Volume 6 Issue 10

Why we should all play a role in VN training

I've personally been involved with student training since I qualified and have seen over 40 students pass through training practices that I have worked in. It makes me feel exceptionally proud that knowledge I have passed on to my students has helped them to succeed in their chosen career as a veterinary nurse or technician. Student training is vital in creating the next generation of nurses/technicians and we should all take some responsibility in the creation of these people and the standard of nursing ability that we impart on to them.

We wish you a merry itchmas!

We all know that fleas like warm, mild weather. They thrive in the spring and through the summer, with their numbers typically declining into the autumn and over the winter. But what happens when our seasons merge? Are fleas now a year round problem?

Nursing a patient with feline urethral obstruction — a patient care report

Feline urethral obstruction is a potentially life threatening emergency which requires immediate attention. A nursing care plan ensures that veterinary nurses are able to tailor care based on the patient's individual needs. Fluid therapy, pain assessments and catheter care are just three of the areas that require particular attention. This report aims to discuss the importance of these nursing interventions in an emergency situation.

Changes in behaviour in elderly cats and dogs, part 2: management, treatment and prevention

Behaviour changes in elderly cats and dogs can indicate the presence of a number of different medical problems as well as the development of age-related cognitive dysfunction. The quality of life of elderly animals with mobility problems, sensory loss and cognitive dysfunction can be significantly improved through the use of management strategies designed to improve accessibility to their environment and important resources. In addition, there are various treatment options available for animals with cognitive dysfunction including dietary supplementation, increasing mental and physical stimulation and medication. Veterinary nurses need to be able to advise owners about these and help design treatment plans that are appropriate for individual animals taking into account any other health or behavioural problems they may have. They can also advise pet owners about preventive strategies that may help increase cognitive reserve and slow the rate of cognitive decline as animals age.

Consideration of pain scoring systems

Effective pain assessment is an important and essential attribute of a registered veterinary nurse (RVN), however, despite this studies have highlighted that recognition of adequate analgesia requirements in veterinary practice is low. Since 2010 RVNs have become accountable for their own actions with a requirement to follow a Code of Professional Conduct. This states that animal health should always be the first consideration highlighting a requirement for a clear understanding of analgesia and pain assessment. Pain scoring systems can be utilised to encourage individual assessment of patients and encourage a holistic approach to nursing resulting in a high standard of nursing care.

Identifying and controlling hazards to operating theatre personnel

Safety in the operating theatre for both staff and patients requires careful planning, use of appropriate personal protective equipment and demands daily attention by all members of the surgical team and support staff.This article aims to serve as a reminder of the potential hazards in the operating theatre and as a means of raising awareness of the potential risks. Working in an operating theatre is never going to be without risk, however if each member of theatre personnel develops the habit of focusing on both patient safety and occupational safety at the same time, risks and hazards may be minimised.

Control of endoparasites in adult horses

There are many factors that contribute to the clinical relevance of endoparasites in adult horses and much research has been undertaken into the factors that cause disease in susceptible equine populations. Many control strategies (for example faecal egg counts) and anthelmintic treatment programmes have been recommended in order to limit the clinical effects of these intestinal parasites; however due to the lack of clinical signs seen in horses most owners have relied on the routine prophylactic use of anthelmintics, and as a result anthelmintic resistance has become a growing concern. Veterinary nurses can play an important role in the continuing education of horse owners by providing advice on such topics as pasture management, targeted dosing and faecal egg counts.

Hydrotherapy for the osteoarthritic dog: why might it help and is there any evidence?

There are many potential factors that can play a role in the initial development of osteoarthritis, however, irrespective of cause, the progression of osteoarthritis is similar in all cases. Pathological changes within the joint are often self-perpetuating; degeneration of articular cartilage initiates an inflammatory response which results in further degeneration of the cartilage. Pain and discomfort and subsequent reduced activity follows, leading to reduced aerobic ability and further changes within the musculoskeletal tissues. With no cure available, treatment often centres on management strategies to ease discomfort and progression of clinical signs. Hydrotherapy could be beneficial for osteoarthritic patients as it allows exercise to be conducted in a reduced weight bearing environment. This allows aerobic ability, muscle strength and range of motion to be improved/maintained while reducing the impact on painful joints. Available evidence suggests that treatment with hydrotherapy is beneficial in the management of osteoarthritis, however, further evidence is required in the comparison of aquatic and land-based therapy.

How to suture — types and patterns in veterinary surgery

Wound management is an integral part of daily veterinary practice. All wounds should be considered individually with regards to their most appropriate closure method, this is most commonly via suturing. Nurses are able to perform suturing under Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeon's Act 1966 when supervised by a veterinary surgeon. The nurse should be aware of the different types of suture material, needles, knots and patterns available to ensure proper closure of the wound.

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