vet Cliff at Bicester vets doing cat dental

EMS for Vet Students at Bicester Vets


We’d like to invite you to come to our practice to complete some of your EMS and we think you’ll be happy if you do.

As an accredited Vetsure Graduate Friendly Practice we are very used to working with the next generation of vets to make sure you have a great transition from the protective environment of your vet school, into what can be a turbulent and challenging environment of a private practice.

The great news is that how you spend your weeks on your EMS rotation will play a large part in how well you move through this phase and begin your career. So the choices you make over the next few months will make a big difference and set you on the path to success.

Both student and practice, of course, have a big role to play in making that a reality for you. And as far as we are concerned, you represent the future of our profession so we want to make sure that you are in good hands.

Why is EMS at a Vetsure Accredited Practice different?

All Vetsure accredited practices follow a simple philosophy that allows all students on EMS the chance to have a deeper learning experience that would otherwise be the case.

In order to get the most from your time with us you should follow the following steps…

Let’s take each in turn and explain what we mean…

1 – Set Goals
What do you want to get out of your time? If you don’t have a clear plan on where you are going then how on earth can you expect to ever get there? Goal setting is a crucial skill for anyone who wishes to get better at anything.

So ask yourself what do you wish to master while on your EMS placement? What would the most important things be for you to walk away with so that you can feel that the time would have been brilliantly spent?

When you arrive at the practice then make sure that you make your mentor is aware of what your goals are and that they are achievable! You will need support to achieve your goals.

2 – Observe
Watching how things happen is a vital way of learning and you’ll quickly get a feel for how our practice runs and who are the good people to ask for help in achieving your goals.

3 – Ask
Be open-minded and ask why the things you observe happen the way they do. And of course, you must ask when you want to get involved with something.

As a Graduate Friendly accredited practice at Bicester Vets, we are keen to teach, but we are also busy clinical and business environments so you must take responsibility for building up your skills.

If you want to achieve your goals and learn then ask to be taught. This profession is amazing in just how many people are willing to share their knowledge and skills.

4 – Do
There’s nothing like getting your hands dirty to boost your skills, experience and esteem. So go on jump in!

Just remember to always seek permission and guidance to ensure you are doing things the way the practice expects. Things are done differently from one practice to the next and both may be equally right. So remember to be open-minded.

5 – Reflect
Reflection is such a massive part of learning. But is so often lost in the hectic pace of the day. So we recommend you keep a journal of events. This will contain case details, but also interaction between people you observed.

Did a client seem resistant to a suggestion? Was there a point of friction in the practice? Were there any patterns you could learn from? Would you have acted differently? What were the effects of the things you observed? Journaling is one of the best things you can do throughout your career to develop self-awareness and keep on learning.

Write it all down and at the end of the day reflect on what you saw. If you follow this plan then you will begin your journey towards mastering the skills required to become a great vet.
All you have to do to achieve this is to practise what you have learned!

EMS Skill Checklist
To help we’ve pulled together a list of some of the things we’d recommend you focus on to build up your day one competencies as you move towards graduation. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you have mastered some areas and wish to add other things then by all means do so.
tick Basic case management/responsibility
tick Learning basic medicine names, doses, uses and side-effects
tick S/C, I/M and IV injections
tick Catheter placement
tick IV fluid set up
tick Blood/urine collection
tick Animal handling techniques
tick Anaesthesia Techniques
tick Exposure to surgical scrubbing, tissue handling and suturing
tick Basic X-ray positioning and generation
tick Using laboratory machine to generate results (and then interpret them)
tick Consultation room skills
tick Working with team members in fast paced environments
tick Working with fees

Your EMS commitment

What are your responsibilities?
1. Show up on time
2. Come with a plan.
3. Remember you represent your college, our practice and yourself when on EMS, so behave in a way that shines a positive light on all.
4. Dress to impress – a tux or frock is going a little too far – you will be getting dirty!
5. Be nice – bring the best version of yourself – you owe that to the world.

Do these things and you’ll be doing everything possible to maximise your learning and have a great EMS experience. And who knows, if we really get along and the timing’s right, you might even get job!

Two months ago we feared that our beautiful Bailey would lose an eye.

Thanks to the dedicated team at Bicester Vets and intensive treatment, he was signed off yesterday.

Thanks go especially to Helen whose care and commitment have resulted in a happy and healthy Bailey.

Owner Gill