Keeping the Client Informed: The Management of the Surgical Case from Admission to Discharge
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2006
Ray Butcher, MA Vet, MB, MRCVS
The Wylie Veterinary Centre


Throughout the world we are faced with the same type of clinical cases, which respond to similar therapeutic options. However, as a veterinary clinic we are also a service provider and the way we organise our clinic and staff will reflect local economic and cultural differences.

For the sake of this presentation I will presume that we are trying to offer a good quality service for which the client will hopefully pay extra.

The Clinic Team

I will also assume that the clinic works as a team involving vets, nurses and receptionists. Each group has an important role to play and each group requires special qualities. Nurses are key members of the team in their own right--they are not mini-vets, nor indeed do vets make good nurses.

The Hospitalised Surgical Case

However routine the procedure, we must remember that this is a very stressful time for the owner. We all have a fear of the unknown, and so the owner's stress can be reduced by good communication. Nurses have an important role here.

The stages involved in the management of the surgical case are:

 Booking the procedure

 Sending information sheets prior to admission

 Admission to the clinic

 The clinical procedure


 In-patient enquiries (by telephone)

 In-patient enquiries (in person)

 Discharge of the patient

Each of these stages will be considered. Each offers an opportunity for the nurse to communicate to the client in a way that enhances the service to the client. We should all aim to have happy clients that have confidence in the quality of the service provided.

Building Client Confidence

Each interaction of the client with the clinic staff is an opportunity to develop the clinic/client bond. However, true confidence is something that is cumulative and built up over time. Therefore events such as open days, open evenings or puppy parties are important to encourage bonding and form a basis on which further trust can be built. Nurses, too, have a role to play in such events.

Speaker Information
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Ray Butcher, MA Vet, MB, MRCVS
The Wylie Veterinary Centre
United Kingdom

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