A trip to the AVA Pre-BSAVA Nurse Day 2019

AVA Day 2019

As most of you know I am very lucky to work in a practice where CPD is actively encouraged and supported. I’m in a role where both management and clinical CPD can be of benefit. I did a good stint of management CPD at the VMPA congress in January, where I learnt loads and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

However, as the last external clinical CPD I did was at BSAVA 2019 I thought it was time to make sure I was still up to date and relevant. Essential when a large part of my role is to ensure we are working towards or at gold standard. Sadly, logistics wouldn’t allow me to attend the whole the congress so myself and Lisa, the static theatre nurse and fellow EVO VN headed up on the Wednesday for a pre-congress day hosted by the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists (AVA

I’ve always loved anaesthesia, so the AVA day programme was perfect for me. Plus, it’s a topic I find myself discussing with newbies a lot. Anaesthesia in referrals can often be very different to in first opinion and this is an area where we provide a lot of guidance and support. Often though some CPD can leave me wanting a bit more. Yes, it’s fab to have our procedures and policies re-confirmed but I like to be able to take something new into practice.


The pre-congress days are a little more specific and do appear to appeal to those with a strong interest in an area. Indeed, most of our clinicians will attend the pre-congress days. They are all advertised on the BSAVA website and can be found under ‘affiliate groups’

Covering a range of topics, they can make your BSAVA experience even longer. I adore BSAVA and have spent the whole day in a grump because I really wanted to be there. Next year though I’m making sure it happens! Plus, it’ll be the last one in Birmingham so worth a trip. Parties galore I feel (oh and some lectures)



So, onto the day. A lovely 5am start with a joyous 100 odd mile trip up the M25, M40 and M6. Made much more fun by myself and Lisa travelling together fuelled with snacks from the services. We had a cracking drive until we got to the city centre, but the parking was clearly signposted, and we parked up dead on time. A quick bit of goggle mapping got us safely to the ICC where we were greeted with some very smiley faces and a cuppa. Perfect!

Now I’ll be honest I was still sat on the fence about whether or not it would be a useful day. Within 10 minutes all doubts had disappeared, and I’d already made a note of changes I wanted to make in our practice. The first lecture was all about hypothermia and sometimes the simplest things can need pointing out. The use of blankets when moving patients from theatre to x-ray and then wards. Blankets when pre-medications are given. Capping the prep time to minimise heat loss and a few more. As the speaker, Lou, warmed up, I began to really enjoy myself. All the speakers were super approachable, and Lisa was able to chat to them about the VTS. Just really nice to hear other people’s experiences. Especially when they work in a similar environment to us.


The onto capnography, again something I already understood but I still took away some additional information. For example, the pros and cons of the side stream and main stream. Also, the fact that having one in the crash trolley could be a really helpful tool. I’ll go a bit more in depth about them later on this week. Once that was done it was time for more tea and some delish biscuits. I also managed to say hi the Lou the Vet Nurse, someone I’d never met before, but we seem to have struck up an Insta-friendship. Which I love and she’s someone I really feel gets what it means to be an RVN and shares a lot of the values I have.

Lou and Sam at the AVA PRE-BSAVA NURSE DAY


I loved the next speaker, Jo. She was hilarious and kept adding in little anecdotes that were just hilarious. The lectures got off to a rocky start as the projector/laptop didn’t work, I felt her pain! There is nothing worse than an equipment malfunction during a talk. All 3 of her talks were amazing. Even the one about using local anaesthesia during neutering. I only say this because we rarely do neutering where I work. She covered a lot of points about local anaesthesia thought which was super informative. Definitely a speaker that I’d love to listen to again. We were also treated to a fab lunch, lots of choices and yummy puddings!

Finally, Laura was up. Covering the recovery period, she also delivered a very interesting and well delivered lecture. A lecture that I’d really like to do in practice to reinforce how important the recovery phase is. Lisa and I then headed home, both chattering away about how much we liked the day and adding it to our plans for next year.

Thank you to the AVA for hosting such a fab day, great lectures and lots of yummy food!

The program from this year can be found here for anyone thinking of booking next year

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