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The publication of the guide follows a study of vet professionals published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery which revealed that the main barriers to blood pressure measurement are a lack of time (72.8%) and situational hypertension (92%)1.
Vet professionals also thought the main barrier for owners was cost (80%) whilst the least problematic aspect is the longer consultation needed to accommodate a blood pressure measurement (48.8%).
The guide has been written to address these concerns and empower vet nurses to run nurse-led clinics for older pets.
Written by RVN, Beth Kirwan, the guide provides information on the benefits of vet nurse-led senior pet clinics, which can either be free or paid, together with hints and tips on how to get started and promotion.
The guide also covers the importance of a senior health-check questionnaire, tips on preparing and setting up a clinic, a 10-point health check providing guidance on what should be covered and information on additional senior pet tests that can be carried out, such as blood pressure checks for senior cats aged seven years or older to help identify feline hypertension.
Beth said: "I was really excited to be asked by Ceva to create this resource for veterinary nurses and grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge.
"I have been a nurse for over 22 years, and I am passionate about making our nurses feel valued in practice.
"Nurse clinics are a really good way to do this, but I feel that setting up a senior nurse clinic service in a practice creates so much value in many ways and for every member of the practice, from the receptionists to the vets.
"Our RVNs are the stars of the show with senior nurse clinics; they bring so much experience, care and compassion and are a great reflection of our practice values.
"They often have the time that the vets don't have and will go home knowing they made a difference to a pet and an owner, or a family.
"Veterinary nurses can help identify disease early, support the owners with home adaptations or new medicine regimes.
"They can also educate the clients in senior and super senior care as our pets are living longer and provide quality of life and end of life support.
"The benefits are huge; as well as a financial benefit support like this will bond clients to a practice for life.
"We are all businesses, but we need to be caring businesses.
"I hope the guide provides inspiration to many nurses and empowers them to set up a new service or helps them to improve their current one."
Dr Sarah Caney, RCVS recognised Specialist in Feline Medicine who led the study said: “Our recent survey had more VN participants than vets, showing just how enthusiastic and engaged nurses are when it comes to assessing blood pressure in cats.
"Owners very much appreciate nurse clinics and I’m delighted to hear that there is a new senior pet clinics guide to support nurses in setting up and running successful clinics.”
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