Volume 3 Issue 4

The importance of veterinary nursing specialities

The human nursing profession has a long history of specialization whereby nurses seek formal recognition for their advanced skills and knowledge in specific areas of practice. Today there are over 60 nursing specialities in areas such as palliative care, intensive care and cardiac care nursing. For those nurses wanting to further their education after they qualify, this is an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to leaders in the field as well as to deepen their knowledge base in their chosen area of interest. This network of specialities undoubtedly serves to not only provide more job satisfaction for those nurses who may be seeking a challenge, but it also fosters greater recognition for nursing professionalism and enables nurses to expand their knowledge and skill base.

Code of professional conduct launched

Veterinary nurses (VNs) have come a long way in the last 50 years since the start of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (RCVS) Veterinary Nursing Scheme, and are now professionals with their own responsibilities.

Compulsory microchipping

For several years the Microchip Alliance has been campaigning for compulsory microchipping for dogs, and this year things have started moving. As of this April, Northern Ireland has begun implementing compulsory microchipping, Wales has announced a consultation on breeding regulations including the subject and Defra has just launched a public consultation (Defra, 2012) into compulsory microchipping in England, the consultation closes on June 15th.

Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation: advanced life support and post-resuscitation care

Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) is the cessation of spontaneous ventilation and systemic perfusion, which, if not rapidly detected and treated, leads to hypoxia and death. Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR) is a technique employed to reverse CPA. The goal of CPCR is not only to achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) but to ensure survival following discharge from hospital with a good quality of life. This article provides a review of how to provide effective advanced life support after basic life support has been initiated, while highlighting the importance of post-resuscitation care in order to optimize the chance of the patient being discharged from hospital. This review of veterinary and human literature aims to suggest some guidelines for nurses to follow.

Gait analysis: an introduction to its use for clinical evaluation and performance assessment of the equine athlete

Equine locomotion is complex to measure and has warranted clinical interest since early high-speed photography in the late 19th century produced the first accurate representation of a galloping horse. The advancement of gait analysis technology has produced easy to use systems that have enabled scientists and clinicians to evaluate equine gait characteristics in more detail and with increased objectivity and accurately. Goniometry, force plate, videography and optoelectric systems provide methods for subjective analysis of equine gait. A review of the literature concludes that simple objective, repeatable and user friendly assessment tools have worth in the monitoring of clinical efficacy of therapeutic interventions used in orthopaedics and rehabilitation, and to evaluate locomotor performance in combination with traditional veterinary examinations and equine training practices.

Managing staff training and development

Managing staff training and development is a key part of a practice manager’s human resources (HR) role. This article explains the reasons why it is important to develop and train staff and describes an approach to the task, which ensures that training needs are prioritized, met and evaluated in line with the practice’s staff development policy and overall business strategy. Frameworks for producing a staff development policy and conducting a training needs review are outlined along with the various methods that are available for delivering training. Finally, the article discusses ways in which training that is undertaken can be evaluated in order to inform future planning and budget setting.

Microchips: past, present and future

With the recent announcement by Defra that it has opened a public consultation into making microchips compulsory the differences in microchips and databases are discussed, as well as its history, function and the future of the microchip.

Peri-operative hypothermia and the preventative role of forced air warming devices

Peri-operative hypothermia is an important condition for veterinary professionals to understand and avoid. There are numerous measures that can be taken to avoid peri-operative hypothermia. The use of forced air warming (FAW) is a common and effective method used in veterinary practice.This report focuses on the indications, efficacy and risks of FAW in the prevention of hypothermia, by examining studies that have been carried out within the medical and veterinary fields. It shows that FAW warming is effective in preventing hypothermia, and that it is beneficial to combine FAW with other methods of insulation. While there is an associated risk these are rarely reported and easily avoided.

How to set up a vivarium: maintaining the health and welfare of reptiles

The class Reptilia consists of over 7780 species distributed throughout the world, with warmer regions being home to more species than cooler regions. However certain species of reptile, the common adder and European lizard for example, can be found as far north as the Arctic Circle. Given this incredible diversity of biomes, it is impractical to do justice to the husbandry needs of this class of animal in one article. The focus of this article, therefore, will be on the key concepts of setting up a standard vivarium in order to maintain the health and welfare of its occupants.

Managing pain in neonates

There are many physiological changes that occur in the neonate over the first few weeks of life. Analgesia of these patients needs to be considered alongside these physiological differences, and nursing care needs to be adapted to encompass them. Pain thresholds are lower in neonates, and pain can be deleterious and lead to critical situations. This article explores some of these physiological changes and the reasoning behind veterinary choice of analgesia.

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