This literature review critically analyses papers on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, the studies suggest frequent training or retraining can help with CPR; the evidence of medical professionals in various roles and environments shows that regular training for staff can help with skills and knowledge retention. This training also demonstrates that there can be improvement in chest compression depth and efficiency as well as better response times of staff to a cardiopulmonary arrest. Each paper looks at how long skills are retained for as well as how often training should be undertaken, two comparing 3-month, 6-month or annual training to determine which is best. The studies indicate a knowledge gap in the need for CPR training in veterinary medicine.
Oropharyngeal injuries are commonly seen in practice. Severity can range from minor the life threatening. It is important that veterinary nurses can confidently perform an initial triage, recognise life-threatening problems, and provide initial stabilisation to these patients. Nurses play a fundamental role in the management of these cases throughout their stay in hospital. This article aims to provide practical advice and guidance on cases of oropharyngeal injury, and the importance of client education to help prevent similar cases in the future.
Few pet topics provoke more debate and discussion than pet nutrition. The veterinary healthcare team have a central role as the expert source of information for optimal pet nutrition, with each member capable of playing an important part in providing optimal nutritional support and recommendations. This article provides an important reminder of nutritional assessment and specific dietary recommendations as the fifth vital assessment and an essential part of patient care for every pet at every visit. It also presents the non-branded support materials and practical aids available in the WSAVA Global Nutrition Toolkit. Using a patient scenario, consideration is given to how nutritional care and support can be enhanced through interprofessional practice.
Behaviour cases are common in general practice and veterinary nurses can play a vital role in their identification and management. Full behavioural assessment and implementation of a behaviour modification protocol remains essential, but increasingly animals may also be prescribed psychoactive medications. The third part of this article outlines some of the ways in which veterinary nurses can contribute to improving the behavioural welfare of the animals under their care. In addition to being behaviourally aware at all times when handling animals in the veterinary surgery, veterinary nurses can play an important role in identifying those cases that may benefit from additional behavioural support and, where appropriate, behaviourally-active medication. Knowing what to expect when animals are treated with these medications will also ensure that nurses can best support the owners of animals that are undergoing treatment.
As the spring turns to summer, owners and their pets will spend even more time out of doors. Some venomous animals are more active in the warmer months and there is risk of adder bites or stings from bees, wasps and hornets. Adder bites can result in significant morbidity but low mortality. Insect stings commonly cause local reactions and although these are generally mild, stings involving the airway are more hazardous since there is risk of respiratory obstruction. In addition, there is also a risk of anaphylaxis in sensitive individuals (just as in people) and multiple stings can cause multiorgan damage. Slug and snail killer products are more commonly used in the summer and are therefore more accessible to pets. These commonly contain ferric phosphate rather than metaldehyde which has been banned in the UK, and are less hazardous. Harmful summer plants include those containing cardiac glycosides such as foxglove and oleander. Some plants such as hogweed contain compounds that cause skin damage following dermal contact in combination with exposure to sunlight, and are therefore a particular risk on sunny days.
Veterinary nurses play a vital role in ear examination, supporting veterinary surgeons in making their diagnosis. This article provides an outline on how to examine the ears of a canine patient, how to take a swab for cytology and how to prepare slides for examination.
Widespread pandemic-related disruption has led to increasingly challenging client interactions. TheBritish Veterinary Association (BVA) found that 57% of veterinary staff surveyed in 2021 reported feeling intimidated by client behaviour during the previous year; a 10% increase from 2019. The psychological impact of consistently difficult or abusive interactions can be significant and contribute to the high incidences of stress, burnout, attrition and potentially suicide increasingly noted in the industry. This understanding further highlights the need to focus on developing individual self-care strategies and leaders offering appropriate support to their team. Historically, veterinary education has overlooked the importance of training in interpersonal skills, such as communication, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence. However, human and veterinary medicine is evolving with increasing recognition of the significance of communication skills training to help prevent and manage of challenging client behaviour. This may help to ensure practitioners are better prepared for the challenges that await them.
The rapidly changing distribution of parasites affecting pets and the vectors that transmit them continues — this summer parasite update reveals what 2022 has brought so far, and suggests ways for controlling such parasitic incursions.