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Unit information: Primary Nursing Care and Communication in 2015/16

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

Description including Unit Aims

The first part of this unit (Primary Nursing Care) is to provide basic level teaching in the areas of First Aid, including bandaging techniques. The second part (Communication) provides underpinning theoretical knowledge of the communication process and the opportunity to practice and develop personal communication skills within a series of face-to-face scenarios which are commonly encountered in veterinary practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Statement of Learning Outcomes: Primary Nursing Care

  • Outline the legal and professional regulatory frameworks that 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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the communication process, the key communication skills and the barriers that can prevent good communication
  • Use a range of communication skills effectively, particularly questioning and listening skills
  • Demonstrate an ability to critically examine one’s own communication skills and to identify specific skills that could be improved or enhanced.
  • Formulate a practical plan of action for improving one’s own skills in practice.

Teaching Information

Lectures and tutorial sessions

Demonstrations and practical bandaging sessions

Video demonstrations

Assessment Information

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 reflective log (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


  • BSAVA (2012) BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Practice Management and Development, Editors: Carole Clarke & Marion Chapman, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Quedgeley, Glos, UK. ISBN 078 1905319404 4. Chapter 17 only for communication element of this unit.
  • BSAVA (2011) BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, 5th Edn., Editors: Turner, L, Cooper, B & Molyneaux, E., British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Quedgeley, Glos., UK. ISBN978 1 905319 26 8. Chapter 9 only for communication element of this unit.
  • BSAVA (2007) Manual of Practical Veterinary Nursing, Ed Mullineaux & Jones ISBN 978 0 905214 91 7
  • BSAVA (2007) Manual of Canine & Feline Emergency & Critical Care 2nd ed. Edited by L. King & A. Boag ISBN 978 0 905214 99 3

Recommended: (Materials needed for a deep and comprehensive understanding of the subject that students should read but perhaps selectively)

  • Hargie, O. (2010) Skilled Interpersonal Communication, Routledge, Hove, East Sussex. ISBN 978 0 415 43204 7.
  • Aspinall (2012) The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, Elsevier

Further Reading: (Background to a subject or further specialised study that students are encouraged to read)

  • Corsan, J. and Mackay, A. (2008) The Veterinary Receptionist: Essential Skills for Client Care. 2nd edn., Saunders Elsevier, Hong Kong, China. ISBN 978 0 7020 2928 8.
  • Hotston Moore A & Rudd S (2008) BSAVA Manual of Canine & Feline Advanced Veterinary Nursing, BSAVA