How to improve EMS

Practical advice and top tips for students and practitioners

EMS placements are obviously a key part of the training of veterinary students. However, following discussions with RCVS and Universities, numerous areas of concern were highlighted in the current process. These included variation in experience, consistency, expectations, access to farm practices, expanding student numbers and cost considerations.

Within SPVS we cannot solve all problems relating to EMS, however what we would like to do is to help improve the delivery of EMS through providing advice, webinars, resources and approaches to make it go more smoothly for both student and practice.

SPVS has produced two videos offering practical advice and top tips on how to improve the EMS experience for both students and busy practitioners in conjunction with two downloadable guides, EMS Placement Health and Safety Guidance for Practices and EMS placement Health and Safety Self-Assessment for students.

The video below focuses on the particular challenges faced during Covid and offers solutions on how to get the best from EMS during these tricky times.

The second video ‘Getting the Best from EMS’ and the two downloadable guides are available to members here

Contributor Biographies

Leigh-Anne Brown
SPVS board member and Senior Veterinary Surgeon & JVP, Vets4Pets Harrogate
Leigh-Anne graduated from the university of Glasgow in July 2000, and moved to Yorkshire in the August of that year. She took over the Harrogate practice in 2008 and has been there ever since. In that time they have been RCVS accredited, and become a nurse training practice. The practice has hosted many vet students, who Leigh-Anne says ‘feel like an extended family across the profession’ now they have qualified. Leigh-Anne also volunteers for Street Paws as an outreach vet for their homeless project, and is on the SPVS board, acting as editor and contributes articles for their publications.

Natalie Granger
Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director, Park Vet Group
Natalie qualified from The Royal Veterinary College, London in 2002. After a brief spell in practice in Kent, she joined Park Vet Group in 2003. She is now Lead Clinical Director for the practice, working clinically as a small animal vet, and taking on many varied management tasks.
Natalie is also part of the Large Animal out of hours team, so can sometimes be found on farms in the middle of the night and at weekends. Natalie undertook EMS at the Park Vet Group, and has now worked there for 17 years. She believes ‘good quality EMS is invaluable to the individual, and it is our honour, and responsibility, to provide this for future generations.’

Brin McNeill
Veterinary Surgeon and Practice Principal, Castle Veterinary Centre, Nottingham
Brin qualified from Glasgow in 1984. After two years as small animal house physician at Glasgow Veterinary School she moved to concentrate on small animal practice. Since 1996, she has been joint principal along with her husband Ewan of the Castle Veterinary Centre in Nottingham. Brin notes ‘while we are a small independent practice we host many EMS students; all of whom are given plenty of hands-on experience and keep us on our toes in return.’

Isobel Arthur
AVS President 2020-21
Isobel is a current final year student at the University of Nottingham, due to graduate in 2021. She joined AVS as a university representative in 2017 and has since progressed to become president for the national association.

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