Feral Cat Coalition Clinic Procedures
CLEAN HANDS THOROUGHLY. If desired, use a pair of non-sterile exam gloves from the large surgical supply boxes; these will protect your hands if you have cuts or scratches. Familiarize yourself with the surgical supply boxes so you can restock quickly during the clinic.
SET UP SURGICAL AREA and make sure the following items are layed out in an efficient, practical manner (see diagram below you may have to improvise at some clinics); adjust as necessary per Vet preference.
EMERGENCY "CRASH" KIT is available and is usually located at the Neuter Station know where it is!
TRANSPORTERS will deliver prepped female cats to the surgical area. Make sure Transporter places board off edge of table and away from the sterile field, with cat's head in direction preferred by Vet.
WATCH YOUR CATS! You are responsible for checking respiration and following "Respiration 101" procedures if you suspect a cat is not breathing. If there is no improvement, immediately alert the Vet Assist Team Leader; he or she will work with the Vet to revive the cat.
BEFORE STERILE DRAPE IS PLACED OVER CAT, alert Veterinarian to any medical toe tags attached to rear leg. If Vet notes any medical problem (not yet tagged), you must prepare a toe tag (black ink) with cat's ID #, complete ID information, and medical info; affix tag to cat's hind leg above joint. In red, write treatment given and instructions per Veterinarian on back of toe tag and notify Recorder. If there is no treatment, indicate "NT" so that Caretaker and Recorder know that the medical problem was addressed.
BE VIGILANT in maintaining integrity of sterile area! When assisting Vet, always use sterile procedures when opening packs, gloves, blades, etc. Refurbish supplies as needed, change water as it gets dirty, and replace dull and bent needles and blades (place in sharps container).
FOR EACH SURGERY, one pre-sterilized set of surgical instruments is used (one peel pack). After each procedure, Veterinarian will place all instruments in the wash bowl. Have Vet remove needle and blade with handle; he or she will wipe clean and place into cold sterile tray. Wash remaining instruments in bowl with toothbrush, then place in milk tray to soak for a few minutes; after soaking, place instruments into red bucket.
Packs must sometimes be reused, if there are a lot of cats and we run out. If this happens, wash all instruments that make up a pack and place in cold sterile to soak. Arrange them in an orderly fashion so the Vet can retrieve them easily. Keep a clean pack ready for each procedure, then rotate packs (one in use, one cleaned and soaking).
AFTER EACH PROCEDURE, notify Recorder of any special instructions (ref. toe tag) and alert Transporter. One Transporter will remove post-surgical cat and another will bring a new cat. Just call "transport" loudly!
AFTER ALL SURGERIES are complete, set aside clear bags (drapes & towels) and black bags (tissue & euthanized cats) so they are not thrown out with the regular trash. All black bags should be placed in the clinic's freezer unless otherwise instructed by the Supervisor. Save all unused surgical items and pack neatly into large surgical supply boxes. Clean the area thoroughly and replace anything that was moved (furniture, equipment, etc.). Leave area cleaner than when we started!
[Page updated November 2009]