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Companion animal veterinary nursing sessions

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Monday 6 April

Sepsis is a rapidly evolving field in human medicine. recent research has highlighted that pre-thought strategies for management may not be the best for patients. This lecture will discuss how we manage and monitor dogs and cats with sepsis. We will talk about the recent evidence base in both veterinary and human medicine and use a practical approach to allow you to fitness you treatment.

We are all familiar with bleeding tendencies, the clinical picture is easy to identify in most cases. Hypercoagulable patients on the other hand can be much more difficult to identify. Yet, hypercoagulability is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in veterinary patients, consider the cat with aortic thromboembolism, or the dog with IMHA that developed breathing problems. This lecture will discuss the presentations associated with hypercoagulabilty, talk about the patients that are at risk and how we may be able to identify them and highlight recent guidelines.

The recognition of hypotension and therefore its subsequent, successful treatment is still one of the most underappreciated complications associated with veterinary anaesthesia. Most of the anaesthetic protocols employed in veterinary practice involve the administration of inhalational anaesthetic agents which are known to cause significant cardiovascular depression. This presentation highlights the incidence of hypotension seen over a one year period and provides an insight into importance of blood pressure monitoring and reviews the treatment of hypotension.

The ECG is an underutilised monitoring tool in veterinary practice. Recognition of the common ECG abnormalities seen under anaesthesia and an understanding of the mechanism of action of commonly used anaesthetic agents can be a powerful tool for recognition of inappropriate anaesthetic depth and assist with the fine tuning of any anaesthetic period. Additionally, knowledge of pharmacologically induced arrhythmias allows the veterinary nurse to alert the veterinarian to possible underlying acute, or chronic, cardiac conditions.

Patient advocacy can be defined as ensuring that our patients receive the best and most appropriate care (medical, physiological, environmental) to optimise a positive outcome. There are many areas regarding patient advocacy that can be considered as part of a professional health team. As a veterinary nurse we are often the patients’ advocate whilst they are in our care. It is the actions that we perform every day that can enhance the individual patient care and in turn move towards a more positive outcome. Our patients rely on us to ‘speak up’ for them. We need to not only understand the patient, its condition and its treatment required but also implement through nursing plans to achieve ultimate care. Our key focus areas will cover: (1) planning; (2) implementation; (3) evaluation; and (4) communication.

Tuesday 7 April

There is little published data on client compliance in veterinary medicine. Some guidelines exist from human studies and unpublished work. Studies have shown that a substantial proportion of human patients comply poorly with drug therapies prescribed by physicians. In two canine studies, only 27% of owners gave the prescribed number of doses at the correct time each day during short-term antibiotic treatment. This talk will focus on how to improve compliance of medication and the role the vet nurse can play.

Pancreatitis is a common presentation in first opinion practice and can be very challenging to manage. This talk will focus on dogs with pancreatitis, where the evidence base is better developed. Dogs with pancreatitis have abdominal pain, nausea and may be unwilling to eat. Previous guidelines recommended prolonged starvation, however it is thought that this may not be the best way to manage these patients. This lecture will discuss strategies that can be applied practically to assist with the management of animals with pancreatitis.

Even the most well-meaning veterinarian can overlook the impact that surgical or diagnostic procedure has on patient welfare by underestimating the type and degree of pain the patient is experiencing in the perioperative period. This presentation reviews the role of the opioids in perioperative pain management and reviews the role of opioids as emetic as well as antiemetic agents. It also provides an insight into some unrecognised advantages of the commonly used mu opioid agonist methadone.

This lecture will use cases to outline an approach to multi-trauma cases focussing on the role of the veterinary nurse in assessment and monitoring as well as guidance and support of the team to lead to the best possible outcomes.

Regurgitation and consequential pulmonary aspiration or oesophageal stricture formation are “titanic” complications that occur during veterinary and human anaesthesia. What we less aware of however is the incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or “non-overt regurgitation”. After nearly ten years of intermittent oesophageal sampling, we have a greater understanding of the true incidence of GOR under anaesthesia, the ways to predict it is occurring, and the risk factors that are likely involved.

Obtaining feline blood for transfusion can be challenging. Recent media attention has hightlighted the successful use of xenotransfusion in some cases. This lecture will talk about how to manage cats with anaemia when feline blood isn't immediately available including the evidence base surrounding xenotransfusion and what is necessary to ensure that whatever is done it is done in the safest possible way.

Feline transfusion is increasingly common in general practice and is achievable with forethought. This lecture will outline how and when to perform in-house feline transfusions, what is required and how to ensure that everything is done in the safest possible way for donor and recipient.

You’ve just received a promotion, and you’re ecstatic. You can’t wait to start your new leadership position, and the wheels are already turning with exciting ideas to implement. But it comes to your attention that not everyone on your team is as excited about your promotion as you are. Some of your peers-turned-direct reports feel they are more qualified for your job because they have more experience and longer tenure. Others wonder what changes you will be making, and how these changes will affect them. Still others worry about what will happen to your close friendship. No need to panic! Remember, your organisation demonstrated confidence in your abilities by promoting you to be the leader of your team. We will focus on the following tips for success (1) understand the supervisory role you have accepted; (2) the need for support throughout your transition; (3) honest conversations with the team on how your working relationship will change; and (4) team discussion covering your expectations.