First aid course

We chatted to one of our senior consulting nurses Amanda who runs our first aid workshops to find out what they are all about. Amanda has been running the first aid courses for around 2 years now and originally wrote the course with her nursing colleagues and input from the vets within the practice. The course is a great way to find out more about first aid and how you can help your pet in an emergency, where seconds can mean life or death.

Who would benefit from the first aid workshops that you run?

“Anyone who owns a pet can benefit from them, from pet owners to dog walkers. They are aimed at pet owners and families primarily who own pets and want to know what to do in an emergency, but they are useful for anyone who works with dogs such as dog walkers or pet sitters.”

What can participants expect from the course?

“Our first aid workshops are interactive. It’s a mixture of presentation talks and practical demonstrations that each participant can have a go at. We talk through various first aid situations that any pet owner could find themselves in and encourage learning by experiences, especially if you’ve had an emergency situation before with your pet that we can all learn from.”

What topics do you cover?

“We aim to cover any emergency that you might expect to find yourself in with your pet. We cover from bee stings to broken bones, to a bleeding wound, to how to do CPR. One of the really important things we cover is shock and how to recognise the signs of shock. It’s one of those things that if you don’t recognise the signs early it can be fatal to your pet. We cover lots of different scenarios and talk through all the things you could be doing at home to minimise the harm that can come to your pet.”

How are the practical sessions taught?

“We finish the day with some practical sessions. If we have a few people in the workshop then we break into two groups and do some simple bandaging practice, which can help to stem blood flow effectively if your pet gets a cut that has the potential to bleed all over your car on the way to the vets! We also demonstrate and practice how to take your pets pulse and respiratory rate on my own dogs Sizzle and Maisie. I’ll also teach you how to give CPR and you’ll get the chance to practice some life saving techniques on a resuscitation dummy dog, which in the event of cardiac arrest could save your pets life.”

What can participants expect to go home with?

“Anyone who attends will get a whole raft of information and practical help on dealing with any pet emergency situation, we cover so much. Included in the cost of the first course is a comprehensive first aid kit with items such as bandaging material to a rectal thermometer, space blanket if your dog was suffering from hypothermia. We will teach you how to use everything in the kit and include some quick reference flash cards to take home too. You’ll get a certificate of attendance for the course and although the course isn’t accredited by any college or awarding body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is our governing body which means any information we provide, whether it be on a workshop we run or a consultation, is relevant, current and would not put your pet at any further risk.”

What do you love most about running the workshops?

“I enjoy running the workshops because I like to help you as pet owners, or dog walkers/pet sitters, to feel more confident in dealing with emergencies if they should arise. It can be really frightening to be in situation you feel you can’t control, and I hope that I can help alleviate some of that stress when it occurs by making sure you know what to do if an emergency should happen.”

Join Amanda and the team who will be running our next first aid workshop on Saturday 21st March 2020, 12.30pm – 4.30pm at our Greengates clinic. Tickets are on sale now for £50.

You can book either online by clicking here or by contacting our reception team on either 0113 2678419 (Cookridge) or 01274 610627 (Greengates) and reserving your place.

Keep up to date with news and information about the even on our Facebook events page which you can find by clicking here.

(Monday 9th March 2020)