The veterinary technician's role in cancer pain management

The veterinary technician's role in cancer pain management

How you can help alleviate the pain for pets with cancer.
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Jul 01, 2010

Veterinary technicians typically are the first to greet clients and assess the patient. What's more, clients often enjoy a separate relationship with technicians and convey different degrees of information to you than to the doctor. This makes your position particularly important to cancer patients and their owners.1

To help create an optimal outcome, follow these steps:

1. Educate yourself on the most current techniques to alleviate pain (e.g. drugs, possible complications, interventional techniques).

2. Educate pet owners realistically and involve them in creating the overall plan.

3. Use a systematic approach to score the pain throughout treatment.

4. Communicate to the veterinarians the degree of pain the animal may be experiencing at home.

To be effective as a technician, you must be able to assess the pain accurately and in a timely fashion. You should be versed in identifying the effectiveness and side effects of treatment, as well as be proactive in educating clients on the process.

REFERENCE

1. Withrow SJ, Vail DM. Withrow and MacEwen's small animal clinical oncology. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co, 2001;183,185-187,190,220-222,229.

Proceedings papers for techs

The very best behavior advice for new puppy owners (Proceedings)

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The entire hospital staff should play a role in the counseling of new puppy owners.

The technician's role creating a behavior centered veterinary practice (Proceedings)

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A focus on pet behavior in the veterinary clinic is an excellent practice builder.

Trying times--dealing with canine adolescent dog (Proceedings)

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A behavior wellness exam is an opportunity to check up on a pet’s behavioral health and answer any related questions a client may have.

Enriching geriatric patients' lives (Proceedings)

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An important time for practices to include a behavioral exam is when a pet becomes a senior.

Tubes and tracheas--all about endotracheal tubes and lesions in difficult intubations (Proceedings)

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Endotracheal tubes are usually made from silicone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or red rubber.