Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Fears of a veterinary nurse

I was covering staff sickness today at a one vet one nurse practice. Always interesting when your called in at the last minute and haven't been to a practice before. I turned up and luckily the vet was already there, although his English wasn't the best, this was going to be a long day talking to myself again!
On the reception desk was a obligatory note left my the previous stand in nurse. Blah blah stock take, blah blah please order some more vaccines. What the.......! On these occasions I question 'why oh why did I pick this profession.' The note reads:

'Today we had a cat in for a demat, I did it in the theatre as there was no other table to use. Turns out the cat had ringworm, I doused the whole room with bleach as that's most effective against spores but just thought I'd warn you.'

Ringworm on a cat

Picture me reading this note and then knowing I have to set up theatre for a few ops that day! It brings back horrible memories for me! A few years ago I myself caught the horrible worm that isn't really a worm........and of all the places to catch it...I caught it on my chin! Two words 'unbelievably itchy!' I can only assume that when I sometimes restrain cats I bring my chin in close so that I can talk to them and occasionally I touch them. Queue a trip to my GPs to grab some anti fungal cream, it lasted several weeks. So you can see why a note like this fills us nurses with fear.

Got me thinking about other things I fear nursing:

Next on my list is 'A Flat Fly' otherwise known as pigeon fly a member of the Hippoboscidae. I have yet to meet a nurse or vet that likes these things. They live on wild and domestic birds and are a blood sucking ectoparasite. Note they can also bite humans! I have thankfully only encountered these a few times, but I am not embarrassed to say they make me scream like a big girl! I once had a new grad vet that had never encountered these creatures and didn't believe me that they were as horrible as I had made out. So when we that same day had an injured Sparrow Hawk handed in I decided to leave her in her consult room to deal with the bird. I informed her I would be shutting all the doors to which she boldly laughed at me! 5 minutes later after hearing several loud screams I opened the door to find the vet on her consult table with a can of flea spray in her hand screaming DO SOMETHING! She had encountered her first flat fly! These little creatures live in the feathers of birds, they are flat in shape so that they can move about under the feathers. They also have a very strong exoskeleton to stop grooming birds injuring them. They are known to jump from their host when being handled. Hence when the vet picked up the now sadly dead bird, the fly's jumped from their host onto the poor vet surgeon. Who then proceeded to scream and attempt to squash them but to no avail because not only are they very 'flat' to the ground but they are also very quick. I absolutely hate them!

Anyway back to my day at the sole charge practice. I decided it best to fumigate the place again just for my own piece of mind and the future pets that would be needing the room. So I donned my gloves and proceeded to spray and clean with an anti fungal spray! Regardless of this extra clean I was still itching for the whole day, strange how the human brain can play tricks on you!

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