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Unit information: Clinical Veterinary Nursing Theory in 2021/22

Unit name Clinical Veterinary Nursing Theory
Unit code VETS20019
Credit points 40
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Miss. Jenny Reeve
Open unit status Not open

All first year units


All other second year units

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit teaches the principles of a systematic approach to the nursing care required for patients with medical diseases and surgical conditions. Included within this are the concepts of anaesthesia, fluid therapy and diagnostic imaging, with particular consideration given to the nurses role within these interventions. This unit provides an understanding of the treatment options available to patients and how these may impact on patient quality of life.

The unit will provide the theoretical underpinning knowledge and introduction to practical skills to enable students to maximise their experience during second and third year clinical placements

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, veterinary nursing students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate and apply the Health and Safety policies and procedures associated with veterinary practice,(to include pharmaceuticals,diagnostic imaging, anaesthesia and medical and surgical interventions.)
  2. Appraise and relate the ethical and legal responsibilities of the veterinary nurse in relation to patients, clients, society and the environment applying the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses.
  3. Describe the pharmacology of common veterinary drugs and evaluate their pharmacological effects.
  4. Define and apply the theoretical principles involved in the function and use of anaesthetic equipment. Prepare for and assist in the administration, maintenance, monitoring & recording of anaesthesia. Recognise anaesthetic emergency situations and employ intensive nursing care interventions.
  5. Recognise common veterinary medical and surgical conditions and the interventions required for their management. Implement nursing care according to individual patient needs.
  6. Evaluate and score pain in order to administer appropriate pain relief.
  7. Prepare patients and equipment to perform and evaluate diagnostic imaging and associated techniques.
  8. Apply the principles of surgical bio-security to include sterilisation and disinfection, prepare for surgery and provide surgical assistance.
  9. Execute the collection, preservation and transportation of samples. Prepare appropriate diagnostic tests, recognising the limitations of the test results and identify the significance of spurious results.

Species Range : Canine, Feline, Equine , Exotics

Teaching details

Practicals Online synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning Small group working Use of Virtual learning environment (Blackboard)

Assessment Details

Students must pass the following assessments:

Mid-sessional assessment period:

80 minute written examination (35% weighting)

Summer assessment period:

120 minute written examination (65% weighting)

All units must be passed in order to progress to the next year of study. There will be an opportunity to resit written examinations during the resit period.

Please note that practical and technical skills will also be assessed via the RCVS Nursing Progress Log.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. VETS20019).