Nurse Clinics Nurse Clinics
  • 06 June 2016

Nurse Clinics - set your practice apart

The positive effect that nurse clinics have on animal healthcare standards and welfare is worthy of remark. Clinics can provide animal owners with support and advice, and a friendly port of call on a variety of general pet care and healthcare issues, and generally at a lower cost than visiting the vet.

Of course nurse clinics are never a substitute for veterinary care when this is required, but many conditions can be treated by nurses, and outcomes improved by the addition of that point of contact with a practice nurse.

So you probably all know that, yes? But what clinics do you run in your practice? Topics such as weight management, senior clinics and puppy checks are commonly offered, but how many of you have considered taking the healthcare offered by your nurses to another level? Consider the older dog with mild osteoarthritis, beginning to 'slow down'. Seen once a year at vaccination, the dog will markedly decline, suffering the downward spiral that this disease takes. Regular check-ups with a nurse in a 'Mobility Clinic' could address topics such as weight and dietary management, use of supplements, changes to the home environment, exercise management and even basic physiotherapy.

The client will feel supported by the practice, and of course the dog will benefit immensely.  This can be stretched to assistance with management of conditions such as renal and thyroid disease, diabetes, chronic skin disease and more.

The benefits for veterinary nurses themselves are often understated. RVNs are in a excellent position to support pet owners, using their knowledge twinned with the great relationship building skills that they invariably possess. This in turn gives nurses a sense of satisfaction in their work, and in having a real contribution to the practice and to the healthcare services offered.

Practice staff often have an abundance of ideas about where to go with nurse clinics, but all too often these opportunities are missed. ONCORE's interactive online Nurse Clinics course, 'putting your ideas into practice' really does what it says on the tin. Over the 6 weeks of the course, participants discuss ideas for clinics, and then work through how they can actually implement these into their place of work, including discussion of topics such as risk factors, weighing up the benefits and pitfalls, getting the entire team on board and working as a team to make clinics a success, marketing, and pricing structure. 

A variety of practice support documents are created throughout resulting in learning that really does get back to the practice and effect change. Candidates benefit from fully supported learning - the tutor is always available, guides the discussions and offers feedback on coursework. Discussions also offer interaction with other professionals, and many great ideas and ways of working (or ideas that didn't work) can be gleaned from others!

The course always receives great reviews, because it really does empower nurses (and vets) to put those ideas into action, and not only improve patient care and client satisfaction, but give nursing staff the confidence that their skills are being used to their full advantage in benefitting patients.

ONCORE also currently offers 'An Introduction to Physiotherapy in the Geriatric Patient' - a 2 week course enabling participants to learn basic techniques to help their senior patients, making a fine addition to the senior/mobility clinic. 'Puppy Classes' gives practices the tools to run effective, fun and professional puppy classes, giving your clients' puppies the very best start to their life journey.

Nurse clinics can be a real string in a practice's bow, so rather than wondering what you could do, book yourself or one of your nurses onto our Nurse Clinics course and let it become a reality.

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