American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Nursing Care Guidelines

2012 AAFP/ISFM Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines

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The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) have released the Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines, which have been published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 

These Guidelines were established to provide the entire veterinary team with the resources and recommendations necessary to implement basic nursing care concepts. They define nursing care as any interaction between the cat and the veterinary team or between the cat and its owner at home, that promotes wellness or recovery from illness or injury and addresses the patient’s physical and emotional wellbeing. 

“By looking at each section of the Guidelines, a clinic can begin to understand fear and stress from the cat’s perspective; make changes in protocol that will decrease stress in exam rooms, perioperative areas and during hospitalization; avoid things that annoy cats; and counsel owners on how to behave in the exam room so as to soothe their cats rather than contribute to stress,” stated Drs. Hazel Carney and Susan Little, co-chairs of the guidelines panel. 

The intent of these Guidelines is to help the veterinary team understand basic nursing care concepts, both in the practice and at home. This resource provides practical tips that encourage veterinary practices to view nursing care in new ways and to ensure the cat feels safe and secure throughout the veterinary experience. Veterinary team members who apply both the art and science of veterinary nursing care will not only deliver optimal healthcare to the cat but earn the confidence of their clients. 

“These Guidelines are comprehensive and may seem daunting. However, even small improvements and incremental progress in feline nursing care can pay immediate dividends and start building a culture of skilled and compassionate feline care. We firmly believe that as veterinarians understand, utilize and adapt these techniques to their practices, they will improve the comfort and health of our cat patients.” 

The panel members include: Hazel Carney, DVM, MS, DAVBP (Canine and Feline), Co-Chair; Susan Little, DVM, DABVP (Feline), Co-Chair; Dawn Brownlee-Tomasso, RVT; Andrea Harvey, BVSc, Cert SAM, DSAM (Feline), DipEVCIM-CA; Erica Mattox, CVT, VTS (ECC); Sheilah Robertson, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, DECVA, DACVC; Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP (Feline); Donna Stephens Manley, DVM.    

Listen to the AAFP/ISFM 2012 Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines Podcast.

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