Friday 19 November

Companion Animal Veterinary Nursing

8am: Anaesthesia troubleshooting| Vicki Walsh
The recognition of hypotension and therefore its subsequent, successful treatment is still one of the most underappreciated complications associated with veterinary anaesthesia. Most of the anaesthetic protocols employed in veterinary practice involve the administration of inhalational anaesthetic agents which are known to cause significant cardiovascular depression. This presentation highlights the incidence of hypotension seen over a one-year period and provides an insight into importance of blood pressure monitoring, and reviews the treatment of hypotension.

9am: Brachycephalics in practice: recognising danger ahead | Kat Crosse
Brachycephalic breeds in New Zealand may come to the clinic for their airway disease, but also for routine healthcare, accidents and emergencies or chronic health problems. When a dog presents in respiratory distress it is easy to understand what must be prioritized, however when brachycephalic patients present for other conditions it is important to be able to assess which are at risk with regard to handling, sedation, anaesthesia or other interventions. In this talk we will discuss how to identify the “at risk” brachycephalics and how to manage these patients in everyday clinic life.

10.30am: Brachycephalics in practice: airway surgery and recovery | Kat Crosse
If a brachycephalic dog required surgical treatment of their airway, it is important we minimise the risk to the patient at every step of the process. In this talk we will identify the best ways to minimise stress for staff and patient, how to best prepare a patient for surgery and how to provide the best level of care after surgery.

11.30am: Radiography: what’s important and what’s not | Nicki Moffatt
There are numerous textbooks available on veterinary radiography usually showing pages of perfectly positioned and exposed radiographs. As we all know however life is not a textbook, and in a busy veterinary practice staff are focussing on more than just imaging. In this presentation I will help you understand when, and why, it’s important to spend that bit of extra time getting it right and when its ok to just be OK.

1.30pm: Radiography hacks | Nicki Moffatt
In this presentation I will share with you some simple tips and hints to help you produce good diagnostic radiographs. These are things that I have learned from my years of being a veterinary radiographer, often through making mistakes and having to adapt to unique situations, that you won’t necessarily find in a textbook. I am also hoping that delegates will feel inspired to share their own radiographic hacks. Remember, there is always another way to do things.

2.30pm: Xenotransfusion - should we or shouldn’t we? | Robyn Taylor
Many of us will have heard about xenotransfusions – blood of one species being transfused to another species. Today, we most commonly see xenotranfusion performed with canine blood being given to cats, due to the difficulty in obtaining feline blood for our patients. But is it as good as we think it is? This talk will discuss the pros and cons of canine to feline xenotransfusion medicine, why we do it, how effective it is, the risks, and how we can better equip ourselves to obtain appropriate feline blood for transfusion.

4pm: New Zealand Veterinary Nurses Association AGM

5pm: ECG under anaesthesia | Vicki Walsh
The ECG is an underutilised monitoring tool in veterinary practice. Recognition of the common ECG abnormalities seen under anaesthesia and an understanding of the mechanism of action of commonly used anaesthetic agents can be a powerful tool for recognition of inappropriate anaesthetic depth and assist with the fine tuning of any anaesthetic period. Additionally, knowledge of pharmacologically induced arrhythmias allows the veterinary nurse to alert the veterinarian to possible underlying acute, or chronic, cardiac conditions.

Saturday 20 November

Companion Animal

8am: Urinary catheters: when, how, and what care is needed | Kat Crosse
Urinary catheters may be required in patients that either cannot urinate voluntarily, where urine output must be carefully measured or to assist in general recumbent care. The decision of when to place a catheter in a patient should consider the patient’s problem, signalment and ongoing risks. In this talk we will discuss a working algorithm of when to place, how to place and what care is required until it can be removed.

9am: On the front line: fielding client enquiries about animal behaviour | Elsa Flint
Veterinary nurses and receptionists are often faced with distraught owners at wits end with their pet’s behaviour. It is important to know how to deal with this, how to advise and where to refer. This presentation looks at common behaviour problems that clients discuss with nurses and receptionists and how to advise on these from setting up nurse consultations to referring to the most appropriate person within or external to the practice.

10.30am: Analgesia in anaesthesia: how are the opioids stacking up? | Vicki Walsh
Even the most well-meaning veterinarian can overlook the impact that surgical or diagnostic procedure has on patient welfare by underestimating the type and degree of pain the patient is experiencing in the perioperative period. This presentation reviews the role of the opioids in perioperative pain management and reviews the role of opioids as emetic as well as antiemetic agents. It also provides an insight into some unrecognised advantages of the commonly used mu opioid agonist methadone.

11.30am: TIVA (total intravenous anaesthesia) benefits and risks, when to use and what you require to deliver safely | Vicki Walsh
As different anaesthetic agents become more routine and the costs of drugs decrease, there is more interest in what are deemed “newer” anaesthetic techniques. The use of Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) is becoming more popular in veterinary medicine and rightly so as it is a mainstay of ambulatory surgery in humans, mainly due to the rapid return to normal consciousness reducing hospital stay. Benefits are similar in veterinary species, but knowledge of appropriate monitoring techniques and the complications is prime to a successful outcome. A balanced overview of the benefits versus risks of these techniques will be discussed and case appropriateness considered.

1.30pm: Fear free practice | Elsa Flint
Just as going to the doctor or dentist can be daunting for people, many animals are fearful of the vet clinic. If animals are fearful, it is difficult for examinations and procedures to be successfully completed. Fearful animals can be dangerous behaving in ways that may put themselves, owners and staff at risk. It IS possible to ensure pets have a fear free experience at the vet clinic. Nurses have an essential role in establishing and maintaining fear free practice.

2.30pm: Don’t be confused on how to transfuse: canine transfusion made simple | Robyn Taylor
Blood product transfusions are one of the most effective therapies we can provide to support our patients during on-going treatment or recovery for a variety of related conditions. Availability can sometimes limit transfusions, depending on what product your patient requires. Having a better understanding of what product would be best for the canine patients’ needs, the pros and cons of these products, the dos and don’ts of transfusing, and how to confidently manage your patients through the transfusion process, will be discussed in this talk. With knowledge and confidence, transfusions can become common place in your practice, benefiting more patients when required.

4pm: Anaesthesia and the parts of the 'iceberg' we do not see | Vicki Walsh
Regurgitation and consequential pulmonary aspiration or oesophageal stricture formation are “titanic” complications that occur during veterinary and human anaesthesia. What we less aware of however is the incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or “non-overt regurgitation”. After nearly ten years of intermittent oesophageal sampling, we have a greater understanding of the true incidence of GOR under anaesthesia, the ways to predict it is occurring, and the risk factors that are likely involved.

5pm: Emergency avian care 101 | Pauline Howard
Emergency care for avian patients can make all the difference to a sick or injured pet or wild bird’s outcome. This talk discusses initial examination and the basics of emergency avian care. The importance of providing the optimal temperature, initial hydration and feeding. Species differences mean that not all birds can be treated the same. There are several institutions that wild sick and injured birds can be sent to once stabilized


8am: Health and safety and YOU | Megan Alderson

9am: Managing different personalities: conflict resolution tips that maintain work-relationships | Michael Meehan
Veterinary workplace conflict is inevitable. Common reasons range from simple communication breakdowns, personality clashes and misunderstandings, to more complex reasons such as differing opinions about day-to-day functioning and philosophy of veterinary practice. Sustained workplace conflict results in serious and negative individual (e.g. stress, cynicism, burnout) and organisational outcomes (e.g. reduced job satisfaction, productivity and profitability). This presentation will outline evidence-based reasons for toxicity in the workplace and provide practical strategies to help manage conflict effectively.

10.30am: The team meeting | Megan Alderson

11.30am: Climbing the ladder... | Tutor: Lauren Prior, VTS: Katie Duncan, Nursing Abroad: Robyn Taylor, Head Nurse: Libby Leader
This talk is a panel discussion from a group of nurses with experience in veterinary nursing, that have gone to do other things within the industry. This will be a structured discussion on who these women are, what they currently do, and how they got to be there. We will be asking pre-arranged questions that attendees of the 2021 conference, will have the chance to ask before the conference and also be taking questions from the audience on the day.

1.30pm: Finding research: Evidence based understanding | Alastair Coomer
Have you ever found yourself unknowingly sucked in by "Fake news"? How do you know if this has also crept into your clinical life? In this session, I will cover where you can find credible clinical information, and also give you a toolkit to fall back on when you are researching and learning, so you learn to trust your "Fake News" alarm when it goes off.

2.30pm: Are you being heard? Inclusive practical team building strategies | Michael Meehan
A successful and effective veterinary practice requires a daily coordinated approach from a team with high-quality functioning relationships. Research consistently shows that a high functioning team is associated with positive outcomes such as increased job satisfaction, performance, productivity, reduced intention to leave, turnover, mistakes and malpractice litigation. This presentation outlines practical relationship and team building strategies to make sure every staff member perceives and knows they are an important part of the team.

4pm: Resilience at work | Kathryn Jackson
The veterinary industry is filled with potential sources of significant stress. You’re not always seeing people at their best; frequently navigating the big emotions of fellow humans and you’re often working with depleted resources under enormous time pressures. On top of this, you’re likely to be navigating the usual life stresses too – for example challenging flatmates, paying back your student loan, or finding time to get the food shopping. Instead of fading, and finding yourself with little to no energy when you get home at the end of the day, please consider joining me for an hour to explore how we might harness some of the science of wellbeing to fire up your resilience at work and enjoy a stronger life.