members, we know the importance of developing our clinical skills but, in today’s challenging environment, it is not always enough to be a fantastic clinician.
“In order to provide even better care to our patients, we must successfully navigate difficult conversations with clients, for instance those around pet obesity, early-disease detection and pet bereavement. We need to be able to educate clients and encourage them to maintain the health of their pet, perhaps through a weight loss program or other form of intervention.
“We also need to stay abreast of new technologies and new research because these offer us innovative ways to enhance the care we offer and improve the way we deliver our services.”
She added: “The inspiring speakers in this webinar series will equip veterinary team members with the non-clinical skills they need to optimize their interactions with clients to ensure the best outcomes for their patients. We thank the Purina Institute for supporting this exciting initiative.”
Dr Natalia Wagemans, Head of the Purina Institute, said: “Pet owners are more likely to trust advice from their veterinary team than from any other source, including the internet. However, we know how difficult it can be to engage in difficult discussions, whether about the nutrition that is so important to help pets thrive or other challenging or emotionally-charged topics. We are delighted to support the WSAVA in this new webinar series. We hope it will give veterinary team members the tools they need to feel more comfortable in initiating these discussions, which are so important for the welfare of their patients and that will help them build trust with their clients.”
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 116 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.