File - Mr. Lavoie's Science Webpage

Nursing Care and Procedures
Michael Lavoie, B.S.
Middlesex Community College
Veterinary Assistant Program
March 2012
Common Abbreviations in the Vet
Ab antibody
AD right ear
AS left ear
AU both ears
ACL anterior cruciate ligament
ad lib as much as desired
ag antigen
ant. anterior
AP anterior posterior
bid twice a day (can also be written q12hrs)
BP blood pressure
BW body weight
ºC degree Celsius (centigrade)
Ca calcium
cal calorie(s)
cc cubic centimeter
CDC Centers for Disease Control and
CF cardiac failure
CHF congestive heart failure
CNS central nervous system
CPR cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CSF cerebrospinal fluid
DEA Drug Enforcement Agency
DJD degenerative joint disease
dL deciliter(s)
DM diabetes mellitus
dx diagnosis
ECG electrocardiogram
EFA essential fatty acids
eg for example
EKG electrocardiogram
ºF degree Fahrenheit
FDA Food and Drug Administration
 FeLV feline leukemia virus
 FIP feline infectious peritonitis
 FIV feline immunodeficiency virus
 FLUTD feline lower urinary tract disease
 FUO fever of undetermined origin
 fx fracture
 g gram(s)
 GDV gastric dilatation and volvulus GI
 gr grain(s)
hr hour(s)
IBD inflammatory bowel disease
IC intracardiac
IM intramuscular(ly)
IN intranasal
IV intravenous(ly)
IVD intervertebral disc
kg kilogram(s)
L liter(s)
lat. Lateral
lb pounds (may be written #)
LPF low-power field
m meter(s)
mEq milliequivalent(s)
µg microgram
mg milligram(s)
min minute(s)
mL milliliter(s)
MLV modified live virus
mm millimeter(s)
mo month(s)
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
NAF no abnormalities found
NSAIDS non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
O2 oxygen
OD right eye
OS left eye
OU both eyes
OTC over the counter
oz ounce(s)
PCV packed cell volume
PE physical exam
plt platelet
PO per os
PRN as required
qid four times daily q4h every 4 hours
qod every other day
RBC red blood cell(s)
rx treatment, prescription
SC subcutaneous(ly)
Sub Q subcutaneous(ly)
sx surgery
tid three times daily, q8hrs
UTI urinary tract infection
VD ventral dorsal
WBC white blood cell
wk week(s)
wt weight
yr year(s)
Process of killing all living organisms on a
Treatment area
Exam rooms
Surgical suites
Several classifications
Cold Sterilization
Process of soaking items in a disinfectant
chemical until they are cleansed for reuse
Cold trays hold a chemical that acts as a
sterilizing agent
Items that are used often and require a
simple and quick sanitation method
Brushes, nail clippers, some instruments
Endotracheal tubes
Dry heat or incineration
 Use of flame by exposing an item to extreme
heat or through incineration
 Incinerator- used to burn the remains of items
that have the potential to spread disease
 Incineration- necessary with biological hazards,
medical wastes, and animal remains
 Requires the items to be burned to ashes to
prevent the spread of disease
 Sterilizes items, especially surgical equipment
 Autoclave- piece of equipment in the form of a
sealed chamber
Objects are exposed to heat and steam under pressure
at extremely hot temperatures to kill living organisms
Special preparation of instruments requires- different
layers to protect instruments and self life
Indicator tape.
Radiation and ultrasound
 Another method of sterilization
 Radiation- use of ultraviolet or gamma rays that
radiate and kill living organisms
 Ultrasound- passage of high frequency sound
waves through a solution to create a vibration
that scrubs an item to remove debris
Ultrasonic cleaner- machine where items soak in a
solution that vibrates and remove dirt and debris
Used primarily for surgical instruments/equipment
Done prior to packing instruments for autoclaving
Part of the cleaning process
 Method of sanitation
 Remove particles from the air using a physical
 Common in lab areas, research facilities
 Usually entails a separate room that is entered
prior to entering the area where animals are
housed or contained
 Pressurized room that prevents organisms from
entering a facility
 Sterile clothing and personal protective
equipment (PPE)
 Involves cleaning and disinfecting the veterinary
 Controls the direct spread of organisms on
surfaces, in the air and on other objects within
the facility
 Employees must follow standard sanitation
procedures and policies
 Failure- harm to patients, loss of clients,
decrease in revenue, loss of jobs
 Awareness of potential transmission of diseases
from patient to patient and patient to people
Sanitation chemicals and cleaners
Handle with care
Some have harmful vapors
Can cause burns
Always read the label or MSDS (material
safety data sheet)
Proper dilution
Wear gloves, goggles
Specific chemicals for specific areas
1 teaspoon= 5 mL
1 tablespoon= 15 mL
1 ounce= 30 mL
 Solutions that destroy microorganisms or inhibit
their growth on living tissue
 Effective disinfecting agents
 Variety of properties that alter their uses and
Spectrum of activity- what the agent will kill
Concentration of the solution- strength of the solution
Contact time- how long the disinfectant should sit
Appropriate surface uses
Inhibiting factors- uses that should be avoided
Toxic effects- hazardous effects the agent may have to
humans or animals
 Chlorhexidine solution- disinfectant
 Chlorhexidine scrub- disinfectant and antiseptic
 Bleach- cleaner and disinfectant
 Alcohol- disinfectant and antiseptic
 Hydrogen peroxide- antiseptic
 Betadine/iodine- disinfectant and antiseptic
 Formaldehyde- disinfectant
Hand Hygiene
 Handwashing
 Most common method of spreading disease- direct hand
 Sneezing
 Coughing
 Restrooms
 Touching or handling each animal
 Money
 Direct contact with people
 Phones
 Door handles
Proper hand washing
Antibacterial soap and use water or hand
Avoid wearing jewelry, fake nails, long
Post reminder signs
Moisturizers at wash stations
Exam Room Santiation
Important part of safety and disease control
Include rooms, tools, equipment and supplies
All staff members understand and practice
Clean after every patient
Clean from top to bottom, dry to wet areas, sweep up
hair and debris
Use up and down and side to side motions
Empty trash
Place items in sharps containers
Cold tray
Mop bucket- change water and mop head often
Antiseptic techniques
 Most important principle in veterinary hospital
 Practice of keeping a sterile environment and
keeping the environment disease and
contaminant free
 Especially vital in the surgical suites
 Governs how the facility is cleaned, how
equipment and instruments are cleaned, and
how sugical and medical procedures are
 A break in technique leads to possible infection,
disease, and potential patient death
Sterile techniques
Changing of all surfaces with disinfectants
to prevent spread of disease
Glove wearing- animals and possible
Frequent hand washing
Nosocomial infections
A human causes disease and or
contamination of an animal
Unsterile surgical practices
Allowing contagious animals to contact
healthy animals
Contamination of a health animal due to
unsafe sterile practices with hands or
equipment not being cleansed
Veterinary Assisting
 Similar to nursing care in human patients
 A service and trained area essential to caring for
and preventing illness and disease in
hospitalized patients
 Essential to the health of the patients
 Team effort
 Dental care, monitoring IV fluids and catheters,
providing injections for the health of the patient,
understand the needs and process of
Dental Care
 Essential part of veterinary medicine and patient
 Small animals, large animals and pocket pets
 teeth brushing
 Preventative dental care
 Client education
 Monitoring young animals for proper tooth
 Should be part of a yearly exam
Daily dental care
Feed a hard, dry diet
Hard treats
Dental toys or bones
Teeth brushing- proper method and
necessary toold and supplies
No human toothpaste- non-digestible
Daily dental care- continued
 Dentifrices- toothpaste
 Variety of flavors
 Safe, digestible enzymes that can easily be
broken down in the animal’s body
 Fish, malt, beef, poultry
 Humans vs. pet toothbrushes
Needs to fit the size and shape of the animal
Pet toothbrushes- small round head, soft bristles, short
narrow handle- fits comfortable into the mouth of an
Fingerbrush- small tool that fits on the end of the finger,
thimble-like device
The brushing procedure
Similar to brushing one’s own teeth
Only the buccal, labial, and occlusion
surfaces in animals
Buccal- the surface of the teeth, located
on the outer area near the cheek
Labial- surface of the teeth in the front
covered by the lips
Occlusal- top of the teeth
Some things to consider
 It is not safe to open an animal’s mouth to brush
the inside surfaces of the teeth
 Injuries may be caused
 Most areas are easily accessed by lifting the lips
to expose the outer tooth surface
 Be patient- takes time and consistency for an
animal to accept
 Begin with small amounts of toothpaste on the
tip of your finger; allow animal to smell +/- taste
Other considerations
 Start with your finger and then work your way up
to the tooth brush
 Hold the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle over
the tooth
 Brush in a circular pattern
 Brush all teeth
 Introduce at a young age
 Sample kits, models, encouragement to owners
 Want a pleasurable experience!
Dental prophylaxis
 Professional cleaning by a scaling and polishing
the teeth
 May need to be done once a year or more
 Considerations- health, age, and breed of
 Large animals- floating
Prevents sharp edges from forming- difficulty eating
Advanced technique that requires training and
Dental prophylaxis- continued
Provided by the technician
Some participation by assistance
Involves general anesthesia
Technician scales all surfaces of the upper and lower
dental arcade; polishes all tooth surfaces
 Veterinarian checks any diseased areas or extracts teeth
 Complete dental exam performed
 Damaged teeth
 Broken teeth
 Gingivitis
 Missing teeth
 Excessive plaque
Socialization of patients
 Provide positive social interaction to all
hospitalized patients during treatments, cage
cleaning, and/or exercise
 Talk to the animals
 Pet the animals
 Hold them
 Use a gentle and soothing voice
 Most patients are accustomed to human
 Put patients at ease
Exercise of patients
 Provided to hospitalized patients if able
 Important part of their recovery and treatment
 Important for elimination
 Walk outside in a designated and safe area
 Use appropriate leashes
 Proper sanitation methods
 Time outside varies from patient to patient
Humane euthanasia
 Euthanasia is the process of putting an animal to
sleep using humane methods by means of a
painless death
 Way to end an animals suffering
 Decision based on personal beliefs, religious
beliefs, and previous experiences
 Veterinarian guidance and recommendations
 Difficult for owners as well as the veterinary staff
Process of euthanasia
As pain free and stress free as possible
Staff should be supportive and
sympathetic to owner’s needs and values
Maintain client confidentiality
Clients signs a waiver
Discuss the procedure and process of
events with clients
Determine what the owner would like done
with the remains
Process- continued
 Will the client be present?
 Would the client like to pay before?
 Complete all the necessary paperwork before
the procedure is done
 Inform a client of any legal restrictions for
private/home burial
 Determine how the client would like to care for
the animal’s remains
Pet cemetery for burial
Private cremation
Group cremation
Things to consider
 A warm exam room or garden
 Tissues
 Keep things out of sight
 +/- use of sedatives, IV catheters
 Label remains accurately!
After the euthanasia
 Patient’s body will relax completely
 May have agonal response
Gasps of breath while the respiratory system shuts
May be cyanotic
 Lose control of bladder and bowels
 Owners may want time alone after the processkeep private
 Owner may want the pets collar, hair or paw
 Reactions are variable
After the euthanasia
 Be respectful of the remains
 Treat professionally
 Place in a cadaver bag
 Label the bag with an ID tag- “be accurate”
 Place in appropriate area of facility or package
for owner
Cardboard coffins, sheets, waterproof
Clean or disinfect exam room or area as needed
Ensure all controlled drugs and substances are