Part Two: Your Night Nurse
Here at Feldon we offer 24 hour emergency care for our patients and no two nights are ever the same. In order to provide gold standard care we have a nurse on site at all times and we start the night shift with a thorough handover from the day to the night nurse. This is where we outline the medication and treatment plans for our inpatients overnight and any other information required to make their stay with us as stress-free as possible.
Patients are checked at intervals throughout the night and their vitals and condition assessed to ensure there is no deterioration. Being a night nurse also means being responsible for all out of hours calls. These calls can be varied and can be about stray or injured animals or a client whose pet requires emergency treatment. Regardless of the time of night there is always someone here to give first aid and triage the patient when they arrive.
What may start as being a ‘quiet’ night can quickly escalate. In a typical week we have treated a dog with severe breathing difficulties after running and impaling itself on a stick; this dog required immediate surgery and intensive care throughout the night. Another evening we had a dog with a fractured leg who also required lengthy surgery which continued well into the early hours of the morning. A burst abscess, thorn in the eye, severe pancreatitis and megaoesophagus with aspiration pneumonia are just a few more of the patients we treated that week.
For those quieter nights there is still plenty to do in the way of cleaning and organising – topping up stock used throughout the day, cleaning all work surfaces and contact points, there is always plenty of laundry to do, as well as setting up and preparing for the next busy day of surgery and consultations. But no matter how busy you are, there is always time to provide mental stimulation to our patients in the way of a cuddle and a fuss, or in some cases a one-sided conversation.
All in all, a night nurse has a tough job being in charge of monitoring and assessing the patients, as well as being able to run into surgery and monitor an anaesthetic when an emergency arises. Sometime it can be a mental challenge juggling the patients and tasks. But we are all here for the love of your pets and when we spend one-on-one time with a patient an emotional attachment quickly develops.
The best part of our job is when, at the end of the week, you check back to see that most of the patients went home to their loving families. That is what makes all the sleepless nights worthwhile.
Friendly, Dedicated and Compassionate