Marnie Brennan describes how Nottingham vet school is helping vets embrace evidence-based veterinary medicine.
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Making clinical decisions based on evidence benefits animals, their owners and the veterinary professionals who are caring for them.
These are some of the reasons why the University of Nottingham set up the Centre for Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine, and it now helps practitioners adopt the principles in practice. Vet Record supports the concept, working with Nottingham by publishing BestBETS (which stands for best evidence topics).
A recent development from the centre is the first in-depth, bespoke course entitled ‘Using an evidence based approach in your practice’. It aims to help vets understand what evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) is and how it can be achieved and applied in practice. The three modules cover:
What EBVM is and why it’s important;
Finding and addessing evidence;
How to apply EBVM in practice (using strategies for making successful changes in the workplace, including how to read scientific papers efficiently, and how to run journal clubs and clinical audits).
The course is for all veterinary professionals – vets, veterinary nurses and practice managers, teaching individuals skills that they can apply in their workplace, along with ideas on how to go about adopting EBVM in practice.
The aim is to help people arrive at the most appropriate plan for their own situation, because each practice environment is different. And having people on the course from different backgrounds (the UK and abroad) generates some interesting ideas.
The course is mainly completed online; however, it includes a two-day residential session at Nottingham. And there are two evening online tutorials where the group gets together to discuss the material. There’s also a discussion forum to share ideas through a facilitator.
Being self-directed, it is up to individuals to create their own timetable, although we do include a few deadlines to keep people moving forwards!
There’s no exam, but there is an exercise at the end of each component and feedback is provided on these. They are not compulsory, but participants earn more CPD credits if they do them.
It has changed my perspective and made me review what I do on a daily basis and what I will do in the future
Students who have completed the course say they have got more from the material by completing the exercises. One student remarked: ‘It has changed my perspective and made me review what I do on a daily basis and what I will do in the future’.
More information is available from the CEVM website (www.nottingham.ac.uk/cevm), or the veterinary CPD short courses page of Nottingham vet school’s website: (https://store.nottingham.ac.uk/short-courses/veterinary-cpd/small-animal-courses/using-an-evidencebased-approach-in-your-practice)
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