Reflecting back on 2023
As we reach the last issue of the year, I wanted to reflect on what 2023 has taught me about veterinary nurses. I started working on The Veterinary Nurse back in April, and since then I have been incredibly impressed by the sheer dedication veterinary nurses show to the profession. The drive to improve patient care and to continue to learn everyday has been inspiring. The fact that this occurs at one of the most challenging times in the profession's history makes it even more impressive. The veterinary profession is experiencing a staffing shortage while more people than ever have pets joining their families, causing workloads to increase. COVID and Brexit seem to have been a perfect storm for this. Despite this, the veterinary nurses I have met are determined to provide the best care possible.
Mental health continued to be a key theme this year, and I am sure it will in 2024 too. One thing I am most proud of this year is our Veterinary Wellbeing Webinar Series (p422), which aimed to support the mental health of the entire veterinary team. As we all know, stigma around mental health is a major barrier to people sharing their problems, and I hope this series has helped to diminish that in some small way. The series highlighted to me that although there are lots of factors outside of our control at work, there are also many things we can do to support ourselves.