The art of delegation: integration of the veterinary nursing assistant into New Zealand veterinary practice
Angela C Young
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Background: In 2016 veterinary nursing assistants (VNAs) were introduced as an additional tier to New Zealand veterinary practice. Aim: This study explores the utilisation of VNAs in New Zealand veterinary practices to ascertain the impact of an additional staffing layer to patient outcomes, workload management and staff wellness. Method: Through focus groups and semi-structured interviews with 30 participants, three themes emerged allowing evaluation of the Allied Veterinary Professionals Regulatory Council (AVPRC) Scope of Practice (SP) (AVPRC, 2020) and development of delegation guidelines (DG). Results: Analysis identified weak processes in delegation. The practice-based perspectives of VNA staff utilisation supports the AVPRC SP. Conclusion: Effective communication of the SP and DG for veterinary practice utilisation could contribute to reducing workload pressure. Additionally, individual practice staff discussions regarding own and colleague job expectations, along with review of contractual job descriptions, could further evolution of multi-tiered practices leading to improved patient outcomes, team wellness and business success.
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