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Unit information: Medical Nursing, Diagnostics and Therapeutics in 2015/16

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Unit name Medical Nursing, Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Unit code VETS23006
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mrs. Hotston Moore
Open unit status Not open

s All first year units


s All other second year units

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit teaches the principles of a systemic approach to the nursing care of patients with medical diseases and understanding the effects ( both positive and negative ) of the treatment options available to the patient and how this may impact on their quality of life . The unit introduces issues relating to the use of drugs in veterinary practice as well as understanding the issues relating to prescribing and dispensing medicines, including the legal obligations. The knowledge of basic pharmacology underpins this unit. The theory and practical techniques of medicine administration via different routes is also covered. The other significant component of the unit relates to concepts of diagnostic imaging , its clinical application and the nurses role in this. This unit is a part of the BSc Honours Programme - Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science.


Medical Nursing

  • To ensure the student is able to use a problem solving approach to the nursing of patients with systemic disease , across all body systems and the possible impact of treatments associated with the disease
  • To provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical application to deal with the medical nursing and treatment of cats, dogs, equine and other small animal species commonly kept as pets, to include equine housing and stable management.
  • To provide students with a basic understanding of clinical genetics.


  • To understand the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and therapeutics and the impact that this may have on the patient under their care.
  • The principles of prescribing and dispensing medicines, including the legal obligations.
  • To understand the safe and efficient management of pharmacy stock

Diagnostic Imaging

  • To provide students with the theoretical knowledge of and practical abilities required by a veterinary nurse involved with diagnostic imaging to include advanced imaging techniques of small animals and equine.

Intended Learning Outcomes


  • Using a problem solving approach consider the impact on patient health of diseases (including infectious diseases) across all body systems
  • Consider how the treatment and management options available for the diseases may also impact on the health of the patient
  • Be able to use Nursing Care plans to detail the nursing interventions required to help patients cope with the effects of disease and treatment.
  • Consider the effects of common poisons on body systems and the nursing care required for such cases and its limitations.
  • Describe the clinical application of genetics.


  • Outline the basic pharmacology of commonly used veterinary medicines and the effect this may have on the patient.
  • Describe how to safely and effectively manage stock in a veterinary pharmacy.

Diagnostic Imaging

  • Describe the principles and use of radiation, radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy and advanced imaging techniques in veterinary practice.
  • Determine the quality of images and discuss reasons for poor quality and the resulting implications.

Teaching Information

Lectures, practicals, interactive tutorials.

Assessment Information

The overall pass mark for this unit is 40% Students must obtain a minimum of 40% in each of the following areas:


Written exam (2 hours) (50%) Practical exam (40 minutes) (50%)

Students who fail to satisfy any of the above criteria will be deemed to fail the whole unit.

Resits: As above.

NB Students are expected to wear uniform for practical examinations.

Reading and References


  • Aspinall (2012) The Complete Textbook of Veterinary Nursing, Elsevier
  • 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
  • BSAVA (2007) Manual of Practical Veterinary Nursing, Ed Mullineaux & Jones ISBN 978 0 905214 91 7
  • Wanamaker & Massey (2015) Applied pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians 5th edition. Elsevier
  • Martin & Masters (2003) The Textbook of Veterinary Medical Nursing, Elsevier
  • Holloway & McConell Ed (2013) BSAVA Manual of Canine & Feline Radiography & Radiology: A Foundation Manual

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

  • Hotston Moore A & Rudd S (2008) BSAVA Manual of Canine & Feline Advanced Veterinary Nursing, BSAVA
  • Blackwood & Villiers Ed (2005) BSAVA Manual of Clinical Pathology 2nd Edn. BSAVA, Glouc
  • Easton, S (2012) Practical Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. Wiley-Blackwell

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

  • Maddison, Page & Church Ed. (2008), Small Animal Clinical Pharmacology (2008) Elsevier
  • Battaglia (2007) Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care. Elsevier