Volume 10 Issue 6

Strategies for managing conflict within a team

Conflict is often regarded as an inevitable part of any work environment. Team members will have different perspectives, values, beliefs and goals and, in certain circumstances, these differences may escalate into conflict. While conflict cannot be avoided, it can be minimised and resolved. This article will discuss the strategies required by head nurses/nurse leaders in order to effectively manage conflict within a team.

Canine atopic dermatitis — the veterinary ‘eczema’ nurse

In human medicine many NHS hospitals employ ‘eczema specialist’ nurses. These are nurses with additional training that help individuals diagnosed with eczema to manage their own disease and can provide them with the information and support to improve their quality of life. Veterinary nurses as part of a Vet-led Team also have the opportunity to help their clients in a similar way, by advising owners on the best way to manage their allergic pets. In order to provide that support nurses need a thorough grounding in many of the supplementary therapies that can be prescribed by veterinary surgeons as part of a multi-modal approach to allergic skin disease. Supplementary drugs that can be added into a treatment regimen with foundation drugs such as allergen specific immunotherapy, ciclosporine, glucocorticoids, lokivetmab and oclacitinib include drugs such as antihistamines, essential fatty acids and topical therapy in the form of moisturisers.

Poisons affecting the liver

The liver is a multifunction organ involved in metabolism and synthesis of essential compounds. As the first organ after the gut to receive ingested substances and because of its role in metabolism, it is at particular risk of damage from ingested poisons and their toxic metabolites. Poisons affecting the liver are discussed in this second article on poisons by organ system. Among the most readily accessible liver toxicants are xylitol and paracetamol, which are commonly available in the home. The mechanism of xylitol-induced liver toxicity is unknown, but paracetamol is metabolised to toxic metabolites when normal mechanisms are overwhelmed and/or inadequate. Various natural sources of hepatotoxins are also discussed including some mushroom species (e.g. some Amanita species and Gyromitra esculenta), some cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and plants such as cycads which can be grown as houseplants. The mechanism of liver damage with these natural sources includes direct hepatotoxins and toxic metabolites. The management of toxic liver damage is generally supportive with gut decontamination where appropriate and liver protectants, such as acetylcysteine and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe).

The seizuring canine patient

Seizures are very common in dogs and cats — the estimated prevalence of canine idiopathic epilepsy is 0.6% in the first opinion canine population in the UK. Patients that seizure due to metabolic disturbances or poisonong can be treated short term until imbalances are corrected. This artical explores the many types of seizures, where they originate from, and the importance of nursing care for the neurological seizure patient.

Cystic ovarian disease in female guinea pigs

This article will look at cystic ovaries in female guinea pigs. Cystic ovaries can be functional or non-functional fluid filled cysts that usually develop spontaneously in the older sow. The presence of cysts usually reduces fertility and potentially causes serious uterine disease. Identifying common symptoms related to this condition can aid the veterinary nurse when performing clinical examinations. Species specific care is vital to securing optimum patient care and the chance of a good outcome.

Emergency assessment and nursing of a queen with dystocia

Dystocia is a life threatening emergency situation which requires urgent treatment. This report aims to evaluate and critique the assessment, monitoring and nursing care given to a queen which presented with dystocia. The triage by the nurse, fluid therapy and pain control will be evaluated for this case report.

Comparison of expectations between veterinarians and veterinary nurses in tasks and responsibilities in clinical practice

Background: It is reported that expectations from veterinary nurses and veterinarians on the clinical tasks veterinary nurses undertake in practice vary widely. Aims: To understand the difference in tasks and responsibilities reported by veterinary nurses in comparison to veterinarian expectations. Methods: Using an online survey, expectations regarding the capability of veterinary nurses undertaking clinical tasks in New Zealand veterinary clinics, were measured. Respondents were provided with a list of clinical tasks veterinary nurses are routinely trained to perform as part of formal veterinary nursing education, and two tasks veterinary nurses legally are currently not able to perform (cat neuters and dental extractions). Results: There were 288 responses from a veterinary nurse population of 1479 (19%), and 37 responses from a veterinarian population of 2425 (1.5%). Of respondents, 80% took blood samples, 78% placed intravenous (IV) catheters, 95% set-up of IV fluids, 72% carried out veterinary nurse consultations, 62% carried out clinical examinations, many carried out diagnostic testing (e.g. iDEXX/Vetscan (86%), urinalysis (88%), microscopy (51%), taking radiographs (81%)), 54% carried out dental scale and polish, 86% assisted with surgery, and 97% monitored anaesthetics. Veterinary nurses in New Zealand legally are currently not able to perform cat neuters and dental extractions — of these tasks, 25% and 26% of veterinary nurses reported having had training (either formal or informal) on performing cat neuters and dental extractions, with 12% and 16% of veterinary nurses reporting that they undertake this clinical procedure in practice. Conclusions: When looking at a selection of these tasks, comparing how many veterinarians report that veterinary nurses should be undertaking them, results show support for veterinary nurses undertaking these tasks. 100% of veterinarians support veterinary nurses placing IV catheters, with only 78% of veterinary nurses reporting completing this task, and 96% of veterinarians support veterinary nurses undertaking microscopy. In conclusion, veterinary nurses are trained in tasks they are not performing in clinical practice. The justification for this discrepancy is the subject of a future study with the aim of designing practical support for veterinary clinics to utilise the skills of veterinary nurses.

ESCCAP summer update 2019

As expected, key themes in enquiries to ESCCAP during the second quarter of the year have been pet travel and exotic parasitic diseases, particularly leishmaniosis but also heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis), Babesia canis and Ehrlichia canis infections. Owners are concerned with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit affecting their plans to travel with the pets. In addition, there have been a number of enquiries regarding toxocarosis.

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