Education

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....

Legal implications of euthanasia without owner consent

A veterinary surgeon and registered veterinary nurse must act in accordance with an animal owner's wishes and should respect their confidentiality. This can cause conflict as animal welfare should also be considered as a priority. Contradictory messages from legislation and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses are confusing, however, guidance from these suggests that animal welfare overrides all. To practice clinical governance, veterinary...

Clinical governance: quality improvement and clinical audits in practice

Quality improvement (QI) has been employed successfully across various industries, including human healthcare, as well as the aviation and automotive industries. In the veterinary sector, practices are starting to see the many benefits that QI can offer — particularly those that come from conducting clinical audits. Clinical audits are a part of QI and aim to look at how closely clinical practice is carried out when compared with set guidelines or protocols. This article looks at the steps of...

Quality improvement, checklists and systems of work: why do we need them?

Missing out one small step in a complex procedure can lead to an error. A checklist is a list of actions that can identify the small but crucial steps which may be missed out. Checklists are just one of the tools used to form a culture of continuous quality improvement (QI) in veterinary practice. QI is about understanding the level of care practices provide and implementing interventions to try to improve it. Checklists have been used in aviation and in human healthcare to reduce errors. The...

Nursing advice for owners of a visually impaired dog

Dogs are often presented in first opinion practice with visual impairment resulting from a variety of acute and progressive diseases or trauma. Visual impairment and blindness in dogs can be distressing for both the patient and the owner, and registered veterinary nurses can provide guidance and support on the adjustments needed to allow the patient to have a good quality of life. This article will discuss the disease processes, treatment options and client education for canine blindness.

Euthanasia: not an every day experience

Euthanasia can be a very personal and often dreaded time for veterinary clients. As veterinary professionals we carry out euthanasias on a weekly or even daily basis and are therefore liable to suffer from compassion fatigue, potentially leading to burnout or apathetic behaviour. Behaviours such as these could have a negative effect on the care given during euthanasia visits. The aim is to make the 30–40 minute appointment that is a regular occurrence for veterinary professionals truly memorable...

Taking back control

At a time when our world is rapidly changing, in ways that we cannot control, it is more important than ever to lean in and be there for each other and for ourselves. Taking back control requires recognising what is under our control, what we can influence and what is outside our sphere of influence, followed by taking action to control what we can, and learning not to waste mental, physical or emotional energy fighting what we cannot control.

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