AAHA offices are closed due to a special staff function from 1-5pm MDT on June 24. We will resume regular business hours on Monday, June 27.

Clarify staff roles and responsibilities

Get everyone on board

  • Ask all team members to review the 2013 AAHA/AAFP Fluid Therapy Guidelines for Dogs and Cats and to arrive with questions for discussion at your next team meeting.
    • Consider holding a meeting of veterinarians and technicians to discuss how you will implement and/or integrate the guidelines into your fluid therapy protocols.
    • Hold a whole-team meeting to discuss how you plan to use the guidelines.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the items in the guidelines.
  • Review the parts of the toolkit and discuss how you will use each portion.
  • Discuss each team member’s role in fluid therapy, client communication and record-keeping.
  • Discuss the ways you can inform your clients about fluid therapy (e.g., information and links on your website, as printed material, via social media and in the practice).
  • Encourage questions. Only when team members are sure of the relevance of every item will they be able to make confident recommendations.

Client service representatives

  • Be prepared to answer general client questions or to let clients know who will answer more-specific medical questions.
  • Ensure that every client receives relevant printed information upon checkout. Review with them the procedures that were performed with their pet.
  • Ensure that clients are aware that fluid therapy involves more than just using a product; it includes selecting appropriate fluids and monitoring the patient.

Technicians

  • Discuss the entire toolkit and guidelines with the doctors. Discuss the actions that the technician will perform and which ones will be reviewed/performed by the veterinarian.
  • Review and discuss with the practice manager and veterinarians the desirable location of technical materials, charts and checklists for ease of use.
  • Ensure fluid therapy procedures and assessments are documented in the record.
  • When discussing fluid therapy with clients, ensure they are aware that fluid therapy involves more than just using a product; it includes selecting appropriate fluids and monitoring the patient.
  • Share educational materials with the client.
  • Be prepared to demonstrate and coach clients in administering subcutaneous fluid therapy.

Veterinarians

  • Discuss the entire toolkit and guidelines with the other veterinarians and the technicians. Determine the items that will be reviewed and/or performed by the technician and those that will be reviewed/performed by the veterinarian.
  • Review/discuss with the practice manager and the technicians a desirable location of technical materials, charts and checklists for ease of use.
  • Ensure fluid therapy procedures and assessments are documented in the record.
  • Review the fluid therapy plan with clients before and after treatment is implemented. Ensure that clients are aware that fluid therapy involves more than just using a product; it includes selecting appropriate fluids and monitoring the patient.
  • Meet with the veterinarians and the technicians to discuss how the guidelines and the toolkit will be used.
  • Investigate and create copies of useful supplemental information available from AAHA and the AAFP.
  • Ensure there is an adequate supply of materials in appropriate locations:
    • Client education materials in exam rooms and at the reception desk
    • Technical and background information/materials in a designated location for easy access
    • Charts and checklists in treatment area
  • Plan for team meetings and follow-up training to ensure the entire team is on board with the plan for fluid therapy.
    • Have team members partner up to study and then present a particular facet of the guidelines to the rest of the team.
    • Create a fun learning game to ensure everyone is on board, using partners or teams to compete. Model your learning using the format of television game shows or trivia board games.