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Alison Young

Alison Young, DipAVN (Surgery), VTS (Surgery), RVN, Cardiothoracic surgery coordinator

2020 Lectures

Emergency abdominal surgery: the nurse’s role

This lecture aims to discuss various types of emergency abdominal surgery that we see in practice.  It will cover a brief amount of the initial care, what we need to do as the patient comes through the door, but will focus on the surgical procedures in theatre and how we are best able to help these critical patients.  GDVs, splenectomies and other abdominal trauma cases will be among the procedures to be discussed. Although as veterinary nurses we are not performing the surgery it is important to understand the surgical procedure to be able to nurse these patients effectively during the peri and post-operative period.

Orthopaedic surgery: theatre nursing and understanding the implants

This lecture will discuss commonly used implants in orthopaedics to help stop that feeling of dread when you are asked for something you’ve never heard of before!!  It will share the reasons why some implants are chosen over others and how to prepare for orthopaedic procedures. As nurses providing the best surgical assistance can really help with a positive outcome for our patients but also our own knowledge and job satisfaction.


Alison qualified as a veterinary nurse whilst working in a small practice in Hertfordshire.  In 2001 she joined the Queen Mother Hospital at The Royal Veterinary College as a general surgery nurse working in all areas of the hospital.  In 2005 she became senior theatre nurse and sat her Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgery) gaining the highest marks for that year.

In 2007 she became Head Theatre Nurse and in 2012 became the first nurse in the UK to study for and pass the Veterinary Technician Specialist (Surgery) qualification in the USA.

Alison has co-written the theatre chapters in the BSAVA Textbook of Veterinary Nursing and the BSAVA Manual of canine and feline Advanced Veterinary Nursing.  She has written articles for the VNJ and The Veterinary Nurse and spoken at BSAVA and BVNA conferences.

On a daily basis Alison managed seven operating theatres and a team of specialised theatre nurses in the multidisciplinary hospital.  She enjoys all aspects of hands on theatre nursing and in particular the cardiothoracic patients undergoing open heart surgery. Within the last six months Alison has now taken on the role of cardiothoracic surgery service co-ordinator working in the operating room and in intensive care with the heart surgery patients.