New EMS Prep Tool for Veterinary Undergraduates
23 December 2009
Veterinary students will be better prepared for their Extra Mural Studies (EMS) placements with a new initiative developed by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).
“This is a free online learning tool which will look familiar to any veterinary student who has recently taken the driving theory test,” says Freda Andrews, RCVS Head of Education. “Any veterinary student can use it as part of their preparation for EMS.”
The project was drawn up by Dr Catriona Bell, at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Sarah Baillie, at the RVC, two lecturers with experience of practice life who want to make sure that student placements work well for all concerned. The aim is that, by helping veterinary students understand what will be expected of them, students can be better prepared and get the most out of their placements.
“We found that students aren’t always aware that doing some simple practical things can make a huge difference to how well their placement goes,” says Sarah Baillie. “There are some common pitfalls, such as not taking a lunch with them so the vet has to find a shop whilst out on call, which can catch out the unwary.”
Catriona Bell notes that the importance of body language was a consistent theme in the research they undertook for the project.
“Students want to do well, however placements are a new environment and can be tiring,” says Catriona. “Vets say they take on students as they want to support the future generation of vets — they are not paid to provide EMS. Students need to make sure they convey their interest and enthusiasm to all members of the practice team through their body language — they don’t always realise, for example, what an impact slouching and looking down at the floor can have.”
Other tips for students that came out of the research include making sure that you prepare thoroughly before you go, and offering to help out the veterinary nurses.
“We put in what real students told us they’d wished they’d known,” Sarah says. “The practising vets who support students also gave us valuable information; for example, by explaining what they expect with regards to confidentiality and professionalism, a working vet’s skills.”
There is no need for a sign-up for students to use the EMS Driving Licence, and veterinary practices who will be hosting EMS students may also find it useful. To try it out for yourself visit www.vet.ed.ac.uk/ems_driving_licence/.
Notes to Editors
- For more information, please contact: Claire Millington (020 7202 0783) firstname.lastname@example.org Communications Department, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
To request further information or an interview please contact:
The Royal Veterinary College
Established in 1791, the RVC is the UK’s longest-standing veterinary college—with a proud heritage of innovation in veterinary science, clinical practice and education.