Sunday, 29 November 2009


I know l have grumbled on this before but especially in the run up to Christmas and just after the following calls increase 10 fold.

Ringing up and telling me that you have bought 1, 2 3 or 4+ pedigree puppies or kittens (or even non pedigrees) and want them vaccinated is fine and sounds responsible. The vaccination part, not the fact you have multiple animals.

Telling me that you are on benefits and expect to have everything done cheap or free will get you a polite reply (because l have to be polite) but it will not get you free or reduced rates. I will go to very formal tell you to go and call a charity not a private practice. If you start whining on about how much money vets make out of poor people who have nothing, or that it is not convenient to go all the way to the charity practice l will put the phone down on you.
With all your benefits you are often making more than a lot of student veterinary nurses and some qualified nurses.

You want a pet then you pay for it, do not expect everyone else to. Quite frankly if that is your attitude then the chances are the animal is better off being put down because when it needs a vet because it is ill you will avoid paying for it unless it is free and it is likely to become another cruelty statistic.

Telling me that your dog/cat needs a booster, you have become unemployed, are disabled or something has gone genuinely wrong with your life. I will do my best to help you out.

Genuine cases l am only to happy to help but scroungers beware, everyone is sick to death of you "gimme gimme" take take take behaviour.

I said it before and l will say it again:

A Human does not have the right to an animal, but an animal has a right to a responsible human.

(Sorry am now off my soapbox)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Trouble comes in 3s

Another week another practice. Actually l am at this one for a few weeks with side trips for nights to my old emergency work and a prebooked couple of days at Christmas at a different vets. Love it here for the friendliness. The vets make coffee, something that's very rare. And the SVN is always shoving a plate of cheese, ham pineapple toasties or sweets or something into everyone's hands. And the others bring in all sorts of titbits.

Friday l walked into prep sniffing burning. The other nurse was pulling the door open on the tumble dryer coughing and l went to help her try work out what was wrong (other than the fact the tumble dryer wanted to go terminal). While l emptied the fluff catcher she found a load under it that had fallen through.
A good clean and l went off to finish setting up op theatre while she restarted the dryer. I walked back into prep a couple of minutes later to find it somewhat transformed. It was now a swirling fog of smoke. Coughing l yanked the plug out of the wall, the tumble dryer door had already been opened.
We stared at the machine mindful of the old saying.. there is no smoke without fire. Thankfully this situation disproved the saying.

Upshot is that they will need to get a new tumble dryer and the radiators are doing sterling work.

Yesterday l unpacked the drugs order and having lent my scissors out had to use my biro to rip open the tape on the boxes. It worked fine, l had about 3 boxes and it was just tape. I am sure everyone has done the same at some point.
Half an hour later a wet, blue flash on my arm caught my eye. The nib had fallen off and my pocket was flooded. And ever time l moved l was being covered. I carefully surgical spirited my arm to remove the blue and went on the look out for something to put on so my tunic could go in the wash.
Last week l had thought about putting some scrubs in the car "just in case" note the term thought about.
All l could find in the practice for me was a blue scrub top (Nurses wear green and vets blue) tough it would do. Apart from the fact l was squeezed tight and had to be careful about movements as l think it would have ripped if l moved to fast.
General hilarity at my new fashion mode greeted me.

Problem 3 was more disgusting. I have every so often the last few days had the odd bad whiff around my handbag. I should clarify l have a haversack not a standard handbag. I had a look inside but could see nothing. With my work l figure some cat or dog anal glands had misfired and some had zapped it, hazards of the job.
I was at work early today and sat in the car waiting for the other 8am nurse to turn up as she has the keys. I decided to clean my bag out. The base in the main section wouldn't go flat and l lifted it up.

At some point in the last couple of weeks l had a dim memory of buying a ham and mushroom pastie. This had somehow got shoved under the base and forgotten about. Needless to say my "handbag" has been scrubbed with hot water and various washing substances (fairy liquid, washing powder, hibiscrub) and is now drying at work. My temporary handbag is a plastic bag.
The others find it hysterical and l have faced a barrage of hysteria and comments all day.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

New SVN Training (under consultation)

Well it is coming up to all change for the veterinary nursing profession and for the worst. I was going to stay out of it even though on the vetnurse site l go on we were being asked to input our thoughts.
I did ever so well until 22:45 on the 31st of October, consultations closed on 1st Nov. Then l let loose with both barrels. I did say that l doubted they would read my mail as l was sending insults with my comments as l was so angry.

Back towards the end of the 90’s they got rid of what was called the little green book. This training book was thin and easy to use. Had certain tasks that had to be done and no proof of seeing it other than a signature was required.

Then l ended up on the nvq system, on the first lot through l hated it as we all did. It was so badly organised that even the tutors at college did not know what we needed to do. External verifiers changed faster than someone could spit out chewed up bubble gum and all had different ideas. So what one allowed the next wouldn't and that meant more rewrites. With logs and reports and proof about everything.
This has been refined over the years to an over-heavy bit of paperwork and very expensive to run for the practices and has meant a lot of training practices have stopped doing training. The present system needs slimming down, more training practices need to be opened but not like suggested.

Apparently some government funding is ending so now they are throwing baby out with the bathwater and dumbing the whole system down. Of course it is all “consultation stage” yea right and you believe that, most of us (VN's) believe it is a done deal.
I do know that anyone from colleges l have spoken to or who has posted on it on the vet nursing forum l belong to is furious about the changes.

So the new deal will be open to 16year olds, great they are for the most part still very immature and not suitable, certainly for veterinary work.
At the moment students spend time at the practice while they find out if the person is suitable for veterinary nursing. Like all jobs many do not like the reality but even more so in vet nursing.
It has great moments that can make up for the bad for a short time. Over all though is a dirty sad and demanding job. You do a lot of cleaning, you see and help a lot of animals you also help a lot of them die or watch them die as nothing can be done to save them, often for something simple like a new puppy is preferred not the older dog, cruelty to animals is faced daily when you see all the misery that breeders have bred into the species let alone inflicted by bad owners or just random people, bad wages are a big bug, bullying is rife.

The bull on the consultation paper makes out that practices can have new "interns" every year, great you just get someone almost sorted so they can do something and then send them off and a new lot come though.
That practices can have their pick of students. Well actually they can have that now so nothing new there.
That practices won't have to pay students much not even the minimum wage, just a "training allowance". Well that will go down well with some bosses but overall, no pay no reliability or commitment. Wages may be bad now but at least students, are getting something.
At the moment you need to do a minimum number of hours/year in a veterinary practice before you can qualify as a VN that is now being scrapped.

And the really good one. The present system is being scrapped by 2010, the new one needs to be in place by September 2010 intake of students so colleges need to decide how to teach a new not yet designed system in 11 months. Well minus the time to decide what they system will be so call that ohh 4 or 5 months to arrange training.

New deal:

Year 1 - "full time" at college (2 days a week!!) with 25 days in placement made up from 5 days in TP, 5 days in non TP, 5 days in equine practice, 5 days in large animal practice and 5 days in animal based industry such as a pet shop.

I do not know what the difference between a small animal and general is, no one l have asked vet or nurse knows. Then there is the fact that vn’s have nothing to do with large animals generally. Even those that work at a large animal practice very rarely go out with the vets. Many small animal nurses have horses but many more have no contact and have no wish to, they prefer to work in small animal work. As to pet shops, WTF are we meant to learn there?
In 5 days you will only be allowed to mop floors and make coffees. Practices won’t allow untrained people, for the most part kids to do anything else, especially in this day and age when suing is rife.

Year 2 - full time as an employed student at any practice - could be TP or "auxillary" TP. The portfolio will be abolished and the student will have to fill in an online folio, no-one has mentioned if this folio is checked by anyone or if the student does it themselves. There will be no need for assessors or IVs - just mentors and moderators.

Link to the new guidelines

As to rcvs reading my comments, apparently they have sent thank you emails out to people that replied.. Funnily enough l never received one. I am of course devastated at this turn of events, l chose my words so carefully.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

WOW l Won

Woohhooo l had to make a phone call to the emergency clinic yesterday to sort some dates out. The receptionist told me a rep had been in with my prize and she (receptionist)was guarding it till she was able to give it to the head nurse. I was confused as to what l had entered or won. Every so often l enter the odd competition and use the practice details as locums do not seem to exist to drugs company's. As l do not expect to win l then ignore possible results, working on the theory l never win.

A bit later on the HN rang back to sort dates and open the envelope while l was on the phone. I was gobsmacked when she told me l had won £200 of improve cpd vouchers to be used as l wanted whenever. I had won the competition on marbocyl medicated shampoo. I remember l entered that as l was bored one day.

I was having a look at Improve site today. There is a couple that caught my eye. anaesthesia and exotics and pain management but as they are not till next year l have time to decide and there is new course's all the time. I am interested in the wounds talk they do as well the HN is one of the tutors, brilliant at wound treatments l have learnt a lot over the years from her still more to learn though.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I'm Gonna Die!!!!

Siamese, although generally nice cats tend to be neurotic. If they get ill then they know they are going to die. Whether it is a life threatening case or a sore toe. They are full of eastern mysticism and "know" things. This can make them noisy and frustrating as they make sure you know how they are suffering. They are vocal whether lying pathetically on their bed or stalking around the kennel.

The following is a typical but shortened conversation with one. They tend to never shut up.

Siamese ... yowll grrr mmmrrp mrrrppp... (I am going to die)

Me...No you are not, you are just a bit ill.

Siamese (shaking drip leg in air)... Yowwwll grmph yooooowl (I am a siamese l KNOW l am going to die, you are going to embalm me)

Me...No you are not eating and a bit dehydrated that's what the drip is for. (passing a bit of warmed chicken over)

Siamese (muffled as mouth full of chicken)...yowwwlll mpmmph grrrrrmph (You don't know what you are talking about)

Me... If you are going to die you are going on a full belly then

Siamese...mphph (swallow) yowwwllllll yoelll yowll grrr mmmrrp mrrrppp (I tell you l know l am going to die)

Me... Well is it worth wasting food on you if you are going to die?

Siamese (Glaring at food bowl)... Yowwwlllll (Gimme!)

Me... Only if you shut up for 5 min. so l can do your pulse and respiration.

The above Siamese went home the next day, as do so many despite their "I'm gonna die" conviction.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

L8 Arrivals

Had to share this. Hub does skydive coaching for new exp. jumpers on the way up the system at the centre he jumps at. As so many do not want to leave the nest and he has to almost boot or bribe them up a next level he has decided to start an 8way team for competition with the hard core ones that do not want to leave and hang on in there with claws dug into the nest screaming and crying excuses.

He has decided to call it L8 arrivals. It is all a play on words 8 as it is an 8 way team, L8 arrivals is for those who do not make it into whatever formation as they are to "late" and also for those who are always delayed getting kit or whatever.

It is going to be a very "serious" team and one of the members has taken the liberty of doing the first official painting of the team (the L shaped item on the right of the picture is the plane on take off) As you can see the team are in perfect harmony and will go far.

The wording that doesn't show to well as l had to shrink the pic says.."I forgot my helmet" This is the artist who did just that as about to climb into the plane last weekend.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Vetnurses and Bonfire Night

Just because you are working does not mean that you need to miss out on the fun of bonfire night, toasting marshmallows can be achieved with a bit of ingenuity.
The only problem was that some hot marshmallow dripped into the lighter and it blew it's lid off with a loud pop.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Did You Know

Wow l have got so out of kilter with my blog over the last 3 weeks or so mainly since l got ill. Anyhow l am in the middle of writing a long one and this is just a quick stop gap for a chuckle while l catch up. I am on night 2 of 4 nights so won't be much good for brain work anyhow.