Monday, 4 November 2013

Veterinary Technician training in Bosnia

Our welfare veterinary nurse, Hayley Walters, has just returned from a veterinary technician training neutering workshop in Sarajevo Veterinary Faculty in Bosnia. This is the third time Dogs Trust UK have ‘borrowed’ Hayley to assist in their Dogs Trust BH neutering training workshops but it is the first one she has been involved in that was specifically aimed at vet techs.

Dogs Trust have now completed their sixth week long neutering workshops aimed at up-skilling local Bosnian vets in anaesthesia, analgesia and surgical sterilisation  and they are now well underway to neutering and rabies vaccinating some of the 13,000 dogs living on the streets of Sarajevo.

The aim was to up-skill local vet techs to assist those vets who have already completed the Dogs Trust neutering workshop and are now taking part in the mass sterilisation programme. To date over 3,000 dogs have been neutered and returned to the streets but the need for well-trained vet techs became obvious early into the vet training programmes.

Hayley’s role was to teach the delegates the principles of anaesthesia, analgesia, preparation and care of the surgical patient, welfare, care of the hospitalised patient, and care of surgical equipment. It was a very busy week and Hayley was the only international member on the team.

Videos of how to intubate a dog and how to place an intravenous catheter and lectures in all of the most important aspects of surgery were given prior to any practical work taking place. The vet techs then practised intravenous catheter placement skills on a mock vein board which meant that they had their skills perfected before it came to actually doing it on the street dogs that needed to be neutered, and therefore no dogs suffered in the name of training.

“The vet tech delegates were fabulous and very keen to learn and improve their skills in the placing IV catheters, intubation, giving intra-muscular injections, surgical preparation and monitoring anaesthesia,” said Hayley.

She also added, “At JMICAWE we believe that neutering projects must never be viewed as a numbers game. Each of these dogs is a sentient being, with the ability to suffer if anaesthesia is inadequately practiced and welfare is negatively affected by poor management and a lack of knowledge or experience. Whilst population management is hugely important, it is vital that neutering projects focus on the individual’s welfare, and not just the removal of its reproductive organs”.


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