The Pet's Passing

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About the course

This component covers the following modules:

  • Euthanasia: Mind-sets and Challenges
  • Bond-Centred Euthanasia: The Vet Professional’s Guide
  • Home Euthanasia and Other Scenarios
  • Moving Towards Bond-Centred End-of-Life Care: building protocols for your clinic
  • Reflective Practice: Self-evaluation and Team Care

This component continues the veterinary journey through pet loss. It focuses extensively on euthanasia, both in the clinic and the home setting. Veterinary team members are initially encouraged to look at their own beliefs and attitudes around death and pet loss. They will be given help to identify the type of role they adopt with respect to informing and guiding pet owners at the end of their pet's life.

There then follows guidance on bond-centred euthanasia which places the client and their feelings at the heart of the procedure. Participants are encouraged to look with fresh eyes at how they carry out euthanasia, and these modules will be invaluable for the new veterinary or nursing graduate finding their feet in this sensitive and often scary subject. 

Protocols for pre-euthanasia consultations are given along with end-of-life clinic protocols that practices can amend to fit with their practice policy. There are also clinical protocols for pre-euthanasia sedation, developed by end-of-life experts and hospice vets. These allow the pet to reliably and gently fall into a natural deep sleep before the final euthanasing injection is given. In this way the pet passes into a more natural sleep that gives the client a compassionate and less-sudden goodbye. Home euthanasia, a source of stress for many vets,  is also discussed with specific guidance on how to prepare for and deliver euthanasia in a controlled and calm way outside the confines of the consult room. Other scenarios include 'On-the-table' euthanasia and unexpected pet death. 

A key part of this component is self-evaluation and team care. In this module, participants are given strategies and tools to help them take care of themselves and prevent compassion fatigue. The concept of EE (end-of-life experience) meetings is introduced with team members encouraged to have regular opportunity to share their experiences, good and bad, to talk about cases, and in this way help support each other. 

As with the other components there are reflective exercises along the way to help embed the learning. Each module guides the student through the information via video, audio, articles and downloads. Each module concludes with a brief multiple choice assessment which contributes towards passing of the component. 

The component is expected to take about 2.5 hours in total. On completion and passing of the component, participants will receive a certificate and accreditation points, as well as a Compassion Understood lapel badge if this component is taken as a stand-alone unit. 

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