A1 Locums brings Christmas Cheer to Guinea Pig Charity
This Christmas, instead of sending gifts and cards, A1 Locums has nominated three different charities to support. As a recruitment company that specialises in veterinary placements, we feel it is only right to choose animal charities!
The first charity we will be supporting is B.A.R.K.s Banbury. It’s been four months since we adopted our two gorgeous guinea pigs, Bob and Barry from this charity and the boys have brought us nothing but joy. They happily keep our staff amused with their antics. Both have settled in well and are very chatty! They’re a special addition to our office team, and can frequently be found on the lap of a staff member, wrapped in a cosy blanket. They’ve each made their modelling debut too, having been featured on the company leaflet and on many social media posts.
Ann from the B.A.R.K.s charity says “Thank you so much to A1 Locums. BARKS’ main expenditure is medical bills, typically £2000-£3000 per month, covering neutering, vaccination and of course health issues. We neuter all domestic animals and vaccinate all cats, rabbits and puppies (we only handle a small number of dogs, all youngsters).
“The second largest expenditure is on bedding, food and litter. Over and above this we have to maintain the pens and run a safe environment for both animals and volunteers, but admin, travelling (home visits) and website costs are, where possible, kept to zero levels by means of the core team donating out of their own pockets. We struggle to cover costs each and every month.”
With such practical needs and recognising the excellent work they do, A1 Locums is proud to be supporting this worthy charity.
Staying at the cutting edge of veterinary science often means you have to keep learning and studying, even after you have qualified as a vet or nurse.
That’s sometimes easier said than done when you have years of study behind you, a busy family life and a burgeoning career.
Oncore knows exactly what those challenges are and they have devised CPD modules to make your learning as interesting and rewarding possible. They have been providing online education to the profession for just over 6 years, and have developed courses in a wide variety of disciplines.
A1 Locums is delighted to be teaming up with Oncore to host a competition during London Vet Show, offering the winners each a free CPD course of their choice.
A1 Locums Managing Director Clare Alderton says “Many thanks to Oncore for providing the fantastic prizes for our competition to promote our app. It’s a pleasure working with them as we recognize the value of their training and know that you’ll come away from each course with personalised, practical learning that is relevant to you, your practice and your team. You’re able to discuss current challenges from practice (and find the solutions) alongside your tutor and other participants.”
ONCORE is run by veterinary nurse Jill Macdonald who says “Our CPD is a little different from other providers – our courses provide expert tutor guidance and support, an interactive and engaging learning experience, and the opportunity for assessment and feedback on coursework. Most of our courses are suitable for both vets and nurses, and if you take a look at the current course selection you can see why. Many of these skills are needed by both members of the practice team, and it’s really useful for both vets and nurses to study alongside each other, and understand each other’s perspective better, whether it be a management topic, or anaesthesia, or client care.”
Courses run over set start dates as group courses, and for each 3-week course you will receive ongoing guidance, support and advice via ONCORE’s active learning forums, with your final week allocated for self-study to complete your coursework.
Discount for A1 locums clients
ONCORE have been proud to work with A1 Locums over the past few years, and offer a 5% discount to all bookings that come through A1 Locums, using the code that they provide you with.
Jill used to perform locum nursing work, and A1 Locums were her locum agency of choice. She says “The team at A1 are brilliant. They are so knowledgeable about the profession and understand the different roles, and what will suit each locum. They are also really friendly and helpful, and I will always use A1 should I ever find the time to slot in some locum work again!”
ONCORE plans to develop two courses in the near future: a further course to enhance the nurse’s role in managing medical patients in practice, tutored by Nicola Ackerman, and a course to help nurses with out-of-hours and ECC work, tutored by Lou Northway.
ONCORE has some great partnerships with associated veterinary businesses, and is always looking to collaborate, so if you’d like to know more, please contact them.
A1 Locums is currently exhibiting at Stand T59 at the London Vet Show. TO WIN A FREE CPD course of your own choice: See our A1 Locums Facebook posts on how to enter the London Vet Show competition. Closing date is at noon on 19 Nov 2018. The winner will be drawn at random on the same day.
Please visit the Oncore website to see the full range of CPD courses available.
In honour of International Cat Day, Recruiter spoke to a recruitment agency that has a feline receptionist.
Earlier this summer, Recruiter brought you a story about the benefits of having canine consultants to call upon to celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
In the interests of balance, Recruiter spoke to veterinarian staffing agency A1 Locums about their feline receptionist TC.
Senior recruitment consultant Sophie Vickers explained TC’s in a job share with his canine companion, a black Labrador by the name of Wilbur.
According to Vickers, TC and Wilbur are known to come around and meet visitors to the office with a friendly miaow or woof, which she says always lifts the mood of the office and makes everyone smile.
TC doesn’t have a long commute as his home is just next door to the office where he lives with his human, A1 Locums director Clare Alderton.
And it seems TC doesn’t seem to make a distinction between his own home and the office. “He knows all of us and comes and gets treats, or sits or lies on our desks… He just comes in, especially in the winter. He goes off when he wants to and comes back when he wants a bit of a fuss from everybody.”
While TC is a friendly kitty, interaction with him is on his own terms, Vickers adds.
“He’s quite grumpy. He doesn’t like being cuddled – it’s fuss on his own accord. He’ll walk across everybody’s keyboards. If you’ve got any paperwork, he’ll lie across that… if there’s any paperwork, it’s always got muddy prints on because he’s walked across our desks or something similar.”
But it appears TC’s been a free spirit since he was little. “When he was a kitten, Clare had her window open. He made a swift exit out the window and he was hanging on for dear life with his little claws. Anne made Clare go and make a cup of tea as a distraction and [recruitment manager] Anne [McManus] went to catch him. We think that’s one of his nine lives done.
“In the house it’s all open plan. So TC decides to run up the banister, falls off and lands on the sofa. He didn’t speak to anyone for a couple of days through pure embarrassment!”
Despite all this, we know that all the staff at A1 Locums are feline that TC is the purrfect member of the fur-midable team of paw-some recruiters [enough of the cat puns – Ed.].
Almost six months after launching our A1 Locums app, we take a look at how it’s changed the way we communicate with our vets and nurses.
Managing Director Clare Alderton says ‘Since launching, we have listened to feedback from our candidates and implemented a few minor but positive changes. In effect, we have evolved the design to simplify the recruiting process even further.”
Once you’ve downloaded the A1 Locums app, you’re able to register directly with us, load a list of your available dates and message us with your preferences. You can browse the jobs by location or date and apply for any role that catches your eye, there and then. Using the app can speed up the job-hunting process for you. When you contact us we automatically recognise your profile, know who you are, where and when you wish to work and how we can potentially assist you.
As a job-seeker you can set your preferences to receive only certain emails via push groups, relevant to the type of work you are looking for, areas or the companies you’d like to work with.
Clare says “The new WhattsApp button has been a popular addition. Sometimes all you want is a human voice!”
As a locum you may be free at short notice, and equally, practices may find, at the drop of a hat, that they need additional staff to cover a shift. With the information we get from our app holders, we can facilitate a speedy turnaround and a suitable match. It’s a plain and simple platform yet it’s proved invaluable to the veterinary professionals we deal with on a daily basis.
Yesterday a vet came rushing in to our offices in dirty wellies and mud-splattered shirt just in time for his job interview. The sidelong glance from our office-based colleague with his crisp white shirt and perfectly pressed trousers didn’t go unnoticed. The vet explained that he had just returned from a breach birth emergency callout on a nearby cattle farm and had to make a choice of being late for our appointment or turning up in his working gear.
This kicked off a bit of a debate in our offices afterwards. Some were adamant that he should have gone home to change to make a good first impression. Others admired his confidence and commitment to turn up on time, sans clean attire.
As a veterinary professional – how should do you dress for a job interview? Is it more appropriate for a nurse to wear a uniform or to show individuality and arrive suited and booted? Should you tie up your hair or is it acceptable to leave it long and flowing? How about painted nails and jewellery, or tattoos and face piercings? Do you take a chance and hope the prospective employer accepts you as you are, or do you deliberately cover up, pare it back? What if the person you are meeting has preconceived ideas and prejudices? Would that jeopardise your chances?
An accountant friend recently went for an interview at a small home-based laboratory and pondered beforehand about what to wear, knowing the environment is casual. In the end he dressed in a suit and tie, wanting to appear ‘professional’, yet he admits he was completely overdressed and out of place compared to the interviewers who all sported jeans and tees. But would they have judged his attire as inappropriate or disrespectful if he arrived wearing casual clothes? When is smart too smart and casual too casual?
Our debate continues. The vet…well, he got that job and is no doubt doing a splendid job kneeling in a dusty, hay-filled barn as we speak.