Wellbeing in veterinary practice: Getting the balance right!

11 weeksPersonal Development12 CPD hours

This solutions-focused course has been developed to support all veterinary professionals optimise and rebalance their approach to their own wellbeing. This course has been specifically designed to help individuals focus on different areas of wellbeing that you are likely to encounter throughout your career, and to steer you in the right direction to successfully navigate the challenges that you might face. This course will allow you to truly gain a holistic approach to what wellbeing means in veterinary practice and how to really get the most out of yourself and your team.

This course will cover: What is wellbeing and why does it matter? What is the legal framework governing wellbeing in the workplace including employers’ and employees’ rights and responsibilities? How do we know when ours or someone else’s wellbeing is worsening or poor? How can wellbeing be maintained or improved? Where to get help when self-help and healthy living practices are insufficient.

The course is underpinned by a real-time discussion forum where you can ask any questions as you work your way through the lessons. There are also live Q&A sessions where you can chat with our speakers and other course delegates about the content or those challenging situation that you might be facing right now that you might need a little support with.

This course will run over a 11 week period and is the equivalent of (12 hours CPD/CE) for your record.

Access to this course is for 12 months from the start of the course going live on our website. If you sign up to the course after the live sessions have run, you will still be able to access the recordings from the live sessions. The discussion forum will be monitored for the course duration only.

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Course Content

Lesson 1: What is wellbeing and mental health? Why do they matter? 20/03/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand what wellbeing and mental health are;
  • Understand why mental health and wellbeing matter to the individual and to the organisation;
  • Understand the impact of mental ill-health for the individual, for the employer and for society as a whole.
Lesson 2: Stress, resilience and the pressure curve 27/03/2023
learning outcomes
  • Consider appropriate definitions of stress;
  • Understand the evolutionary context of stress;
  • Recap the physiology of acute and chronic stress;
  • Recognise the physical sensations, emotions and behaviours of stress;
  • Consider the impact of prolonged stress on health and wellbeing;
  • Appreciate how personality and lifestyle factors affect stress;
  • Recognise the prevalence and causes of stress in the profession;
  • Understand how stress differs from pressure;
  • Appreciate what resilience is and how it can be developed.
Lesson 3: Burnout and mental ill health 03/04/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand what burnout is;
  • Learn how to recognise occupational burnout;
  • Consider what the individual and the organisation can each do to address the causes of occupational burnout
Lesson 4: Recognising problems in yourself and others and how to help 10/04/2023
learning outcomes
  • Recognise behavioural, physical and psychological signs of mental ill health;
  • Understand how to communicate compassionately with individuals who may be struggling;
  • Be equipped to be able to inform and signpost individuals who may be struggling on how to get appropriate and qualified help.
  • Briefly outline common mental health conditions while understanding the dangers of self-diagnosing
Lesson 5: It’s just a job. How to leave work at work 17/04/2023
learning outcomes
  • Explore why we might struggle to switch off from work;
  • Consider the unique challenges of veterinary work;
  • Examine practical ways of switching off at the end of a working day;
  • Understand how managing time effectively can improve productivity, fulfilment and work-life balance;
  • Explore how to apply practical tools to facilitate coping by working through common problematic veterinary scenarios.
Lesson 6: Communication for good wellbeing: boundaries, assertive communication, conflict and culture 01/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand the importance of the veterinary team and practice culture;
  • Explore different types of communication and their usefulness in the workplace;
  • Specifically explore the nuances of communicating effectively with clients;
  • Understand the importance of self-worth and the ability to set healthy boundaries;
  • Be equipped with skills on handling conflict in the workplace.
Lesson 7: Thriving in practice: confidence, time management and work satisfaction 08/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Learn how investing in meaning, mindset and self-compassion can buffer us against stress, burnout and mental ill health;
  • Understand how to approach mistakes and setbacks in practice;
  • Explore the nuances around confidence and how to build self-esteem and self-efficacy;
  • Be equipped with tools to know how to instigate change in the workplace with the highest chance of success;
  • Explore when it might be appropriate to leave a job and how to avoid the same pitfalls in future roles.
Lesson 8: Self-care – what the individual can do to improve/ maintain good wellbeing 15/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand the meaning of self-care;
  • Learn how to maintain good physical health (sleep, diet, exercise);
  • Learn how to promote mental wellbeing (mindfulness, rest, coping strategies, resilience);
  • Understand how to establish and foster healthy habits.
Lesson 9: Suicide Safety 22/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand that suicide is a global health concern;
  • Understand the nuances of language around suicide;
  • Contrast pervasive myths with facts about suicide;
  • Learn what to do to help someone with suicidal thoughts;
  • How to help yourself or others with bereavement by suicide;
  • Learn about how to talk about suicide responsibly; and
  • Be equipped with resources to signpost relevant support.
Live Q&A Session (Wed 31/05/2023 @ 8pm BST)
learning outcomes
  • Your chance to discuss anything that you are thinking about
  • We will bring along a few interesting cases/examples too!

Meet the speakers

Stephanie Sorrell

Feline Medicine Specialist

Stephanie graduated from the RVC and undertook her residency in Internal Medicine at Edinburgh University. She is a European Internal Medicine Specialist and RCVS Feline Specialist. She is the director of Canine and Feline Medicine Consultancy Ltd through which she provides locum internal medicine and feline medicine cover to private and university-based referral practices and is director of The Mindful Vet through which she provides bespoke CPD to practitioners. She is also a senior consultant at Virtual Veterinary Specialists. She has a passion for teaching and has lectured internationally as well as publishing original research papers in journals.

Veronika Smart

Veterinary Surgeon

Veronika graduated from the University of Cambridge and worked in Madagascar for the first five years of her career as an ambulatory equine veterinary surgeon and lecturer at the University of Antananarivo. Since returning to the UK, Veronika made the transition to small animal practice and continues to work as a GP vet. She is a Mental Health First Aider and holds a Level 5 Diploma in Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness and is the founder of Mentavet, an Instagram page and enterprise devoted to improving satisfaction and wellbeing in the veterinary profession. Veronika is a mother to two girls and is passionate about improving accessibility to flexible and family-friendly working in our increasingly feminised profession. MRCVS, Mentavet founder and content creator

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