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Collaboration is the name of the game
Helen Ballantyne spoke at BSAVA Congress.

Helen Ballantyne speaks on One Health opportunities for veterinary nurses

No matter which definition one consults, the concept of One Health is defined as a 'triad' involving human and animal health, together with the environment.

"It's all right there in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses," said Helen: 6.1 Veterinary nurses must seek to ensure the protection of public health and animal health and welfare, and must consider the impact of their actions on the environment.

"We have the ear of the clients," said Helen. "And this is our strength in our involvement with the One Health collaborative initiatives. One Health as seen from a veterinary nursing perspective is very different to that of veterinary surgeons. It focuses on all the aspects of caring and frontline nursing skills."

She went on to cite the three main areas in which veterinary nurses – sharing knowledge and resources with human nurses – can play a major role. These are: pets as therapy for people in care (PAT dogs); interprofessional collaboration on linked campaigns; and the development of a district nursing role.

Chronic conditions in humans are of growing concern and changing the face of human nursing. This is being reflected in the way they work. It should also be mirrored in the way that veterinary nurses approach preventive healthcare – through nursing care plans, communication and interpersonal skills, effective leadership of teams, advancing practice based upon research, and progressing education through CPD.

Helen presented several examples of collaborative campaigns involving veterinary nurses and their human nursing colleagues. These included the vital role played by conversations that veterinary nurses have with pet owners – who are addicted to smoking – about the adverse effect of smoking on their pets. This can often help them begin to kick the habit.

She said a similar response can be achieved by encouraging morbidly obese dog owners to exercise more frequently with their pets.

Returning again to the theme of professional responsibilities, Helen said that their was ample scope – within their existing, respective codes of conduct – for both human and veterinary nurses to share resources to facilitate better outcomes. She emphasised the importance of nurses speaking out and being proactive in adopting opportunities for shared educational approaches.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”