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During National Veterinary Technician Week we are pleased to honor one of WestVet’s Veterinary Nurses who recently won a competition at a national conference – congratulations to Brooke Quesnell!

This week is National Veterinary Technician Week. Our hospital is very fortunate to have a team of highly-skilled veterinary nurses and assistants who provide wonderful care to our clients. Truly, they are the heart and soul of our hospital and we thank them for their amazing work ethic and dedication to the veterinary profession.

In this blog post, we want to honor one of our veterinary nurses who recently received a big honor. Brooke Quesnell is a talented, compassionate professional veterinary technician. National Veterinary Technician Week - Honoring WestVet's Brook Quesnell, Veterinary Nurse at WestVetBoth our amazing clients and WestVet colleagues regularly report on her kindness, attention to detail, and generous spirit. We were thrilled when she was awarded top honors at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Conference this summer.

One part of the conference is a competition where technicians write an outline of an emergency patient case and submit it to the committee prior to the conference. Cases are evaluated and ranked on the skill set of the technician, his/her knowledge of veterinary medicine, and the analysis and follow through. Eight finalists are chosen to present their case to the conference members. We were ecstatic to learn that Brooke not only won first place, she also pocketed a $350 cash prize!

Brooke summarized her winning submission below:

Our patient was a dog that had survived a house fire. She came in very wobbly and was unable to stand without falling over. The pulse oximetery machine provided a normal reading for her blood oxygen level. She was admitted to the hospital and kept overnight on oxygen therapy. The following morning, she was walking normally and was discharged and returned home. Two days later the owner returned with her dog who was now suffering from seizures. We used medication to stop the seizures and initially, it was successful. Later that evening, the seizures resumed. We utilized an anesthetic medication intravenously to stop the seizures. Alarmingly, we found that we had to continue to increase the medication to keep the seizures under control.

My case report focused on the neurologic issues this dog was dealing with –directly linked to her carbon monoxide/smoke inhalation. I discussed the two theories of toxicity, hypoxic theory and cellular theory. The hypoxic theory states that damage to cells from carbon monoxide toxicity results directly from lack of oxygen to cells. The cellular theory is much more complicated. It states that carbon monoxide alters cell cycles to the point that the cells can no longer function normally, causing amongst other things, neurologic abnormalities. I explained that while our pulse oximetery was reading a normal measurement of oxygenation, it was falsely normal as the machine reads oxygen and carbon monoxide the same; it cannot differentiate between the two and therefore gives a falsely high value even though the red blood cells may be full of carbon monoxide and not oxygen, leading to damage to cells from lack of oxygen.

This was a national conference. The competition was incredibly tight for this honor and we are very proud of Brooke for this achievement.

Up next for Brooke? She is awaiting her results for the Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Specialist Certification. The stringent requirements to earn this distinction requires years of emergency veterinary work and skills. She should find out in a few weeks if she has earned the honor. Then she plans to apply and test for the Internal Medicine Oncology Veterinary Technician Specialty.

Congratulations, Brooke! We are proud of all your hard work and the wonderful talents you bring to our clients every day.


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