Volume 12 Issue 10

Considerations for hand hygiene to reduce hospital acquired infections in practice

As veterinary nurses, our role as set out in the professional conduct guidance by the RCVS states that when providing care, veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses should ‘ensure a hygienic and safe environment’.This means that we should actively contribute to the careful consideration of day-to-day practices within the clinic that safeguard patients to ensure that when they enter they clinics, they are not exposed to increased risk from infection. Understanding the need for good hand hygiene in clinic, along with the appropriate considerations, means that we are able to implement good practice.

Flexible working: a new way forward to an old concept

This article provides a high level overview around flexible working, an employer and employees legislative requirements and the benefits available to those who choose to embrace flexible working. Flexible working is not a new concept however COVID-19 has had an impact on working patterns that many companies never considered or wanted to implement. The application of flexible working in the veterinary industry is not well explored, which is concerning given the health and wellbeing concerns the industry already faced prior to the pandemic. Veterinary practices being able to accommodate a flexible working request will always come down to a number of considerations such as position, type of work and the flexible working request that the employee is exploring.

Osteoarthritis in canines part 1: geriatric pain management

Osteoarthritis is a developmental disease that progresses as the canine ages. While incurable, there are ways to help mitigate the severity of the disease. Geriatric patients often have pain, lowered mobility, and decreased quality of life. Utilisation of clinical metrology instruments (CMIs), published pain management guidelines, multimodal medications, published quality of life scales, and the use of physical rehabilitation modalities/techniques enable the dog to live a full life. The dog's advancing age does not have to cause abrupt cessation of activities that all family members enjoy. Environmental modification and client education allow dogs to enjoy their entire life with their families.

Health and husbandry of companion parrots

Parrot ownership is growing increasingly popular in the UK. Many veterinary professionals will find themselves treating a parrot at some point in their careers. Knowledge of the husbandry requirements of different species including housing, diet, hygiene, socialisation and enrichment is essential in order to evaluate these patients.

Holistic nursing approach to trauma wound management in a loggerhead sea turtle

Wildlife Vets International provide support to many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world with many species. The requirements for each species and project are different, but they are linked by the need to assess and if possible address all elements that will allow wound healing to occur. Sea turtles are a highly charismatic species and face many threats in the wild. Veterinary care of sea turtles needs to be optimal and carried out in a timely manner. Providing correct husbandry is essential for the healing of all reptile wounds, including sea turtles. It is important to remember we are nursing an intelligent, exothermic, ureotelic species, with a requirement for UV light, which is likely to be experiencing significant stress which we need to try and mitigate. Veterinary nurses are well placed to assist in assessing all these factors, documenting these assessments, creating care plans/bundles and, of course, carrying out the wound management itself. Dealing with the wound healing of wild animals is very challenging and complicated. A dynamic and holistic approach is essential, although sometimes overlooked, and every effort must be made to reduce treatment times. This will both improve welfare while under veterinary care, and will hopefully allow a timely return to the wild. New wound management products are becoming available all the time, and it is important that veterinary professionals are always looking for how they can use these in their wild animal patients, as well as always questioning why they use the materials they use.

Pain management and intraocular pressure monitoring following phacoemulsification

Phacoemulsification is the gold standard procedure for cataract removal in veterinary patients. Registered veterinary nurses involved in the care of patients undergoing this surgery should be aware of potential complications postoperatively and tailor their nursing considerations to individual patients. Pain assessment in ophthalmic patients should take a different format to that in traditional soft tissue or orthopaedic surgeries, and monitoring of intraocular pressure is an important part of postoperative care. This report aims to discuss these nursing interventions for a patient nursed in a referral hospital setting.

The art of delegation: integration of the veterinary nursing assistant into New Zealand veterinary practice

Background: In 2016 veterinary nursing assistants (VNAs) were introduced as an additional tier to New Zealand veterinary practice. Aim: This study explores the utilisation of VNAs in New Zealand veterinary practices to ascertain the impact of an additional staffing layer to patient outcomes, workload management and staff wellness. Method: Through focus groups and semi-structured interviews with 30 participants, three themes emerged allowing evaluation of the Allied Veterinary Professionals Regulatory Council (AVPRC) Scope of Practice (SP) (AVPRC, 2020) and development of delegation guidelines (DG). Results: Analysis identified weak processes in delegation. The practice-based perspectives of VNA staff utilisation supports the AVPRC SP. Conclusion: Effective communication of the SP and DG for veterinary practice utilisation could contribute to reducing workload pressure. Additionally, individual practice staff discussions regarding own and colleague job expectations, along with review of contractual job descriptions, could further evolution of multi-tiered practices leading to improved patient outcomes, team wellness and business success.

Book Review

This Book Review from Claire Hargrave discusses the recently released second edition of Practical Canine Behaviour For Veterinary Nurses and Technicians by Stephanie Hedges, a UK-based veterinary nurse and Certified Clinical Animal Behaviorist with over 20 years' experience working in the veterinary industry

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