Volume 2 Issue 6

Case study: a critical reflection of implementing a nursing care plan for two hospitalized patients

Through critical reflection of designing and implementing a nursing care plan (NCP), based on a nursing model of care, this case study seeks to contribute to veterinary nursing's body of knowledge with regards the implementation of NCPs by veterinary nurses in practice. The rationale for the selection of the model of nursing care and design of the NCP is considered. The results of implementing the NCP for two hospitalized patients are discussed, along with the possible wider implications of these outcomes for both the use of NCPs in practice and the veterinary nursing profession as a whole. Recommendations for further research in order to establish more substantially these conclusions are identified. It is proposed that while there may be some obstacles to the usage of nursing models of care and their subsequent NCPs in practice, overcoming these is likely to deliver many benefits.

Fly-borne parasitic disease: risk for the travelling pet

An owner travelling with a pet in continental Europe must consider its hypersensitivity to fly bites. Sandfly transmitted Leishmania infantum causes severe, potentially fatal disease with possible relapses, and control using fly repellents and management does not totally prevent infection. Mosquito-borne Dirofilaria immitis heartworm causes insidious, becoming severe disease in dogs and sometimes cats, also ferrets, and control requires monthly macrocyclic lactone prophylaxis. Dirofilaria repens and Thelazia callipaeda are described. All are zoonoses, present in humans infected by flies, but Leishmania potentially could be acquired from a pet.

Dermatophytosis in cats and dogs

Dermatophytoses are a common dermatological disease. They can be challenging to manage as they are expensive to treat, difficult to control and zoonotic. Correct identification through good laboratory analysis is essential, with fungal culture being the gold standard. Knowledge of drugs available to treat dermatophytosis is helpful, although most animals with a competent immune system will resolve their dermatophyte infection spontaneously. Treatment of animals in multi-pet households or where there are young children or immuno compromised individuals is essential because of the highly contagious, zoonotic nature of this disease.

Management of feline idiopathic cystitis: nursing interventions

In recent years, the treatment of feline idiopathic cystitis has moved from a drug-based approach to a holistic approach, incorporating the use of behavioural, environmental and dietary therapies. As a result, the veterinary nurse (RVN) has a bigger role in the management of this condition by preventing recurrence. In order to provide the most effective and up-to-date interventions, it is necessary for the RVN to analyze recent research to update knowledge and techniques, particularly as treatment of this condition is constantly evolving. This, along with the use of individualized nursing care plans, should enable the RVN to provide effective holistic nursing care.

How to measure blood pressure: direct and indirect techniques

Monitoring blood pressure has become more widely recognized as a vital part of patient care. Veterinary nurses often carry out this procedure in conscious and anaesthetized patients. As most veterinary practices will use indirect methods of measurement, standardization of the measurement process is vital to ensure accurate results are achieved. Direct monitoring is still considered to be the gold standard form of measurement particularly in critically ill patients where accuracy is vital. It is widely held that direct monitoring is less commonly performed due to the increased costs and skills required to place and maintain an arterial line. This article examines the monitoring equipment available and how to standardize the measurement process in order to achieve accurate results.

Options for skin coverage: reconstruction and skin grafts

Surgical skin reconstruction is increasingly being used in small animal practice to achieve maximal skin coverage. This reconstruction can take the form of either skin flaps or free skin grafts depending on the location of the tissue deficit. A variety of skin flaps are available for use, with or without the inclusion of the direct cutaneous arteries (DCAs) to maintain their vascular supply. Where closure of the deficit is not achievable using a local skin flap then a free skin graft may be selected. The ultimate success of the skin graft ‘take’ will depend greatly on surgical technique as well as post-operative care which is where the role of the veterinary nurse is vitally important in pro-actively achieving a good outcome. Relatively ‘new’ techniques such as the use of negative pressure wound therapy or vacuum assisted closure (VAC) is also being introduced to the management of both open wounds and skin flaps and grafts and so far the studies suggest that its use can result in a much more favourable outcome for wound closure.

Research methodology for veterinary nurses

The veterinary nursing profession has progressed towards autonomy and self regulation over the past decade and in April 2010 will have fully achieved this regulated, professional status, whereby its members must adhere to and maintain certain professional standards as stipulated by the awarding body. With these advances comes the need for veterinary nurses (VN) to take ownership of their nursing, responsibility for their actions and become truly accountable for their day-to-day activities in veterinary practice.An inevitable part of this progression is the need for all VNs to source, read, understand and utilize the most current research available to justify their decisions based on best practice; evidence-based practice. With the introduction and development of a variety of higher education courses for the VN there has been an increase in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate VNs conducting research into many subject areas via different methods. This level of participation in research should hopefully continue into the future, building on the knowledgebase of evidence available for VNs.This article initially explores what research actually means before moving on to veterinary nursing research and the issues surrounding this concept. The research process is explored before moving on to the basics about research methodology and methods a VN may consider when undertaking a research project in veterinary practice.

Book Reviews

In the midst of the holiday season what better than a good book. Harriet Coles makes some suggestions for animal-related light reading.

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