Introduction To Troytown Equine Hospital
For Veterinary Students And Visiting Interns
Welcome to Troytown Equine Hospital. We aim to make your stay with us a pleasant and worthwhile experience.
PLEASE REMEMBER AT ALL TIMES:
- At Troytown Equine Hospital, we work together as a team. Every one of us, no matter how short the stay in the hospital, is responsible for contributing to the positive morale and effectiveness of the team.
- Absolute Confidentiality: Discretion and confidentiality are paramount and must be maintained at all times. The privacy of practice, patient and client affairs must never be discussed outside the hospital, particularly on any social-media websites.
- First impressions are extremely important, and all clients and visitors should be treated with courtesy and respect.
- Neat and clean presentation at all times. Footwear should be robust and comfortable and take into account that you may be in and out of paddocks, stables and there may be wet underfoot conditions. Clothes, particularly trousers, should not drag along the ground.
- Identification and name badges will be supplied and for insurance reasons MUST be worn at all times.
- No smoking within the barns or the hospital.
- Troytown Hospital has a detailed Safety Statement and all visitors are expected to be familiar with it and to abide by the directions of the Safety Statement at all times. You will be asked to sign to say that you have read and agree to abide at all times to the safety statement. Please take extra special care around the horses – remember they are always a hazard!! You may be asked to help out with handling horses and other small jobs. If you are not comfortable or feel unsafe with any situation please inform the staff straight away.
- We want you to enjoy your stay here and find it of benefit. We are a working hospital and not a teaching institute. It is therefore a different working environment to a university – you may find it busier and slightly more hectic. The veterinary surgeons may not have as much time to teach and answer questions. However, by assisting and being patient, you will get to learn a lot about the hospitalised patients. Do not ask questions or make comments while clients are present, but wait until after the examination when you can ask questions in private to the nurses and /or veterinarians. Please also note that many of the patients have a high value and you will not get the opportunity to practise invasive techniques, such as rectal examination, stomach tubing, or catheter placement.
The basic hospital hours are as follows:
Weekdays 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Weekends 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
WE EXPECT VETERINARY STUDENT HELP TO BE AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY. We may introduce flexibility into this arrangement, such that we may roster students or visitors for evening and night time duties. Weekend work is an integral part of seeing practice or elective surgical / medical rotations and we expect that during the weekends that visiting students will be available to assist the veterinarians and nurses as during the week.
You are at the hospital to learn all that you can, so we encourage you to see all procedures that take place in the hospital. You are expected to take part in night duties and emergencies. You are advised to leave your accommodation telephone number and mobile number on the white board in the barn and beside the laboratory. Please feel free to ask questions regarding cases when the consultations with the owner have been completed – reserve questions until the owner is not present unless you are invited by the attending senior veterinarian to ask questions. If you wish to use any cases for case reports we will try to facilitate you whenever possible.
All students and interns are expected to become actively involved in every aspect of the work in the hospital. This will include assisting with treatments, radiographic and ultrasound examinations and ROUTINE CLEANING OF THE THEATRE AND BARN (including ‘mucking out’ and cleaning / disinfecting stables when the occasion arises).
GENERAL HYGIENE AND WASTE MANAGMENT
- Cleaning is an ongoing responsibility; everywhere must be kept as clean as possible at all times. EVERYBODY PITCHES IN! Following all procedures (e.g. surgery, minor surgeries, scanning and endoscopy), the equipment should be cleared away immediately and you should help the nurses and interns to do this.
- Follow the procedures shown to you when handling isolation horses. NEVER LEAVE THE BOX OF ONE OF THESE ANIMALS WITHOUT CLEANING UP. REMOVE OVERALLS, DIP FEET AND WASH HANDS BEFORE ATTENDING TO ANOTHER ANIMAL.
- Please wear footwear, which is clean and can withstand immersion into antiseptic solutions.
- There are boxes of disposable gloves all over the hospital and these should be used when handling patients with wounds or in cases of suspected contagious diseases, such as ringworm etc. Also present are hand disinfectants, which should be used regularly, particularly after handling horses with discharging wounds.
- WASTE MANAGEMENT POLICY – It is the aim of Troytown Hospital to deal with waste products in the correct manner, but also where possible to recycle products to minimize environmental impact. These guidelines explain how all waste products from the hospital should be dealt with:-
A. Clinical Waste
a) All needles and sharps should be placed in yellow solid plastic boxes for disposal.
b) Used syringes, contaminated swabs, contaminated parts of bandaging material, contaminated waste from theatre, waste from laboratory and empty plastic medicine bottles should be placed in yellow bags – in the specified yellow bins.
c) Used glass medicine bottles should be placed in the solid container in the nurse’s station and then transferred to the room in the new barn.
d) Unused drugs must be placed in purple-topped solid yellow plastic containers.
B. Waste cardboard
This is to be baled in the baler in the hay barn. The cardboard can be baled as we go along since then the baler acts as a store (avoids having loads of cardboard hanging around). Empty paper feed-bags can also be baled with the cardboard. The bales will be stored in the hay shed until there are over ten of them and then they will be collected.
All plastic (including all plastic wrapping, plastic drip bags which have had there bottoms cut off, plastic containers) can be recycled and baled in the baler. A massive amount of plastic is required for each bale and this should be stored in the blue AES bin in the hayshed. Once a large amount of plastic has been collected then it can be baled (separately from the cardboard).
D. Mixed Recyclables
The orange and blue bins labelled “Mixed Recyclables” can be used for recycling bits of cardboard, plastic, office paper, shredded paper, blue paper towels, newspapers, magazines, all kinds of metal cans (aluminium and iron), plastic bottles and milk and juice cartons. Specific bins will be placed in the offices, laboratory, canteen and nurses station for collection of these recyclable products. These products can be placed in plastic bags into the orange and blue bins outside the hayshed.
Glass should be placed in bags in the store-room in the new barn, from where they will be collected when they have accumulated to a sufficient amount.
F. General Waste and Food Waste
This must be kept separate and placed in the skip for general waste. Styrofoam has to be placed in the general waste since at present it cannot be recycled. Only place stuff in the skip which definitely cannot be recycled – so think before you dump!!
All breaks are to be taken in the tea-room, and please tidy up after yourself. Never sit around in any other area of the hospital – remember – ‘first impressions’. Students should avoid congregating around particular cases, especially when owners are present. This can be very disconcerting for owners and compromises (they feel) the confidentiality of their consultation. Therefore, one student only should attend a case unless otherwise requested by a member of staff.
No student is to go ‘on call’ with any vet unless they check first with the veterinarians in charge at the hospital and the nurses if there is any work that needs to be done in the hospital.
All personal mobile phones must be switched off while in the hospital. Please write your contact numbers on the notice-board beside the changing room and on the whiteboard in the main barn.
THE SURGERY SUITE
No more than two students at a time are permitted in surgery, unless prior permission is given by the surgeon. (One student is to assist with anaesthesia, and one student to assist or observe surgery.) The students in surgery will be expected to help the surgery nurse with the ‘setup’ and total cleaning of the surgery after each operation.
To assist in maintaining surgical asepsis, traffic in and out of theatre must be minimised. Always wear the red theatre overalls / green scrub suits / coats provided, and take care not to touch sterile areas.
Work in the hospital and with horses has inherent risks. It is important that everybody is aware of potential dangers and that these dangers are minimised as far as possible. The partners wish to make Troytown Equine Hospital a pleasant and safe working environment – safe for staff, clients, students, visitors and patients. Each of us has a right to a safe working environment. Each of us has a responsibility in ensuring its creation and promotion.
A DETAILED SAFETY STATEMENT FOR TROYTOWN HOSPITAL IS KEPT AT THE FRONT DESK AND THIS SHOULD BE READ IN FULL BY ALL STUDENTS AT THE START OF THEIR VISIT.
When handling any horse it is important that a good fitting head-collar or bridle is used along with a suitable lead rope. Addition of a chiffney bit is useful in handling yearlings and young racehorses. If in doubt then consult with the veterinary surgeon / nurse in attenance.
It is imperative that all concerned realise that no horse is absolutely safe, no matter what level of sedation is achieved by the administration of sedative drugs. Horses are still aware of skin sensation even during apparently deep levels of sedation and they are capable of kicking out or rearing. It is recognised that addition of butorphanol (Turbugesic) to an alpha-2 agent (Domosedan, Xylazine or Sedivet) reduces the likelihood of a horse kicking, however it does not eliminate the risks entirely.
Students may assist in restraint of horses with the attending veterinarian. If you are in doubt or concerned for your safety or that of any other individual then you must immediately bring it to the attention of the veterinary surgeon in charge at the time. Please do not enter boxes on your own except under supervision.
Almost all of the medicines used in the hospital are a potential hazard to people. Examples include the risk of anaphylaxis (a hypersensitive / allergic type reaction) with many types of antibiotic and profound respiratory and cardiovascular depression with most anaesthetic and sedative drugs. Consequently at no time should needles, syringes, medicine bottles or drug receptacles be placed in the mouth or in the pockets of trousers or coats. If a medicine contacts the skin then the area should be washed immediately. Any incidents of accidental self-injection or needle scratches should be notified to the partners immediately.
All bottles, syringes, needles and blades are potential hazards and should be disposed of immediately in the correct receptacles.
All aspects of radiation safety that you have learned in college apply in practice too. In particular, students should wear gloves and gowns when assisting with the taking of radiographs. The gowns and gloves should be stored neatly to ensure that they are not damaged. The Bone Scanning / Scintigraphy room has its own separate set of rules and explanation of hazards – all students should familiarize themselves with safety procedures if they are assisting with bone scanning procedures.
Only the minimum number of personnel should be in the x-ray area at any one time. Pregnant women and children younger than 16 should not be in the radiography room or bone scanning room at any time.
MRI Room Safety:
The MRI magnet is low-field (less than 0.3 Tesla) and is only a potential health risk to people with cardiac pacemakers or similar such devices. These people should not enter the room. Please note that the magnet is not strong enough to pull metal from hands (such as axes, chairs, fire fighting equipment etc) – which can happen in large magnets in human hospitals.
The partners view safety as absolutely paramount for all staff, clients and visitors to the hospital. Consequently, anybody found disregarding these recommendations or acting in contravention to the safety statement and endangering themselves or others will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
WHILST YOU ARE A VISITOR AT OUR HOSPITAL, WE EXPECT YOU TO TREAT EVERY MEMBER OF OUR TEAM AND CLIENTS WITH RESPECT AND COURTESY. THE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS YOU MAKE DURING YOUR STAY WILL BE BOTH NOTED AND APPRECIATED.
AT ANY STAGE DURING YOUR STAY, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS ANY DIFFICULTIES OR PROBLEMS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER WITH ANY MEMBER OF STAFF. YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT A PROBLEM SHARED! FAILURE TO OBSERVE THE ABOVE GUIDELINES MAY RESULT IN YOUR BEING ASKED TO LEAVE.
ANYBODY WISHING TO SEE PRACTICE AGAIN SHOULD BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE AND YOU CAN HOPEFULLY BE GIVEN PRIORITY.
British Equine Veterinary Association
Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association
Horse Racing Ireland
The Curragh Racecourse
International Federation for Equestrian Sports
Thank you for your interest
Warren Schofield, Hugh Dillon, Michael Sadlier