Valuable know-how imparted by excellent speakers

01 August 2009, at 12:00am

BARBARA-ANN INNES of the BSAVA Scottish region committee, reports on this year’s congress at St Andrews

FAIRMONT St Andrews – what a sight to behold. OK, so you may assume that I am talking about the magnificent hotel, which is world class, but I am actually referring to the wonderful array of sights at the BSAVA Scottish Region 24th Annual Scientific Weekend Friday night fancy dress party. 

As has been tradition for the past 24 years a fancy dressthemed party night has allowed the creative side of the veterinary profession to shine. “Sporting heroes” was the theme this time and as always it did not disappoint with a great deal of effort and thought being put in to the range of costumes on show. 

To top it of, delegates, partners and exhibitors were also invited to join in the larger than life games, with the surf simulator proving extremely popular, and dance into the wee small hours. 

The weekend is not just about socialising, although it is a uniquely warm and friendly event. The main reason for the gathering of the veterinary clan is, of course, to partake in the excellent CPD on offer. This year saw two eminent speakers, Dr Andrew Mackin of Mississippi State University and Ronan Doyle of Davies Referrals, “Raise the bar” with their medical and surgical lectures respectively. 

Dr Mackin spread the gospel to the vets on fever of unknown origin, anaemia and hypoalbuminaemia, while his nursing sermons concentrated on nurses care of anaemia, bleeding disorder diagnostics, haemostasis and chemotherapy of the cancer patient. 

Mr Doyle’s vet lectures addressed septic peritonitis and urethral obstructions, and for the nurses critical patient care, wound and chest drains and lump removal were discussed. 

To complement the main veterinary and nursing lecture sessions, a range of workshops from anaesthesia to geriatric clinics were also on offer to delegates keen to keep abreast of what’s what and get the most from the 16 hours of CPD on offer over the weekend. Not to be left out, a separate stream was also available aimed specifically at practice managers and reception staff. 

The wide range of topics provided great choice and opportunity to the 180 or so delegates. Excellent speakers delivering practical solutions and understandable explanations resulted in delegates being provided with the valuable know-how that will be useful in practice. This is no doubt why such positive feedback was received.

Exhibitors from around the country also flocked to St Andrews, including not just the movers and the shakers in the veterinary world but also a range of smaller firms keen to entice practices to see the benefits they had to offer them. 

Other social events were also on offer throughout the weekend, including a coastal walk, falconry display and golf for accompanying guests and those taking a more leisurely approach to the weekend. Saturday night saw the frocks, kilts and tux adorned for the gala dinner, complete with the fine food and compulsory ceilidh. 

It seems that a great time was had by all and the weekend ran without hitch, thanks to the attentive hotel staff and the BSAVA Scottish region committee, whose hard work and attention to detail paid off – despite the fact that one speaker was close to not making it across the water in time and the other could have been called away at any minute had his new son/daughter decided to make an early arrival into the world. 

Delegates may have left bleary eyed but hopefully also full of new-found enthusiasm and knowledge that they can put to good use in practice. All that remains now is to meet/beat the high standards associated with BSAVA Scottish Region Scientific Weekend. 

Next year sees the 25th anniversary of this prestigious event, and as such we would like to encourage those who attended in our fledgling years and/or since to join in the celebration and make it a year to remember.