10 Rules of Emergency Nursing
Rule 1 - Don’t Panic
Panic leads to poor decision making, useless activity and over treatment. Vets and Nurses need to remain calm at all times.
Rule 2 - Attend to the most life threatening problem first
The respiratory system comes first, then cardiovascular problems (including shock and haemorrhage) closing following, then central nervous system problems, then abdominal problems. The rest of the body can wait until the first four are treated and stabilised.
Rule 3 - Minimise patient stress at all times
Cage rest is sometimes the best medicine. Make sure the patient is as stable as possible before undertaking stressful procedures. Ensure that the pet is situated in a quiet area.
Rule 4 - Expect the unexpected
The emergency patient is rapidly changing and frequently requires intensive monitoring and re-evaluation
Rule 5 - Nature sides with the hidden flaw
It is important to anticipate complications and initiate monitoring procedures for early detection. Use the tests PCV/TP, USG, Dipsticks, BUN and Glucose Sticks to gather information quickly.
Rule 6 - Do not place the patient at risk to achieve diagnosis
It is better to go without a diagnosis than to worsen the situation by attempting to find one.
Rule 7 - When in doubt, look at the patient
There is no substitute for careful patient monitoring and frequent patient observations
Rule 8 - Left by themselves things usually go from bad to worse
Minimal treatment followed by waiting to see what happens does not usually achieve a positive result in the end.
“The little neglect may breed mischief......for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the battle was lost, for want of the battle, the war was lost” Benjamin Franklin
Rule 9 - When the vet can’t make a diagnosis, then treat for the treatable
Many post trauma complications don’t become evident for 24-72 hours. As a result, it is appropriate to treat for the best possible disease.
Rule 10 - When everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something
Do not take the patients stable condition for granted. Monitoring and observations must continue.