Education

Should veterinary professionals be having more frequent CPR training?

This literature review critically analyses papers on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, the studies suggest frequent training or retraining can help with CPR; the evidence of medical professionals in various roles and environments shows that regular training for staff can help with skills and knowledge retention. This training also demonstrates that there can be improvement in chest compression depth and efficiency as well as better response times of staff to a cardiopulmonary arrest....

Quality improvement for patient safety and a better practice culture

This article explores the subjects of quality improvement, patient safety and practice culture, and the relationships between them. These subjects are highly relevant to the care that patients receive — learning more about them can improve our ability to treat animals effectively. A positive practice culture is one that encourages civility, teamwork, a blame-free attitude to errors, and a learning approach for the whole team. Quality improvement is a mechanism to improve standards of care — it...

Chronic illness and resilience in the veterinary industry

Chronic illnesses affect approximately 26 million people in the UK, with 10 million people having multiple conditions. The effect of often ‘invisible illnesses’ can be debilitating in their symptoms, compounded by the associated stigma, fear and anxiety the individuals suffer. This article looks at a small selection of chronic illnesses and their effects, as well as how to help colleagues or staff, and ensure consideration is given to all the team, no matter how ‘healthy’ they appear.

Surveillance of hospital acquired infections in veterinary practices

The importance of surveillance of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) is often overlooked within the veterinary community, with limited research available, resulting in this vital step being overlooked. When carried out correctly, it allows a practice to accumulate data on the rates of HAIs and ascertain when further action is required. Without these data, practices are often unaware of the severity of their problem. All practices should have an infection control ambassador or committee appointed...

Canine behaviour medicine in UK small animal practice

Despite the advancements in the field of veterinary behaviour medicine, problem behaviours remain a leading cause for canine relinquishment and euthanasia in the UK and so should be of concern to veterinary professionals. This review aimed to critically evaluate the literature on the perceptions of the veterinary care team, including the veterinary practitioner and the veterinary nurse, of their roles in canine behaviour medicine. Additionally, the review discussed barriers to the delivery of...

Considerations for hand hygiene to reduce hospital acquired infections in practice

As veterinary nurses, our role as set out in the professional conduct guidance by the RCVS states that when providing care, veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses should ‘ensure a hygienic and safe environment’.This means that we should actively contribute to the careful consideration of day-to-day practices within the clinic that safeguard patients to ensure that when they enter they clinics, they are not exposed to increased risk from infection. Understanding the need for good hand hygiene...

Flexible working: a new way forward to an old concept

This article provides a high level overview around flexible working, an employer and employees legislative requirements and the benefits available to those who choose to embrace flexible working. Flexible working is not a new concept however COVID-19 has had an impact on working patterns that many companies never considered or wanted to implement. The application of flexible working in the veterinary industry is not well explored, which is concerning given the health and wellbeing concerns the...

Weight management: insights from the science of human behaviour change

Helping animal owners to recognise and manage obesity in their animals is a particularly complex area of communications in veterinary medicine. Several studies have outlined the difficulty veterinary professionals face in such discussions, including frustration with the client, embarrassment (particularly if the owner is also overweight), and a sense of inevitable failure. However, obesity continues to be a serious and prevalent welfare problem in dogs, cats, and probably other companion animals...

An evidence-based approach to workplace anaesthesia training. Part 2

Part one of this article considered the value of using educational evidence to teach student veterinary nurses (SVNs), discussed the characteristics of SVNs as learners, and described the importance of developing SVNs—not only in their anaesthetic skills, but also in becoming more self-directed professionals. As part one highlighted some of the challenges that SVNs experience as they attempt to learn in a veterinary practice, this second part will consider some common questions about veterinary...

The use of an evidence-based approach for teaching student veterinary nurses during workplace anaesthesia training. Part 1

Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are often required to take up the role of a teacher for student veterinary nurses (SVNs) during workplace learning. Formal education training is not a routine part of the veterinary nurse curriculum and so it is common that RVNs undertaking this role do so without background knowledge of education theory. In the same way that evidence-based medicine guides clinical decisions, evidence can guide educational practice and the ways that RVNs teach SVNs....

How debriefing post cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation can be used to improve training

Debriefing is a form of discussion used in human medicine following significant events, such as cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) and resuscitation. There are no studies in veterinary medicine specifically exploring the benefits of debriefing post CPA, showing known knowledge gaps. However, there are studies in training for resuscitation and staff resilience that mention debriefing as tools, and there are studies in human medicine that look at different types of debriefing and benefits. This...

Evaluation of the nursing care plan in a thyroidectomy surgical case

Veterinary nurses work closely with their patients to deliver a high quality of care. This care is implemented using nursing care plans (NCPs). This article aims to evaluate the use of a nursing care plan and its value in practice as well as enhancing nurses' understanding of them. Within this article the author will be discussing the actual and potential problems and implementing the nursing interventions in a nursing care plan pre, post surgery and at discharge in a thyroidectomy case....

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