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Abstract

Objective—To determine time to first detection of Salmonella organisms in feces of animals after experimental infection PO and times to onset of diarrhea and pyrexia to evaluate a common method for identifying nosocomial infections on the basis of time of admission and onset of clinical signs (ie, the 3-day criterion).

Design—Meta-analysis.

Sample Population—Cattle, horses, goats, and sheep experimentally infected PO with Salmonella enterica subsp enterica.

Procedures—Online databases were searched for published reports describing results of experimental infection of cattle, horses, goats, and sheep PO with salmonellae. Time to detection of organisms in feces as well as to onset of diarrhea and pyrexia was noted. Analysis of covariance was used to examine relationships among these variables, host species and age, and Salmonella serovar and magnitude of infecting dose.

Results—Forty-three studies met the criteria for inclusion. Time to detection of salmonellae in feces ranged from 0.5 to 4 days. Times to onset of diarrhea and pyrexia ranged from 0.33 to 11 days and from 0.27 to 5 days, respectively. Time to onset of diarrhea was related to host age and Salmonella serovar. No other associations were identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Time to detection of salmonellae in feces is unreliable for identifying hospital-acquired infections; a 3-day criterion will misidentify hospital- versus community-acquired infections. Relying on clinical indices such as times to onset of diarrhea and pyrexia to trigger fecal sampling for detection of Salmonella infection will increase the risk of environmental contamination and nosocomial spread because animals may begin shedding organisms in feces several days prior.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare present values of expected income streams for 5 distinct veterinary medical career tracks.

Design—Present value model.

Sample Population—AVMA survey data.

Procedures—Present values of expected income streams (net of debt repayment) were created and ranked. Sensitivity to each independent variable was assessed.

Results—Career present value at 34 years after graduation (CPV34) was highest for board-certified specialist (SP; $2,272,877), followed by practice owner (PO; $2,119,596), practice owner buying into practice after 10 years (PO-10; $1,736,333), SP working three-fouths time (SP3/4; $1,702,744), and general practitioner (GP; $1,221,131). Compared with CPV34 for SP, other career tracks yielded values of 93.3% (PO), 76.4% (PO-10), 74.9% (SP3/4), and 53.7% (GP). The model was robust to debt, interest rate, loan term, and discount rate but was sensitive to mean starting incomes and mean incomes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Greatest return on time and money invested by a veterinary student is through practicing full-time as an SP or through being a PO. Being an SP or SP3/4 was substantially more lucrative than being a GP and was comparable to being a PO. Practice ownership and working as an SP3/4 may be options for balancing financial gain with free time. Specialty training and practice ownership may be career tracks with the best potential repayment options for veterinarians with a large educational debt. Regardless of the amount of debt, the type of practice, mean incomes in a particular field, personal lifestyle, and professional interests are important factors when deciding among career tracks.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess perceptions of personnel working at a veterinary teaching hospital regarding risks of occupational hazards and compare those perceptions with assessments made by occupational safety experts.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Study Population—A representative sample of personnel (n = 90) working at the veterinary teaching hospital at Colorado State University and a panel of 3 occupational safety experts.

Procedures—Hospital personnel ranked perceptions of 14 physical, chemical, and biological workplace hazards and listed the injuries, illnesses, and near misses they had experienced. The expert panel provided consensus rankings of the same 14 hazards for 9 sections of the facility. Risk perceptions provided by the 2 sources were compared.

Results—Risk perceptions did not differ significantly between hospital personnel and the expert panel for most of the site-specific comparisons (94/126 [75%]). Personnel perceived greater risks for some physical hazards (loud noises, sharps injuries, and ionizing radiation) and some chemical or materials exposures (insecticides or pesticides and tissue digester emissions). In contrast, the expert panel perceived greater risks for physical hazards (bite or crush and restraining and moving animals), chemical exposures (anesthetic waste gas), and biological exposures (Toxoplasma gondii, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and allergens).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Participants and safety experts had similar perceptions about occupational risks, but there were important differences where hospital personnel apparently overestimated or underappreciated the risks for workplace hazards. This type of study may be useful in guiding development of optimal workplace safety programs for veterinary hospitals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with interest in or choosing a career in rural veterinary practice (RVP).

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample Population—Veterinarians and veterinary students in the United States.

Procedures—Veterinary students and veterinarians in any area of practice were solicited to participate in an online survey through invitation letters sent to various veterinary associations. Proportions of respondents assigning high importance to various factors were analyzed for differences among gender, age, and background groups.

Results—1,216 responses were received. In general, survey respondents indicated that RVP could be characterized as the practice of veterinary medicine in any community where agriculture represented a significant part of the local economy. Responses also indicated that RVP should not be confused with large animal or food animal exclusive practice. Most respondents (38.9%) developed an interest in RVP early in life (before 8th grade), with 13.0% reportedly developing their interest in RVP during veterinary school. The most highly ranked factors with regard to influence on developing an interest in RVP were having relatives with a farm background, having a veterinarian in RVP as a mentor, and exposure to RVP during veterinary school. Gender, generational category, background (rural vs urban), and livestock experience were significantly associated with when respondents developed an interest in RVP and with factors important in developing that interest.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of the present study suggested that various factors are associated with interest in and choosing a career in RVP. These factors should be considered when strategies for increasing interest and encouraging careers in RVP are planned.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with veterinarians leaving a career in rural veterinary practice (RVP).

Design—Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Sample Population—Veterinarians from the United States who no longer worked in RVP.

Procedures—Veterinarians in any area of practice were solicited to participate in an online survey through invitation letters sent to various veterinary associations. Those who indicated that they had left RVP were asked to rank the importance of various potential factors in their decision to leave RVP.

Results—805 responses were obtained from veterinarians who had worked in RVP, of which 246 (30.6%) had left RVP. Most (231/246 [93.9%]) of those who reported leaving RVP had been in practice > 5 years, and 75.2% (185/246) had been in practice > 12 years. Eighty-three (33.7%) who left RVP pursued careers in urban areas, 72 (29.3%) entered academia, and 7 (2.8%) retired. Reasons for leaving RVP ranked by the highest proportions of respondents as being of high importance were emergency duty, time off, salary, practice atmosphere, and family concerns. Women ranked factors such as time off, mentorship, practice atmosphere, conflict with staff, and gender issues as being of high importance more often than men did.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the perceived shortage of veterinarians in RVP may be in part influenced by a lack of retention, particularly among experienced veterinarians. Targeted efforts to tackle issues related to emergency duty, time off, salary, practice atmosphere, and family issues could help alleviate the efflux from RVP.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine labor market characteristics of veterinary technician specialists (VTSs) during 2007 and identify characteristics significantly related to pay.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—163 VTSs.

Procedures—A 21-question, multiple-choice survey was sent in early May 2008 to all individuals (n = 345) who had been certified as VTSs and for whom an e-mail address could be identified.

Results—Weighted mean pay rate for respondents was $23.48/h. Pay rate was significantly associated with practice type, whether the respondent had a supervisory or management position, duration of experience as a VTS, duration of experience as a veterinary technician, and duration of employment with the current employer. Pay rate was not significantly associated with age, gender, highest academic degree, geographic region, area of practice (ie, urban vs suburban vs rural), or academy of which the respondent was a member.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Traditional human capital variables such as work experience and job tenure were significantly related to pay rate for VTSs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify and evaluate coping strategies advocated by experienced animal shelter workers who directly engaged in euthanizing animals.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—Animal shelters across the United States in which euthanasia was conducted (5 to 100 employees/shelter).

Procedures—With the assistance of experts associated with the Humane Society of the United States, the authors identified 88 animal shelters throughout the United States in which animal euthanasia was actively conducted and for which contact information regarding the shelter director was available. Staff at 62 animal shelters agreed to participate in the survey. Survey packets were mailed to the 62 shelter directors, who then distributed them to employees. The survey included questions regarding respondent age, level of education, and role and asked those directly involved in the euthanasia of animals to provide advice on strategies for new euthanasia technicians to deal with the related stress. Employees completed the survey and returned it by mail. Content analysis techniques were used to summarize survey responses.

Results—Coping strategies suggested by 242 euthanasia technicians were summarized into 26 distinct coping recommendations in 8 categories: competence or skills strategies, euthanasia behavioral strategies, cognitive or self-talk strategies, emotional regulation strategies, separation strategies, get-help strategies, seek long-term solution strategies, and withdrawal strategies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Euthanizing animals is a major stressor for many animal shelter workers. Information regarding the coping strategies identified in this study may be useful for training new euthanasia technicians.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against Leptospira serovars among veterinarians and identify risk factors for seropositivity in veterinary care settings.

Design—Seroepidemiologic survey.

Study Population—Veterinarians attending the 2006 AVMA Annual Convention.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from 511 veterinarians, and serum was harvested for a microcapsule agglutination test (MAT) to detect antibodies against 6 serovars of Leptospira. Aggregate data analysis was performed to determine the ratio of the odds of a given exposure (eg, types of animals treated or biosafety practices) in seropositive individuals to the odds in seronegative individuals.

Results—Evidence of previous leptospiral infection was detected in 2.5% of veterinarians. Most veterinarians reported multiple potential exposures to Leptospira spp and other pathogens in the previous 12 months, including unintentional needlestick injuries (379/511 [74.2%]), animal bites (345/511 [67.5%]), and animal scratches (451/511 [88.3%]). Treatment of a dog with an influenza-like illness within the past year was associated with seropositivity for antibodies against Leptospira spp.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Veterinarians are at risk for leptospirosis and should take measures to decrease potential exposure to infectious agents in general. Diagnostic tests for leptospirosis should be considered when veterinarians have febrile illnesses of unknown origin.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association