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Emma Paul, who is training at Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in the West Midlands

Emma Paul, who is training at Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in the West Midlands

Big Thumbs-up For Sign Language Vet Nurse Emma

2 months ago
161 views

Posted
30th June, 2022 14h08

Author
Linnaeus Group


A student vet nurse at one of the UK’s most renowned small animal hospitals has played a vital role in a major operation to cure a dog’s lameness. 

Emma Paul, who is training at Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in the West Midlands, was not directly involved in the surgery to repair a damaged cranial cruciate ligament. 

However, her role was still essential to proceedings, as she used her sign language skills to communicate throughout with the 10-year-old cocker spaniel’s owner, who is deaf. 

Emma said: “Communication was initially difficult between our client and clinicians, so I was asked if I could help with explaining the planned treatment and operation. 

“I have been signing for as long as I can remember as my older brother is deaf and I grew up going to the BID Deaf Cultural Centre in Birmingham, so was delighted to help. 

“The owner was really happy when I went out and introduced myself. He was so relieved that there was someone who could understand him and explain all the important information to him. 

“It was also extremely rewarding for me to be able to use my skills to help, as I know my brother struggled with going to places and not having someone there who could communicate. It was very frustrating for him. 

“The owner has requested I interpret for him when he and his pet come in again for future consultations and I have since used my sign language to help one of his friends who is also deaf. 

“I’m so glad my sign language skills were able to help with this case and I will hopefully be able to assist with clients who are members of the deaf community in the future.”  

The further good news is that the cocker spaniel’s operation went well, as Kinley Smith, an RCVS and European specialist in small animal surgery, successfully repaired the CCL damage. 

Dr Smith said: “Emma’s sign language skills were a huge help in this case and ensured the owner was kept fully informed throughout. 

“We’re very conscious that having a sick or injured pet can be a stressful and anxious time for owners, so we always strive to communicate clearly and openly with them about the way forward. 

“In this case, it was proving problematic but Emma really made the difference, not just for the owner, for all of us.” 

Willows offers specialist services in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, clinical nutrition, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery and spinal surgery. 

To find out more about Willows’ wide range of specialist services, visit www.willows.uk.net or search for Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service on Facebook.  


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