ABSTRACT: Monitoring the clinical condition of a patient through measurement of physiological parameters is a crucial role of both veterinary and human centred nursing. Within the NHS, the use of Early Warning Scores (EWS) has improved patient outcomes through early detection and escalation of deteriorating patients. This article provides an introduction to EWS and challenges veterinary nurses to consider and critique this clinical decision-making tool within the context of their veterinary patients. It aims to support a broader One Health approach, whereby human-centred nursing is used as a resource to stimulate innovation within Veterinary Nursing.


Helen Ballantyne PG Dip BSc (Hons) RN RVN

After graduating with a degree in Pharmacology in 2002, Helen qualified as a RVN in 2005. She began a nine- year stint as a locum nurse working nationally and internationally, developing experience in referral medicine and surgery, charity practice, emergency nursing and exotics. During this time she spent five years on the BVNA council in a variety of roles, culminating in her being awarded honorary membership in 2016. In 2013 she qualified as a human-centred nurse. After two years working on intensive care, she moved to the transplant team supporting patients pre- and post-transplant. Currently she works at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge on the Transplant High Dependency Unit. Helen remains a Registered Veterinary Nurse and has developed a strong interest in the principles of One Health and chairs the Veterinary Nursing Futures One Health Committee. She regularly lectures and writes about concepts and ways of working that may be shared between the professions to support clinical and professional practice. Her first textbook, on Veterinary Nursing Care Plans, was published earlier this year: She is currently working on an MSc in Healthcare Management.

Email: helen_ballantyne@yahoo.com

Keywords: One Health; early warning score; NEWS; vital signs; clinical deterioration

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 (02) • February 2019 pp48-52

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