Dear Reader

SPARE a thought if you will for the editors of VNJ who, once a month, are faced with the challenge of writing the ‘Dear Reader’ editorial – a few hundred reflective words packed with wisdom and relevance.

Sometimes it is easy. A congress, a new course or award, or one of those special weeks or months devoted to something or other. Sometimes, however, a theme is not so obvious and one just begins to write in hopeful expectation, much as that shown by Charles Dickens’ wonderful character, Wilkins Micawber, that “something will turn up”. Such was the case this month.

For as the pages of VNJ July 2011, Volume 26, came together, an overwhelming message unfolded for veterinary nurses at all stages of their careers. A simple theme, yet one that emerges from several of our articles this month – namely, the importance of keeping an open mind.

Keeping an open mind is the core principle of the ‘differential diagnosis’ in clinical case assessment and several of our authors stress the importance of not rushing in to make a specific diagnosis, but rather to take a wide view of the clinical signs presented and to ask many questions of the clients; after all they live with the animals presented to us and facts that seem unimportant to them, will often hold the key to successful case management and ensuring patient well¬being. Hilary Orpet makes the point.

And then there is the need to keep an open mind on the application of alternative techniques and human medical strategies to complement mainstream veterinary treatments.

Claire Short makes the case that there is as much of a role for a veterinary osteopath in the management of musculoskeletal/orthopaedic cases as there is a veterinary radiographer or physiotherapist.

Kerry Bennett asks us all to open our minds to the subject of dyslexia and to view its sufferers in a more optimistic light. It probably affects one in 10 of our clients and has nothing to do with intelligence. As she says, “It is a hidden disability that is more complex than just a problem with literacy; but with the right strategies, support, understanding and teaching, dyslexia can be overcome.”

Finally, Lucy Ireland sets a fine example of someone who kept an open mind about her career options until a chance encounter with some elephants and lions in South Africa set her on the pathway to a vocation in veterinary nursing on the wild side.

So if it all seems a bit humdrum and confused in practice at the moment, keep an open mind to all the options available. As a veterinary professional, there may be more opportunities in life than you think.


David Watson BVetMed MA MRCVS Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/j.2045-0648.2011.00059 x or Veterinary Nursing Journal Vol 26 pp 218

• VOL 26 • July 2011 • Veterinary Nursing Journal