Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are often required to take up the role of a teacher for student veterinary nurses (SVNs) during workplace learning. Formal education training is not a routine part of the veterinary nurse curriculum and so it is common that RVNs undertaking this role do so without background knowledge of education theory. In the same way that evidence-based medicine guides clinical decisions, evidence can guide educational practice and the ways that RVNs teach SVNs. Evidence-based education is particularly valuable for workplace learning, which can be an environment where it is particularly challenging to teach and learn. This may be particularly the case during anaesthesia, when the RVN is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the anaesthetised patient. Part 1 of this article will discuss the importance of evidence-based education, give an insight into the characteristics of SVNs as adult learners, and discuss the importance of developing SVNs as self-directed learners. While many of the educational theories and initially conceived frameworks discussed may be dated, this article aims to contextualise them into the niche area of veterinary nurse workplace education, using supportive contemporary evidence, to show how they can be used to help us understand the challenges RVNs face. Part 2 will focus on using these ideas to develop strategies to strengthen our teaching approaches.
Otitis externa is a common problem in primary care veterinary practice. While the diagnosis and treatment of disease is the responsibility of the attending veterinary surgeon, the veterinary nurse, as an integral part of the veterinary surgeon-led team, plays an important role in the investigation and management of disease. Veterinary nurses are more than capable of assessing the external ear canal both macroscopically and cytologically to help the veterinary surgeon to make a diagnosis. Client facing nurse communications can help with the administration of therapy, provide owner support during treatment to increase compliance and help with follow-up assessments.
Cats and dogs carry a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential. While much focus is placed on protecting owners and the wider public from these infections, veterinary staff are also at risk of exposure. Veterinary nurses may be exposed to parasites through direct contact with pets, indirect surface transmission, aerosols or via vectors. The risk of zoonotic parasite transmission, however, can be minimised in the workplace with a few simple practice-wide precautions. This article considers some of the routes of parasite exposure in practice and steps to reduce them.
Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) is one of the most prevalent immune-mediated diseases in canines, and it carries a guarded prognosis because of the substantial rates of morbidity and mortality. Comprehensive supportive nursing care is critical in patients with IMHA.This first article discusses the presentation, diagnosis and treatment options in canine IMHA patients. A subsequent article will follow focusing on how the condition, and its treatment options, impact the supportive nursing requirements that should therefore be considered, as well as possible complications that may arise. Through good nursing care, as well as a knowledge and understanding of the requirements of these patients, RVNs have a vital role in influencing these patients' outcomes.
Exodontics is the branch of dental surgery concerned with the extraction of teeth. Dental extraction involves the removal of teeth from the dental alveolus (socket) in the alveolar bone of the incisive bones, maxilla and mandibles. There are two types of extractions the veterinary surgeon (VS) can perform — closed or open — and both are associated with tissue disruption and manipulation to varying degrees, which will inevitably initiate an inflammatory and pain response, which can prolong healing. The role of the veterinary nurse (VN) in preparing equipment and consumables for extraction should not be underestimated; excellent preparation can reduce surgical time, reduce the length of time the patient is anaesthetised, and ensure high-quality extractions can be performed by the VS to promote optimal postoperative healing.
Anaphylactic shock is potentially life threatening, it is rare and can be difficult to diagnose. There is little veterinary research in this area, despite a quick diagnosis and treatment being essential to the recovery of these patients. This report discusses recognising the signs seen in anaphylaxis and the role of the nurse in monitoring and treating these emergency patients.
The assessment of a horse's condition is generally carried out using body condition scoring, cresty neck scoring or weigh taping.
The objective of this study was to investigate the accuracy of body condition scoring in comparison to other commonly used morphological condition assessment techniques.
A recognised and well-established body condition scale adapted from <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="B9">Henneke et al (1983)</xref> was used, and the subsequent scores from this were compared to cresty neck scores, rump width measurements and belly and heart girth measurements. The study was carried out using seven horses and seven volunteers, who assessed each horse identifying any differences or similarities in each assessor's condition assessment.
The rump width measurements were the most accurately assessed condition assessment; however, using rump width measurements alone, a whole-body condition assessment cannot be made.
It is therefore recommended that it should be combined with other condition assessments to create a whole-body assessment, with detailed localised adiposity information.
Powered by the VetCompass Programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Dr Dan O'Neill and colleagues analysed clinical data on 363 898 dogs to identify predictors for dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). Dan explores how veterinary nurses can use this information to help improve the welfare of dogs.