Dear Reader

Welcome to the May issue of the VNJ. These are certainly strange times and many people are dealing with difficult situations during the lockdown phase.

This month’s VN Awareness Month will also have a different approach. As many of you are furloughed, we have adapted the competition to allow you to create something to broadcast how amazing veterinary nurses are. Check out the website for categories and how to go about entering, I think you will enjoy this one.

SVNfest is also having a change this year and although the congress isn’t running as normal, the organisers are planning to put together an online version so you won’t miss out on the fabulous lectures they had planned for you. Details of how to register for the virtual SVNfest will be published on their Facebook page and the BVNA website soon.

I hope that you can take some time out to sit and relax whilst reading through this issue; we have some interesting articles for you in preparation for when you go back into practice.

Charlotte Wood who is a student member of the BVNA Council is spearheading the new Student Section of the VNJ. We hope that students will engage with this section to help them through their studies.

Jordan Northover and William McFadzean have presented an interesting case of a French Bulldog with a T9-T10 Spinal Arachnoid Diverticula and how to manage the safe anaesthesia of this patient. Rachel Sibbald describes how to nurse a rabbit with chronic renal failure, reminding us of their unique calcium metabolism.

We all know how stressful the veterinary environment can be and Zara Livingstone gives some valuable tips on how to improve our mental health such as being mindful of our own limits and that we can’t always do everything. Katie Ford reminds us that simple acknowledgement of a job well done and making a note of good things that have happened to us to be grateful for can have a powerful impact on how we feel.

Even though it is quite some since I graduated, I can still remember the excitement of moving from student to qualified nurse. Helen Ballantyne uses case studies to emphasise how the transition from student to registered nurse can affect different people. The main points to remember are that it is important to ask for help and to use reflection to improve nursing care on the next patient.

Gemma and Lisa Crowley describe their amazing six-month volunteering trip from Vietnam to Australia. There are some hints about how to prepare for a trip and how to select the charities you work for.

Just as a final thought, I have an update on Luci. Thank you to those of you who sent me hints and tips on games for him. He is doing well with his basic training and my chickens; Rick and Steve, can walk past him without being eaten which I think is quite impressive. He’s quite good at his ‘leave’ command as you can see by the image. Unfortunately, I have realised that I have made quite a big mistake in one of his tricks though. He is a chewer and constantly taking paper, boxes, pens, you name it, if he finds it lying around, he takes it and destroys it. So, I thought it was a good idea to praise him for bringing me the stolen goods and yes, you have guessed it, he now brings me lots of items in exchange for sweeties. Fortunately, he loves carrots and apples so he isn’t putting too much weight on.

The next thing I need advice on is how to manage him and my two cats; Sophie and Toby. They are still living upstairs and although Luci is much better and it is possible to stop him chasing them if we are around, I would really like to have them all relaxed in one room. Now I maybe expecting too much but any hints or tips that you have will be gratefully received.

I hope you enjoy this issue and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas for content. Take care.


Nikki Ruedisueli RVN Head of Learning and Development (Editor in Chief)


• VOL 35 • May 2020 • Veterinary Nursing Journal