Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Veterinary Nursing Rocks....Sometimes

My week started like any other, I was assigned a ward. I already listened to the daily rounds, but I must admit bar a few bits I was off on a daydream somewhere else. So I collect my tools don my gloves and get to work. Spoiler alert, always listen to rounds! As I went to put a lead on a very large boxer cross bulldog not only did she let out the deepest growl, she also turned around and lunged for me….thankful for the buster collar she was wearing I backed slowly well lets be honest I ran from her kennel. However always up for a challenge I tried once more, more of a lasso to avoid getting to close, however despite the tug on the lead she was not budging and her growls only got worse. Fine keep the lead I thought I’m going for backup.

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That was my first experience of Lilly

I later learnt that she was the dog I vaguely remember hearing about in rounds. She required three of us to remove her from her kennel and she required some top up sedation to be able to do anything with her.

You see I couldn’t hate Lilly, I mean I can’t hate any animal but I really did feel for her. You see she had a bladder tumor that was affecting her badly, not only causing some incontinence but also extra growths and tumors on her vulva. They were super sore, and as a woman I at times wanted to cross my legs as she went for a wee, the stinging must have been unbearable.

However the vets were doing their thing and despite it not being my main ward for the week I made it my mission to check in on her daily and see how she was going. Day two she went for debaulking surgery, which wasn’t heaps of success however they did manage to remove some. She was on a pain relief CRI and fluids but required a lot of nursing time to keep her clean and avoid urine scolding. However this isn't easy in an aggressive dog that not only is flat from the drugs but also probably at the height of her pain tolerance. Despite this we all put a lot of work into her, some nurses she preferred. For some unknown reason she’d taken a real dislike to me, even when nurses had her out and I heard the growling from the down the corridor, it always seemed to intensify when I entered the ward to check they were ok.

On Wednesday we once again sedated her in the morning to be able to tend to her sores and manage her pain. It was on this day I finally managed to get some cream onto her vulva and hopefully offer some relief to her. In the afternoon we finally got her out of the kennel and out for an actual walk, don’t get me wrong there were a lot of growls and displeasure from her end, but a success none the less.

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Friday, although this wasn’t again my main ward we were short staffed so I helped out. Lilly was due to go home later today and when we took her for a walk (on as backup just in case) I could see such an improvement. Also from the extra padding I’d applied to her hock the day before around her catheter site – the IVFT had now been removed and the bandage sore had disappeared J
Lilly hadn’t really had much of an appetite all week, despite this I cooked her up some chicken again and being wary placed it in her kennel. I sensed a change in her and I thought right lets give this a go. So slightly nervously I picked up a piece of chicken and offered it to her. Me the one nurse that she had really hated decided to offer a dog that kept giving me the eye my fingers. She tentatively took the piece of chicken, so gently. Just a fluke I thought but no, I fed her piece by piece. Until then I regretted cutting up the pieces smaller to make it easier for her to eat… I can’t now offer her the tiny pieces as it brings my fingers waaay to close to her mouth and she was in fact still eyeing me up. Ok well here goes, I scooped up the chicken in my hand and keeping it as flat as possible offered her the palm of my hand – not only was she the most gentle dog Ive hand fed but she also ate every last piece. Yesssss success! And this is why I am a nurse, the dog that wanted to kill me on Monday was literally eating out of the palm of my hand by Friday. Now yes I have no doubt she was in less pain, had got used to us and probably knew she was on her way home but….just that extra time you send building a bond with animals makes such a difference.

Now at this point I’d say I played it cool… but that’s just not me. I had a grin on from ear to ear and went and told all my fellow nurses, even the ones that were having a shite day! Yayyyy nursing rocks sometimes.

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