Prindi see leht

Good practice

Good practice guidelines for veterinary students

During their studies, students have access to client information, which places heavy responsibility on veterinary students and professionals. It is essential to be aware of these responsibilities and expectations from the very first days of your studies. Failure to meet these expectations may have a detrimental effect on you, your education and your prospective career. 

The present guidelines for veterinary students set out your responsibilities. From the beginning you should think of yourself not only as a student, but as a prospective veterinary professional-in-training. Although your contacts with animals and clients in the first few years are limited, you will be working together with veterinarians and during the years you will become a member of the veterinary community, representing not only yourself but our University as well. Your behaviour both in your professional and private life may affect your fitness to practice as a veterinarian. Your fellow professionals rely on everybody to uphold the good reputation of the profession. This is why you are expected to demonstrate that you can practice your profession properly, safely, and with respect for the trust and responsibility placed upon you.

We are kindly asking that you to read through and acknowledge these principles before you begin your veterinary education.

A: Education

1. Holding a positive attitude to learning:

As a veterinary student I will:

1.1. Take an active part in the studies and develop the knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to my studies.

1.2. Stay motivated and commit to lifelong learning and the development of my skills.

1.3. Use counselling, support and all other opportunities offered by the University for extending my knowledge and enhancing my skills both in classroom learning and practical training.

1.4. Identify any obstacles, errors or contradictions for learning opportunities and notify the study advisor or the corresponding member of academic staff.

1.5. Act with integrity in all learning and assessment situations and not pass other person’s work as my own and plagiarise coursework or research.

1.6. Not undertake any activity that could be construed as cheating during tests and examinations, including bringing unauthorized electronic devices or written material into examinations, using computers to seek answers online (unless permitted as part of an open book examination), or providing unauthorised assistance to fellow students, etc.

1.7. Show respect in working with cadavers and animal tissue.

1.8. Care for my fellow students, treat them with respect, provide support in learning opportunities, and work collaboratively to achieve both common and individual goals.

1.9. Be prepared, when called upon, to provide constructive feedback to my peers on their performance.

1.10. Be prepared to seek and respond to constructive feedback on my own performance.

1.11. Be proactive and determined, treat the academic staff and supervisors with due respect.

1.12 Adhere to the regulation of studies and set deadlines.

B: Interactions with animals and their owners

2. Respecting animals and their owners

As a veterinary student, I will:

2.1. Respect the animals and make animal health and welfare my first consideration.

2.2. Not let my own values and beliefs interfere with my interactions with animals.

2.3. Recognise diversity, and respect the needs and values of the clients and not impose my own cultural values, beliefs and practices on clients or discriminate against any person on the basis of ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and creed, as well as political affiliation, economic, social, or health status.

2.4. Treat clients, fellow students, members of the veterinary community courteously with consideration and respect.

2.5. Ensure that my appearance and dress are appropriate and in line with the biosafety and biosecurity requirements.

2.6. Place the concerns for the animal’s wellbeing above else and will not take advantage of the goodwill of the clients’ in my pursuit of learning.

2.7. Be willing to personally provide appropriate care to animals seven days a week, 365 days per year, including on weekdays and public holidays as set out in Employment Contracts Act.

3. Obtaining informed consent

Your clinical supervisors are responsible for obtaining consent for your interaction with patients, but on many occasions, you may need to ask the owners for their permission for interaction with them and their animals.

As a veterinary student I will:

3.1. Inform the clients of my role and the nature of any proposed interaction with them.

3.2. Understand and respect that clients are free to give or withhold consent to treatment.

3.3. Make a special effort to assist the client to understand what is happening to the animal.

3.4. Refer any questions I cannot answer or feel appropriate to answer to my clinical supervisor.

3.5. Not go beyond the scope of client consent.

4. Appreciating the limits of my role

As a veterinary student I will:

4.1. Acknowledge the level of my skills, experience and knowledge, and not represent myself as more competent or qualified than I am and correct any such misunderstandings that arise.

4.2. Not advise or provide information to clients, family members or the general public, which is beyond my level of knowledge and expertise. When asked for such a comment, I will direct that person to an appropriate professional.

4.3. Not initiate any form of treatment, except in an emergency where no-one more able or qualified is available to provide timely intervention and recognise the limits of my own knowledge and skills.

C. Personal and professional values

5. Personal responsibility

As a veterinary student I will:

5.1. Be responsible for my own conduct at all times and comply with all aspects of the present Guidelines and other relevant University documents governing student behaviour.

6. Maintaining patient confidentiality

Client and patient information is confidential. Disclosure without clients’ permission or other legally acceptable justification betrays the trust required in veterinary practice and may cause potential harm. Patient information may be discussed with peers and professional staff who are directly involved in the care of the specific patient, and on occasion, with colleagues in a setting where confidentiality is protected.

As a veterinary student I will:

6.1. Maintain and protect client confidentiality by not disclosing information about the client or the client’s animal that could identify them (among other things posting comments, pictures, x-rays and videos on social media) without the explicit consent of the client and handle such sensitive material in accordance with Personal Data Protection Act.

6.2. Respect the clients’ right to determine who should be provided with their personal information.

6.3. Hold all patient information in confidence, even when the patients have ended treatment or died.

6.4. Not post detailed information, videos or photos relating to sensitive training activities, e.g. cadaver practicals, post-mortem activities, surgical procedures, etc.

6.5. Ensure that all my documents and images containing patient information are de-identified, kept in a secure location in a way that prevents unauthorised access. When they are no longer needed, all documents and pictures are securely destroyed.

6.6. Not attempt to access patient information unless I am involved in their care, or have a legitimate reason and permission from the authorised persons to access the information.

6.7. Seek advice from a veterinarian, senior clinical supervisor or senior academic when I suspect that it may be necessary or appropriate to breach confidentiality (usually when animal or human welfare is at risk).

7. Research ethics

As a veterinary student undertaking or associated with research activities I will:

7.1. Adhere to the relevant national legislation and the EMU Good Academic principles.

8. Maintaining personal health and well-being

As a veterinary student I will:

8.1. Take responsibility for my physical and mental health and seek appropriate assistance and notify the Study Advisor or the Director of Studies of my predicament.

8.2. Maintain my own wellbeing to the level that ensures I can continue my studies and carry out my role.

8.3. Not misuse substances, e.g. medicinal products, drugs, alcohol, etc.

8.4 Take an interest in the wellbeing of my fellow students, and support them as much as possible or seek help when necessary.

D: Relationships with staff and students

9. Respecting University staff and co-students

As a veterinary student I will:

9.1. Be open and honest.

9.2. Show respect to teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as all members of the veterinary community.

9.3. Abide by the rules and regulations of the University, University clinics and other organisations linked to my studies.

9.4. Honour commitments and take responsibility for my work and actions.

9.5. Ensure that biosafety and biosecurity protocols are adhered to and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and asepsis.

9.6. Not disclose confidential information about my fellow students gathered in learning situations.

9.7. Not post any images, videos or written material (incl. online) that may be deemed, interpreted, or perceived to be, offensive, insulting, hurtful or defamatory by a fellow student, member of staff or member of the public.

9.8. Respect the skills and experiences of my qualified colleagues and work under their direction and supervision.

9.9. Understand the professional responsibilities and legal obligations relevant to veterinary practice, animal welfare and veterinary medicinal products.

9.10. Work within the limits of my competence and demonstrate the awareness of when and where to seek advice, assistance and support.

9.11. Have confidence to speak up when I have concerns about matters affecting patients, clients, staff and practice.

E. Commitment to professional standards and continuing self-improvement

10. Accepting wider professional responsibilities:

Veterinary professionals have a responsibility to the profession and to the public to maintain high professional standards, which constitutes over and above the individual responsibility for one’s own clinical competence. As a veterinary student, I will:

10.1. Not engage in any activity that would bring the profession into disrepute or undermine public confidence in the profession.

10.2. I will respond professionally and inform authorized persons of issues of serious concern, including those that may directly affect patient safety.

10.3. Not use social networking channels or public forums to express concerns about an individual or their activities.

10.4. Not exploit my role as a veterinary student for personal gain.

10.5 Give judicious, constructive evaluation and feedback, as appropriate, on veterinary education programmes.

10.5. Be aware that alcohol and substance abuse may affect my health and fitness to practise, and may cross the boundaries of legality and can be considered a problem of professional conduct issue.