RVC nurses launch first ever practical small animal anaesthesia guide for RVNs - Veterinary Practice
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RVC nurses launch first ever practical small animal anaesthesia guide for RVNs

Registered veterinary nurses at the Royal Veterinary College have launched a practical guide to small animal anaesthesia

The book, The Veterinary Nurse’s Practical Guide To Small Animal Anaesthesia, was published in May 2023.

It is the first-ever anaesthesia guide to be fully written by registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) for RVNs.

The book was created after anaesthesia nurses at the the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)’s Queen Mother Hospital for Animals in Hertfordshire discussed the need for a practical guide to anaesthesia and its potential complications, particularly one that was written fully by RVNs for the RVN in practice.

It is hoped that the publication of this book will empower RVNs with knowledge that can help them provide anaesthesia management that is as safe as possible for those in their care. 

Niamh Clancy, anaesthesia RVN and teaching fellow at the RVC set out to make this a reality and after approaching Wiley, a book deal was agreed. A group of RVNs from the RVC then worked together to produce the book.

The RVNs were all specialist anaesthesia nurses with a range of qualifications, including an American vet tech specialist (VTS) in anaesthesia and analgesia and other RVNs with the national certificate in anaesthesia and analgesia and a PGCert AVN in anaesthesia and analgesia.

The guide discusses each part of the anaesthetic process from start to finish. This includes the choice of anaesthetic agents, monitoring equipment that can be used and a case study section that discusses some commonly seen patients and makes suggestions of how the RVN in practice could approach these.

The guide also discusses monitoring equipment that can be used in the peri-anaesthetic period and provides a quick reference guide at the end of each chapter that can be used in specific emergency situations.

Niamh said: “Since the first conception of the idea in the recovery room of the QMHA, we wanted this book to be by RVNs for RVNs and to be an essential and accessible guide for the RVN in practice.”

Perdi Welsh, director of veterinary nursing, principal teaching fellow and course director for certificates in advanced veterinary nursing at the RVC, added: “This book by our anaesthesia RVNs is built up from many years working in a highly collaborative and supportive team environment.

“It’s great to see this team passing on their knowledge, expertise and experience to empower others in their learning. 

“It’s an essential read for anyone doing anaesthetics; VNs and vets in clinical practice, to help them gain confidence in being able to deal with all aspects of small animal anaesthesia.

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