It’s week two of National Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month! This Friday, our spotlight is on our Registered Veterinary Nurse Jodie. Jodie loves cats and is proud mum to ragdoll Lily, and Oscar, a Persian chinchilla. It was when Oscar fell ill that Jodie became particularly interested in gaining more knowledge around feline nursing. Here Jodie tells us a bit more about how she’s helping to enhance feline care in practice in addition to her other responsibilities as an RVN.
“Feline nursing is a particular passion of mine so I’m really excited to be studying for a feline nursing diploma at the moment. The 18 month course started in March last year and so far I’ve completed modules in feline diseases, vaccinations, behaviour and socialisation and also setting up cat friendly clinics.
“I love bringing aspects of my learning back into practice to help make our feline care even better. New initiatives we’ve introduced include using Feliway pheromone spray on bedding in our dedicated cat ward, and on towels in the consult room to reduce cat stress. Wherever possible, we now avoid taking cats out of the consult room if they need a blood sample, so we can keep them as calm as possible. And from an owner perspective, I’ve given advice via the practice newsletter on how to use familiar scents and minimise sensory exposure to reduce cat stress on a trip to the vets.
“I run the nurse-led cat behaviour clinics in practice. It’s really nice to have a feline niche. Recently, I’ve been giving advice on how to stop inappropriate toiletting and have been delighted with feedback that the cats I’ve been helping are no longer messing in the house.
“This month, I’m particularly excited as I’ve just started running new socialisation clinics for kittens to come back into practice at 20 and 24 weeks old. Cats are more receptive to accepting new experiences as the norm up to around 6 months old. In the clinics, there’s lots of play time, explore time and cuddle time to create a positive association with coming to the vets. It gets kittens more used to other common stresses too like using the cat carrier and travelling in the car. These new clinics should help make your cat’s on-going routine preventative care visits more pleasurable – for your cat and you too!”