The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

First Aid

One of the most important parts of the veterinary nursing syllabus is the administration of first aid to injured or sick animals. Prompt and competent action may mean the difference between life and death.

In an emergency, when no veterinary surgeon is available to give directions, first aid may be administered to an animal in order to preserve life and alleviate suffering until a veterinary surgeon is able to attend to the case.

It is the aim of this chapter to describe emergency situations that you may come face to face with in small animal practice and to enable you to deal with such cases calmly and proficiently. As with most subjects in the syllabus you should never be expected to deal with emergency cases alone until you have received thorough training in practice. Learning and revising the theory of first aid is of course essential, but there can be no substitute for practical training.

Learning Objectives
The learning objectives of this chapter are:

  • To be competent in handling and transporting injured animals.
  • To perform an initial general examination of an injured animal and prioritise treatment.
  • To be able to administer suitable first aid to an animal suffering poisoning.
  • To be competent in the administration of effective and appropriate first aid to an animal suffering haemorrhage.
  • To be able to administer first aid in the cases of wounds, bites, stings, burns and scalds.
  • To be able to administer first aid to an animal suffering a fracture, dislocation, sprain, strain or ruptured tendon.
  • To be able to administer first aid in cases of dyspnoea.
  • To be able to administer first aid in other emergency situations.