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HomeFarming News‘Vet students need much more practical hands-on training’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Vet students need much more practical hands-on training’

62% of vets believe the current structure for educating vets in Ireland could be improved, a new survey has found.

55% of those that participated in HLB Sheehan Quinn’s fifth annual report on veterinary practices cited practical experience as the main way to achieve this.

20% believe in increased intake in veterinary colleges, while 12% of respondents said training/support for newly qualified vets.

10% answered better communication/business skills, while a further 3% believe in managing expectations as a way to address this.

Survey respondents highlighted the need to move away from selection based on academic performance to selection based on aptitude.

Educating vets in Ireland 

The report also shed light on recent graduates entering the profession.

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One respondent:

“Vets who graduated during the pandemic are noticeably less proficient than those who got adequate practice in previous years.”

Another said: “They [vet students] need much more practical hands-on training as it takes about two years for them to achieve competencies post-university.”

Shortage of vets

The survey highlighted that veterinary practices across Ireland are struggling to fill vacancies.

60% of respondents who participated in this research say their practice is currently experiencing staff shortages.

Furthermore, 69% declared their intentions to recruit additional staff in the next year.

23% of practice owners said they do not plan on recruiting additional staff in the next twelve months.

33% of all respondents cited a shortage of vets as the single most significant challenge that their practice faced in the past two years.

42% said a change of work practice due to Covid-19, while 14% referred to corporates, and 11% answered ‘other’.

51% of all respondents said they would recommend veterinary as a career choice, while 12% said no and 15% are unsure. 22% of people did not answer this question.

Other articles on That’s Farming:

Heavy workloads, long hours, and burnout are among the key challenges vets and veterinary practices in Ireland continue to face.

That is according to HLB Sheehan Quinn’s fifth annual report on veterinary practices, which it published on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022.

It stated that these have been recurring themes over the past five years since it began conducting this annual survey.

The survey explored working conditions and pre-tax earnings, which you can read.

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