Lessons learned from running a student neuter clinic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


The Bristol Vet School Neuter Clinic opened in January 2021. It was a temporary clinic, setup in 6 weeks, in response to COVID lockdowns restricting student access to surgical opportunities with our normal charity partners. It's aim was to ensure final year students could gain competence in surgery, anaesthesia, and other clinical and professional skills within a real-life clinical setting.

The clinic was set up in a converted equine hospital and staffed by a small team of
veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses. It provided free-of-charge neutering to local pet owners (a valuable service to the community during COVID), in collaboration with local practices. Over the following 14 months the clinic provided training for 138 vet students, 40 student veterinary nurses, and neutered almost 500 cats and dogs.

The team overcame numerous challenges (e.g. speed of set-up and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances) to provide a friendly, student-paced, interdisciplinary environment where vet and vet nurse students worked together collaboratively. As well as improving clinical competencies, students also undertook client communication and clinical administration and organisation tasks, enabling them to develop wider professional skills.

Moreover, students were encouraged to take on responsibility, decision making, and independent working (within a safe and supported environment) – increasing their confidence and supporting their transition to professional life in practice. During a time when COVID was impacting the student learning experience, the clinic was important in boosting student morale and motivation. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, describing the clinic as “a fantastic opportunity” providing “outstanding teaching”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVetEd Symposium
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2022
EventVetEd Symposium 2022 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jul 20228 Jul 2022


ConferenceVetEd Symposium 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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