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Unit information: Primary Nursing Care and Communication in 2014/15

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Primary Nursing Care and Communication
Unit code VETS10004
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mrs. Hotston Moore
Open unit status Not open



All other 1st year units

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The first part of this unit is to provide basic level teaching in the areas of First Aid, including bandaging techniques. The second part introduces students to two major concepts:

  1. Communication - developing personal communication skills and learning to communicate well with clients
  2. Practice organisation - to provide a basic knowledge of the administrative systems that support the primary function of a veterinary practice.

The communication sessions look at ways in which veterinary nurses contribute effectively to the provision of good customer care through the skilful use of communication skills, particularly listening and questioning.

The organisation sessions consider the internal organisation of a veterinary practice in the context of staffing, the importance of different staff roles within an organisation and administrative systems

Intended learning outcomes

Statement of Learning Outcomes: Primary Nursing

  • Outline the legal and professional regulatory frameworks the govern veterinary nurse practice
  • Identify and deal with common ethical issues in veterinary practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the application of veterinary and human first aid and its limitations
  • Understand the basic principles of wound care and management including the application of dressings and bandages
  • Outline the safe administration of therapeutic agents

Statement of Learning Outcomes: Communication and Organisation

  • Use a range of communication methods effectively, particularly listening skills
  • Deal with clients courteously, efficiently, with tact and sensitivity in a variety of situations.
  • Explain the importance of good client communication in a service-centred business
  • Explain the administrative systems within a small business and the role of veterinary practice managers
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply communication concepts learned to a reflective case study
  • Understand the application of management principles to human resource management, the development of administrative systems and procedures and financial management

Teaching details

Lectures and tutorial sessions

Demonstrations and practical bandaging sessions

Video demonstrations

Assessment Details

The overall pass mark for this unit is 40%

Students must obtain a minimum of 40% in each of the three assessments listed below:

1. 1.5 hour written paper consisting of short answer questions covering all aspects of this unit.(60%)

2. 20 minute practical examination during which students will be required to demonstrate appropriate levels of competency in bandaging, first aid and use of therapeutic agents. (20%)

3. Communication case study – analysis of a communication incident as per RCVS guidelines. To be submitted on the thursday of the first week of the summer term.(20%)

Students must obtain a pass in each assessment in order to pass the Unit. Failure to obtain a pass in any assessment will require the student to re-take and/or re-submit the assessment(s), which have been failed in order to achieve the pass mark.

NB Students are expected to wear uniform for the practical examination .

Reading and References

  • Clients, Pets and Vets, Carl Gorman
  • The Veterinary Receptionist, Corsan and Mackay
  • The Veterinary Support Team, Maggie Shilcock
  • Veterinary Practice Management, 2008 Maggie Shilcock and Georgina Stutchfield

BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing 5th ed. Edited by Mullineux E

  • BSAVA Manual of Canine & Feline Emergency & Critical Care 2nd ed. Edited by L. King & A. Boag