That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, talks to Sarah Keane, CPD business manager and Registered Veterinary Nurse of Duggan Veterinary Supplies, in a two-part interview.
“Duggan Veterinary Supplies is a family-owned, guaranteed Irish and ISO-accredited business of over 40 years and is a leading provider of veterinary and human medicines, equipment, instruments, consumables, and training to the veterinary market.
With a direct presence in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom markets, Duggan Veterinary Supplies also utilises other collaborations with partners in other EU and Non-EU markets.
From humble beginnings, Duggan Veterinary Supplies has grown exponentially and has recently moved into brand new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art premises, incorporating showrooms, office space, warehousing, engineering and repairs department, conference suite, clinical skills lab, and dining facilities for the growing team of 40+ highly skilled staff.
The veterinary industry is an ever-expanding and fast-paced industry which requires veterinary professionals to be always on top of their game, with pet ownership increasing and animal welfare demanding high standards of care.
Therefore, vets and nurses need to have access to the most up-to-date and relevant medical and surgical knowledge.
Pets have become family members and sometimes can be a person’s only companion.
Therefore, requires us to provide the best veterinary care for these companions, meaning longer life expectancy and, more importantly, a better quality of life.
Advances in oncology, surgery, medicine, and nursing procedures means that we can now provide most of the services which we already provide for humans, including chemotherapy, total hip replacements, neurology, and physiotherapy, to name a few.
As a profession, we will always be required to upskill and develop further, as it is compulsory by our governing body to maintain a high level of self-development throughout our careers.
Our courses and our facility are the first of its kind in Ireland, offering frequent courses covering a wide range of topics in, both clinical and non-clinical topics.
What began modestly has grown rapidly over the last two years to the point where we are now being approached by larger corporate veterinary groups both in Ireland and the UK to become their CPD partner.
Our 2023 calendar is all but fully booked, with the same dates reserved for 2024.
It has been very exciting to be involved in this venture from the beginning and watch it grow exponentially.
In Ireland, we are very lucky to have some of the best speakers in the world.
Some of our speakers travel to speak in Europe and America on their specialities, so to be able to bring this calibre of speakers to Thurles in Co. Tipperary is an honour.
We offer a full range of onsite, online and hybrid courses. We are also training partners of Improve International, which provides post-graduate certified courses for vets and nurses.
Many of these can be completed online, and those with practical elements are held here in Thurles.
In our experience, the onsite, face-to-face delivery of theory and practical learning is invaluable.
Our delegates enjoy the social interactions with peers and colleagues outside the walls of the veterinary clinic and away from the stress of everyday practice, so the course days are always enjoyable.
All of our courses, except our online webinars, which we offer throughout the year as a free hour of online CPD, are fee-paying courses.
That said, we ran a mental health course for vets and nurses in July 2022 and repeated it again in November 2022, such was the demand.
For this course, delegates paid a small fee which was donated to a fantastic charity, AWARE Ireland.
We felt this topic was so important to promote the health and well-being of veterinary professionals, and we did not want to prevent people from attending due to financial concerns.
Our courses vary in their CVE value, with our one-day courses averaging on 8 – 9 CVE points and our two-day courses averaging about 19 CVE points.
As previously mentioned, this year has seen a lot of interest and booking from larger veterinary corporations, and due to this, a lot of our delegates attending now would be part of a large corporate group.
This is a massive bonus for these delegates as they now all receive a CPD budget, something which can be a little more difficult to attain in your standalone or independent clinics.
Skillnet Ireland also works with veterinary groups in providing allowances and subsidies to their members for attending Continuing Veterinary Education.
Continuous development is something that has become just as important as vets’ and nurses’ initial training and thus is receiving more support from employers.
In fact, nowadays, it is not unheard of to have your CPD budget incorporated into your initial job offer, and it is definitely a golden ticket for graduates seeking new employment.”
Part two of this interview to follow on That’s Farming
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