Dear Reader

Welcome to the November edition of VNJ. I am pleased to introduce an edition that I believe continues to be varied and interesting, hopefully providing something for everyone.

It is Sandra Fletchers article, “Evidence-based veterinary medicine: Should we be polishing teeth?”, which really got me thinking this month. Our profession is under a great period of change, change that should see the role of the RVN become more respected as we take on greater responsibility.

Many of you may have noticed that along with the changes to the profession, there are certain ideas and concepts that beginning to infiltrate everyday practice. Evidence-based veterinary medicine is something that many of us now seek out. Gone are the days when it was ok for us to do something to a patient just because a few years ago, our head nurse told us that it worked.

As we begin to take responsibility for our actions, we want a more definite idea of why we are doing the things we are doing. We look for a tried and tested method of work. Recently, as part of a general review we looked back to the archives of the VNJ and sought out the top twenty downloaded articles. Interestingly, seven out of those twenty involved non clinical subjects. They were about ways of working. Nursing care plans, the nursing pro­cess and holistic nursing dominated the chart. There was also the odd historical piece, showing that many of us like to learn where we have been, maybe helping us to fathom where we are going in the future.

It would seem that some nurses are returning to their roots, realising that the very application of nursing must be done in a clear and concise way. We are looking to our human counterparts to share their ideas on the structure of the nursing care. We then look to our clinical knowledge to fill in the details of the care plan.

The remaining top twenty downloaded articles provide a rich insight into our profession. Preventative health rubs shoulders with acute emergency and critical care. Training and leadership meet toxicology reviews. I believe it is simply another demonstra­tion of the incredible diversity of the veterinary nurse.

Recently, CPD events around the country have unified all veteri­nary nurses, as we begin to establish a unique body of knowledge for our profession. Events and training on concepts related to evidence based veterinary medicine led by the BVNA and RCVS have tackled ideas such as designing a study in practice, clinical audit, and clinical decision making. At congress this year, we asked the question ‘Why do we need evidence based medicine?

In improving your knowledge on these subjects, it matters less what your particular area of expertise is, where your interest it, or where you work. The main priority is that we begin to work in a questioning manner. It is time for veterinary nurses to ask questions, seek out answers and most importantly write those answers down so we can all share the knowledge. Let us know if you attended any events highlighting evidence based practice. It would be great to learn what you thought of them, and hear your ideas for moving it all forward.


Helen Ballantyne PG Dip BSc (Hons) RN RVN 


DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1090098

• VOL 30 • November 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal