Volume 8 Issue 9

The future role of the veterinary nurse

I am delighted to hear that registered veterinary nurses are keen to expand their role and that veterinary surgeons support them in this wish. In the final report of the RCVS's The Future Role of the Veterinary Nurse: 2017 Schedule 3 survey, released on October 27th, the majority of both RVNs (92%) and veterinary surgeons (71%) agreed that RVNs should be able to undertake additional areas of work that are not currently permitted under Schedule 3. Virtually all RVNs and veterinary surgeons agreed that RVNs should be able to administer medicine by intramuscular injection; administer preventative POM-Vs such as endo-and ecto-parasiticides, and administer medicines by intravenous injection. Cat castrations and dental extractions — previously discussed candidates for adding to the list of tasks permitted to RVNs — did not reach the same consensus, with RVNs more keen to carry out these tasks than veterinary surgeons were to delegate them.

How to maximise your auscultation technique

Auscultation is a cheap and easy diagnostic tool available in veterinary practice. Yet it often creates uncertainty, prompting both nurses and veterinary surgeons to seek second opinions amongst colleagues. The purpose of this article is to explore the best techniques for auscultation, and discuss the different sounds that can be heard in dogs and cats when listening to the heart. The starting point of auscultation is to identify normal heart sounds. This will then help recognise abnormal heart sounds, which can then be split into loudness, timing, and point of maximal intensity.

Is veterinary nursing a visible profession? Part two

With recruitment, returning to work and retention being key to the future of veterinary nursing what are the issues that are common across all these areas? Veterinary nurses have limited visibility in their role. There is also the lack of a media image that reinforces the veterinary nurse skills base and a lack of veterinary nursing presence in the financial aspect of both business and client relations. These factors all contribute to a role that is hard for people to visualise and define. In part two the financial worth of the veterinary nurse is discussed in relation to visibility in the practice and visibility for clients. The impact of this is reviewed in relation to veterinary nursing careers and recruitment, returning to work and retention, including gender inequality.

Pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease and the nursing care of cats

Chronic kidney disease due to a progressive loss of kidney function is a condition regularly seen in the veterinary hospital with signs not only being polyuria and polydipsia, but anorexia, mucosal ulcers and dehydration. Understanding the pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease allows nursing care to be tailored not only for the condition, but to the individual patient encouraging a holistic approach and quality client care.

Dermatophytosis for veterinary nurses

Dermatophytosis is a challenging condition to treat and requires a thorough and methodical approach from the veterinary team as far as diagnosis and management is concerned to ensure the disease resolves. The veterinary nurse can be actively involved in the management of this condition at all stages of the process, from the tests required for diagnosis through to the treatment and follow-up care of pets with dermatophytosis. This ensures that veterinary surgeons have support in these cases and can approach them effectively, while the owners will receive the time required to ensure their compliance with treatment protocols which is essential for its resolution.

Nursing the recumbent patient

Nursing the recumbent patient can be both challenging and rewarding. Patients can have a varying degree of recumbency from a patient with osteoarthritis to a dog in a coma. Both require a thorough assessment to determine the level of nursing care that they will need. A thorough assessment will facilitate a holistic approach ensuring the correct nursing interventions can be implemented to nurse the patient to recovery.

Euthanasia of aggressive dogs: ethical considerations

Over the last decade, attacks by dangerous dogs on humans and other animals have been on the rise. This has inevitably resulted in greater numbers of aggressive, but otherwise healthy, dogs being presented in practice — often for euthanasia. This article aims to explore the role of the registered veterinary nurse (RVN) in the euthanasia of such patients. Legal and professional accountability with regards to this dilemma will be considered, and ethical frameworks will be discussed, as a way to help guide the RVN in these cases. The role of the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses in dealing with ethical dilemmas will also be highlighted.

Ticks on dogs and cats

Ticks are parasites classified within the subclass Acari, which includes other parasites such as mites. Ticks feed exclusively on the blood of host animals and are important pests of dogs and cats, capable of spreading a range of pathogens. The identification and treatment of ticks and these pathogens is described.

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