What are the Lessons that Human Medicine can Learn from Veterinary Practice?

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The study found that the participants who were working in human health care who had a veterinary practitioner background, believed that they were more successful in assessing and treating human patients who could not communicate or communicate effectively. In contrast, the health care practitioners without a veterinary practitioner background, continually reported difficulty', frustration' and 'lack of success' when dealing with non-communicative patients. Participants with veterinary experience articulated the non-verbal communication and observational skills they had learnt in veterinary medicine and how these skills could assist the human health care practitioner improve patient care with non-communicative patients. Two heuristics (aide-memoires) were developed to assist health care practitioners to continuously assess their patients (OBSERVE) and to assist in the assessment of the patient in pain (PAINFUL). In addition, the study suggests that non-verbal communication and observational skills, at the veterinary level, are important for the education of many health professionals and could be easily embedded into human medical curricula to facilitate improved patient care. ƒ
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Loftus, Stephen, Principal Supervisor
  • O'Meara, Peter, Principal Supervisor
Award date31 Jan 2014
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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