Veterinary Emergency Preparedness for the Day Practice

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  • Topic: Catheter, Intravenous therapy, Emergency management
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“Oh no, Fido is seizuring, now what?”
Emergency tips/techniques for technical staff

Intro: Welcome and thank you for coming today. Please feel free to ask questions or offer comment as it occurs to you. We will have an additional questions/answer session at the end of the talk as well. For those with time constraints, we provided a question sheet at the back of your handout. If you fill it out and provide contact information, we will get you an answer.

1. Proactive planning

A. Game plan for emergencies

I. Open a dialog with veterinarians and staff about how the practice would like to see various situations handled. Foster staff cooperation. Plan ahead for potential anesthetic complications and during hour’s emergencies.

II. Learn about and discuss different emergencies. Decide how to best prepare, handle and learn from them.

a. Utilize tools such as VIN, videos, webinars, articles and written examples of successful strategies.

III. Foster a learning environment and share the information.

a. Attend/reward educational opportunities.
b. Read up on new techniques/protocols.
c. Post topics of the month for all staff to read.

IV. Create in house educational opportunities to better educate staff on emergency topics.

a. Lunch and learns, outside local CE
b. Staff meeting 5 minute emergencies.

V. Prepare a triage flow sheet for all staff to help them prioritize patient care. Post them at crucial spots: reception desk, give to new employees for direction. Encourage staff to be familiar with triage protocol.

VI. Practice scenarios for emergencies you have seen or anticipate encountering.

a. Response drills
b. Acting scenarios for practice. Staff meetings offer dedicated time for learning opportunities.

B. Gear Up

I. Designate one small area, drawer etc for emergencies and stock it with crash cart supplies as well things essential to treatment efforts. Have them in an area designated for emergency response i.e. exam table in treatment room.

II. Make a catheter caddy- Fill with supplies for IV access and catheter placement as well as blood sample collection. Portable is better.

III. Divide up duties on emergency team and describe/discuss duties:
Responding veterinarian, record keeper, first and second responder, client liaison etc.

IV. Prepare emergency flow sheet for easy record keeping. Keep with crash cart/in emergency area. Use it to track response, drugs administered, and various resuscitative measures.

V. Have an established CPCR plan and post it at emergency/triage station. Make sure all staff understand what is involved and get technical team proficient at response.

C. Communicate

I. Establish chain of communication for emergency alerts in a timely manner.
Ex: reception to technicians to doctors, etc

II. Establish information collection plan: patient i.d., size, age, condition, and e.t.a., utilize all staff.
Decide what information is helpful to your effort.

III. Pull patient chart and review for pertinent information prior to patient arrival.

IV. Prep emergency area
Gather equipment, supplies and staff necessary to respond quickly and effectively.

V. Alert Staff
Include all members of staff to ensure prompt response.

2. Emergency Response

A. Identify emergency when it comes through the door/phones in. Greet client calmly and obtain important patient info reiterating initial complaint. If no prior notice of emergency, get quick, concise history: Patient age, symptomology, duration, other medical concerns while responders collect patient for triage.

B. Send first +/- second responders to triage patient, collect initial information and transport to emergency response area.

C. Have client liaison explain to client the emergency plan and time frame:

I. Reassure client in choice...
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