Jennifer Hamlin Consultant editor
Gemma Taylor, Blue Cross education officer, explains why the National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) needs your support.
Aim:To examine how a cohort of 38 veterinary nursing students responded in their learning of written communication in the form of an email.Methods:Two sets of emails, written ‘before’ and ‘after’ exposure to a series of instructions and learning activities focused on written communication, were evaluated. Scores were awarded to each email based on a checklist of structure and components considered essential for an effective student email. Frequency charts and paired-samples t-test were used to compare the scores of the two sets of emails.Results:Results showed improvements in the after emails. Inclusion and correct presentation increased for six out of the nine components in the checklist. Pair-samples t-test, at level p>0.05, indicated there was no significant difference between the mean scores of the two sets of emails. Results also revealed the use of smartphones and emoticons by the students.Conclusion:Communication skills, including the effective use of emails, should be taught at undergraduate level in veterinary nursing to better prepare graduates for the workplace.
Veterinary practices may be presented with both captive and wild turtles that have sustained shell fractures caused by such things as road trauma and dog attacks. With the appropriate care these animals can be successfully treated. The initial nursing care provided to these patients can greatly affect their long-term survivability.This case report details the treatment of an Eastern Long-neck Turtle (Chelodina longicollis) that sustained a shell fracture after being struck by a large hail stone. It highlights the treatment required to initially stabilise the turtle, the options available to repair the shell fracture and the post-operative care needed for a successful outcome.
Teamwork is regarded as a core skill within the veterinary nursing profession. The ability to work with other members of the clinical team is critical to the health and welfare of veterinary patients, client satisfaction and the success of the veterinary business. The stages of teambuilding and Belbin team roles are presented here as examples of teamworking theory that may be applied in practice. An understanding of how teams are formed, and the individual roles played by members of the team, will help to ensure that healthcare teams function more effectively and efficiently.
There are numerous dental problems that can affect rabbits including tooth root abscesses, periodontitis, jaw abnormalities, caries, and traumatic injury, however, the most common problems are malocclusions and most of these can be attributed to lack of wear and tooth elongation. Dental disease can be pronounced with visible protrusion of overgrown incisors, but often disease can only be assumed by observing clinical signs such as anorexia, weight loss, swelling of the jaw, hypersalivation, and an inability to fully close the mouth. The incidence of dental disease is very high so rabbits should be routinely examined for evidence of dental disease. Veterinary nurses should also actively educate clients about dental disease including preventative care, correct husbandry and routine observations for signs indicating early onset disease.
Traumatic wounds are commonly seen in veterinary practice, and can have a wide range of aetiology and severity. What all traumatic wounds have in common is that they present with the same impediments to healing: bacterial contamination; foreign material; and necrotic tissue. These impediments will be present in varying degrees depending on the aetiology and the time elapsed since injury, but in all cases they need to be addressed in the early stages of wound management.Wound lavage and debridement are commonly performed with the aim of producing a healthy wound bed. This article looks at how wounds can be succesfully managed from presentation through to lavage. The goals are to prevent further contamination from the clinic environment and patient's skin, and then reduce the contamination present in the wound with effective lavage technique.
The continued prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections has raised awareness and standards of hygiene within veterinary practices. As the range and complexity of surgical procedures carried out within veterinary practice increases, so does the awareness and expectations of clients.Infection control measures, such as the appointment of a designated infection control officer, and protocols, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) 6-step hand hygiene method, have done much to raise standards, and are now routine practice throughout many veterinary surgeries. But has the same level of consideration been given to surgical supplies? Can we be sure that as long as the chemical indicator has initiated the expected colour change, the contents of a pack is sterile? Human errors are frequently associated with sterilisation failure. This article aims to discuss some such errors and the ways in which they may be prevented.
The veterinary environment has been seen to cause a fear-based reaction in a large number of patients. Fear of the veterinary practice or environment can lead to occurrences of aggression, injury and impede on the welfare of patients. The ability to recognise the warning signals and the indicators of fear will equip veterinary staff with the knowledge to recognise when a patient is experiencing a fear response. Steps can then be taken to turn the veterinary environment from negative to positive and improve the welfare of all patients as well as make the experience safer for all involved.