How A Veterinary Practice Functions Health And Social Care Essay

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"Science is both a body of knowledge and a process." Science is a process as it allows us to have a better understanding of the world around us. It is constantly developing, and as questions are answered, more questions arise as a result of this.

There are many types of industry that use science, such as the textiles industry, the paper industry, the sugar industry and the fertilizer industry. Science also has helped the development of technology, which has progressed quickly over a short period of time. For example, with the development of TV, it has taken under a century to go from black and white TV to colour TV, due to developments in science.

A service provider is a company that provides services to other people. Forensic service providers use science to contribute to the development of methods of detecting DNA at crime scenes, improved drug, weapon and explosive detection and lighter body armour to protect police officers.

A producer is a person or company that makes, grows, or supplies goods for sale. Food producers also use science theory to help them grow their food. Their understanding of photosynthesis helps them to understand the conditions necessary to help their plants grow.

A manufacturer is a person, group, or company that owns or runs a manufacturing plant. Science has helped with this too, as goods used to be produced one at a time by hand. Now the developments in science have allowed goods to be produced on a larger scale, thus increasing the number of goods which can be made in a period of time. For example, the use of steam power provided cheaper power, lower production costs, and therefore lower prices.

There are many jobs that do not require science qualifications to complete. However an understanding of scientific concepts may be required. For example, chefs may need to use science in their jobs in order to understand things such as the effects of heat on sugars and starches, the denaturing of proteins or forming emulsions. Hairdressers may also require scientific understanding for the use of hair dye or styling, for example using a blow-dryer to style hair by understanding the different states that hair may be in.

The local area in which I live is Kent, which I will research a number of companies to gain a better understanding of how they use science.

Kent is a county in the south east of England which boarders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. It has a population of around 1,500,000 according to the 2011 census. It has a total area of 3736km² which makes it the 10th biggest county in the country. It is also one of the warmest parts of Britain and holds the record for the highest temperature reached in the UK, which could be part of the reason it is a popular location for tourists. It has employment statistics of: 41.1% full time, 12.4% part time, 9.1% self employed, 2.9% unemployed, 34.5% other, with males working on average 10 hours more than females. Major industries in Kent used to be cement, paper making and aircraft construction, with coal mining also being part of Kent's industrial history. However, Kent now largely relies on tourism and agriculture.

20 businesses write up



Description of business

Service/ producer/ manufacturer?

Description of how they use science

Number of people employed

Job titles of scientists and qualifications

Port Lympne

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park



CT21 4PD

Zoo with high standards of animal welfare and captive breeding success. The wild animal parks preserve endangered species that are displayed to the public.


Need to know what medication to give to animals and the type of food they eat. For this they need an understanding of biology.

They will also need to use chemistry in order to understand and be able to administer drugs to the animals.

They will have to perform x-rays which will require an understanding of physics. Physics will also be needed for the electrician to maintain equipment.

250-400 depending on time of year

Zookeeper- MSc in zoo conservation biology, BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma and Certificate in animal management

Groundskeeper- NVQ in biology, botany, and horticulture

Electrician- NVQ level 3 in electrical engineering

South Eastern Railway

Ramsgate Railway Station, United Kingdom

This is a railway service that travels to most places in the UK. The trains that run in this company are for passenger use.


Engineering needed for railway maintenance.


Mechanical engineer- NVQ in mechanical engineering Electrical Engineer- NVQ in electrical engineering

Motion engineer- BSc in Physics

Broadstairs Health Centre

The Broadway

Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2AJ

A NHS funded health clinic, which provides many services such as checkups, family planning, vaccinations and cancer prevention.


Pharmacology, Physiology and pathology are all used in order to diagnose patient's illnesses.

They will also use physics in order to take blood pressure or perform ultrasounds.


GP- BSc in medical science

Midwife- BSc in midwifery

Nurse Practitioner- Master's Degree in advanced nursing.

Plunkett's Vets

154 High Street

Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9TT

Medical care for pets, including checkups, treatment, advice, chiropractic care and surgery.


Vets need to apply the scientific method to diagnose the pet with whatever illness it has. They also require a good knowledge of animal anatomy. Chemistry is used for medicinal purposes, such as monitoring disease progression or responses to therapy. Physics is used for diagnostics like x-rays and ultrasound.

Biology is needed to determine if an animal is healthy or not. Pharmacology - to decide what medicines to treat the animals with.


Vet- BSc in animal science and must be a properly registered member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons so they are awarded an MRCVS.

Veterinary nurse- NVQ level 3 in veterinary nursing.

Harbour Dental practice

3 High Street

Margate, CT9 1DL

A dentist that provides NHS or private treatment, and provides services such as Dental Health Reviews, Tooth Restorations

Tooth Whitening


Dental Implants.


The dentist needs to know science of the body and specifically mouth and teeth. This is so they can give advice on diet, brushing, flossing and the use of fluorides.


Dentist- BSc in oral surgery and medicine

Dental Nurse- Level 3 NVQ in Dental Nursing

Canterbury Christ Church

North Homes Road  Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU

The number one University in the South East for the professional and public services. Provides thousands of courses. They teach science to university students in order to provide education and qualifications and must also conduct lab experiments safely.


Biology is used as they will be conducting science experiments which will require an understanding of biology and as they will be teaching it they must have an in depth knowledge of biology. The same applies for chemistry and physics.


Science Teachers- MSc or PhD in biology/ chemistry/ physics in order to teach undergraduates.

Lab Tech- BSc in Clinical Laboratory Support 

Kent Wildlife Trust

Kent Wildlife Trust

Tyland Barn




Conservation charity in Kent and Medway, established in 1958. They have over 61 nature reserves covering 3000 hectares.


They need to use biology in order to give advice on preserving water and keeping the quality of the land. They will also use agricultural and environmental science.


Soil and water conservationist- NVQ level 2 in Agricultural/

Environmental science

Kent Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Crowbridge Road

Orbital Park


Ashford, Kent

UK pharmaceutical company specialising in manufacturing, importing and supplying quality pharmaceuticals, such as anaesthetics, dressings and surgicals.


They need to use chemistry in order to know which chemicals to safely mix and what results may occur.

They also need physics in order to test the products to ensure they are safe.


Director of pharmacy- BSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Studies.

Analytical chemists- BSc Hons in chemistry.

Microbiologists- BSc in microbiology.

The Agronomy Partnership Ltd

Wrotham Water Road



TN15 7SG

Agricultural Chemical Manufacturers. Provide products such as crop protection products and natural organic fertilisers.


Biology and chemistry are needed to understand techniques like the application of agronomic research.


Agricultural Technician- NVQ level 3 in agriculture

Agricultural manager- NVQ level 3 in agriculture

Plastique Ltd

Decimus Park, Kingstanding Way, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3GP

Designers & manufacturers of rigid plastic packaging products.


They need to use physics in order to understand materials and their qualities, such as if it is brittle or ductile, strong or weak etc.


Designers- Bachelor in Industrial or product design.

Developers- BSc in chemistry

Plastics Technicians- NVQ in process manufacturing.

Carbolic Soap Co Ltd

Piells Court Yard, Bourne Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9NS

Cosmetic product manufacturer. Specialises in soap and cleaning supplies.


They need chemistry in order to know what chemicals could be harmful and so not to use them in their products.


Process improvement technologist- BSc in cosmetic science.

Cosmetic chemist- BSc in chemical engineering.

Comma Oil & Chemicals Limited

Dering Way, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 2QX

Manufactures engine oils, gear oils, automatic transmission fluids, antifreeze/coolants, maintenance aerosols, greases and car cleaning products.


Need chemistry to have an understanding of how to make the chemicals for cars. They will also need physics for hydraulic fluids.


Operations director- master's degree in business administration

Manufacturing Assessor- NVQ level 4 in Mechanical Engineering


Canterbury Rd, Ashford TN25 5LL

Pioneering plant science organisation. Supplements the commercial plant breeding industry by providing links with upstream genetic research.


They need to be able to understand the best nutrients in certain soils that are best suited for certain plant types, which will involve biology in order to calculate the fertility of soils.

Over 220 people in total in all branches.

Plant and crop scientist- BSc in molecular plant science or quantitative genetics.

Genetics and Breeding researchers- Bachelors degree in genetics.

Kent telephones

Unit A5, Continental Approach, Westwood Industrial Estate

Margate, Kent CT9 4JG

Telecoms company that provides telephone lines, supply and installation of business telephone systems, CCTV surveillance systems, telephone lines maintenance.


Engineering and computer science have to be used in order to develop telecommunication systems.


Electricians- NVQ level 3 in electrical engineering.

Engineers- city and guilds 236 or equivalent. NVQ level 3 in mechanical engineering.

Manston Airport

Manston Road, Kent, Ramsgate CT12 5BQ

Kents main international airport.


Need Geochemistry and Mineralogy in order to maintain safety and make repairs on all vital equipment and planes.


Experimental Fluid Processes Scientist- BSc in Geochemistry and Mineralogy

Research technician- BSc in Geochemistry and Mineralogy

Vision Express Opticians

Unit 2/3 Westwood Cross, Margate Road, Broadstairs, Thanet, Kent CT10 2BF

Provides eye tests, prescription glasses & Contacts. Also provides information on eye health.


They need to know the biology of the human eye. They also need to use physics to determine how the lens refracts the light.


Optician- masters degree in Optometry and optical management

Optical assistant- Optical Retailing NVQ Level 2

Gadds Brewery

Hornet Close

Pysons Road Industrial Estate, Broadstairs

Brew ale for local people, such as beer and lager.


They need to use the correct conditions for fermentation in order for the best taste, which requires biochemistry.


Technician- BSc in Chemical engineering or Mechanical engineering

Brewing first line manager- BSc Biological science

Anhydro UK Ltd

44-46 Morley Road, Tonbridge

Chemical plant, specialising in the design, development and delivery of innovative liquid concentration and powder processing solutions as well as dewatering plants and equipment


Uses chemistry in order to process chemicals safely.


Chemical plant operator- Chemical technology BSc.

Mechanical engineer- BSc in mechanical engineering.

Ashford4 Plumb Centre

Brunswick road, Cobbs wood Ind est, Ashford, Kent

Suppliers of plumbing and heating products including central heating systems, bathrooms, showers and many more.


Chemistry is used in the use of sacrificial anodes to prevent corrosion of metallic objects.


Plumber- NVQ level 2 in plumbing.

Steamfitter- NVQ level 3 in plumbing

P.A.Hollingworth and co Ltd

The yard, foxborough hill, woodnesborough, sandwich

Offer a wide range of services covering all aspects of construction in the East Kent area.


Physics is used to calculate load bearing stress. Chemistry would be used to understand how different chemicals interact in different ways.


Builder- Level 2 BTEC Certificate in Construction.

Sheet metal worker- BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Engineering.

I have chosen to do an in depth report on a veterinary practice in my local area. This is because I have animals of my own and am interested in having a fuller understanding on how a veterinary practice functions and uses science in order to treat animals, so I will know what will be carried out on my pets when they need treatment.

Some tasks of a veterinary nurse include administering drugs, anaesthetics and injections and preparing animals for surgery. This means that they should have steady hands and be caring to the animals in order to keep them relaxed. They use biology and chemistry when doing vaccinations as they will inject a small amount of a dead virus in order to make the animal immune to the virus. As they are not the one actually performing the surgery, they do not need a qualification as high as that of a veterinary surgeon. As they also need to maintain, sterilise and lay out surgical equipment and clean up after surgery, they must be thorough to ensure everything is clean and disinfected in order to maintain the animal's welfare and prevent an animal contracting a disease from another animal that could have a serious condition. They also have to give advice to owners about caring for and breeding animals so they have to be knowledgeable in that area, which they should receive from their qualifications, but also be able to adjust their communication accordingly between the owner of the animal and the veterinary surgeon.

Veterinary surgeons have many tasks to carry out, such as euthanizing old and terminally ill animals. Performing this action means that the veterinary surgeon must have good communication skills as it is a difficult topic to discuss with owners of animals that they care about. They must have tact in order to do this as they may have to speak with a range of different people about these difficult situations, which will mean they will have to change the type of communication they use. For example, they will have to be able to use technical language with a nurse and more simplistic language for owners. They will also need practicality to perform this task as they must be able to do the right thing even if it means having to put down a beloved animal. Another task is giving advice to farmers on issues such as nutrition, breeding and herd health, which means the vet may require business skills in order to understand commercial elements that may affect a farm. Veterinary surgeons must also maintain up to date records on the animals that visit their practice, which means they must have some good ICT skills, and be thorough to ensure they do not make mistakes. They will also need to use ICT when carrying out tests such as digital x-rays. As they will be performing surgery on animals, they should have a good knowledge on the laws surrounding animals and their welfare. This is to avoid any legal cases that could be held against them if they were to do something they did not realize was breaking the law.

Veterinary surgeons need qualifications such as a Bachelor degree in Veterinary Science, a Masters degree in Veterinary Medicine, a Bachelor degree in Veterinary Medicine and Science. They may also require Certificates in specialist areas. For example, surgery, anaesthesia, medicine, orthopaedics etc. All UK veterinary surgeons require an MRCVS. These qualifications will help in performing tasks such as surgery, euthanizing terminally ill animals and knowing how to correctly diagnose issues with the animals.

Veterinary Nurses need an NVQ Level 3 or BSc in Veterinary Nursing and an Advanced Nursing Diploma in Surgery or Medicine. This will help them carry out tasks as it will give them knowledge of the importance of sterilisation and how to administer drugs correctly.

Veterinary surgeons study for 5 years and have the qualifications which give them the knowledge in order to diagnose, prescribe medication and carry out necessary diagnostics and surgery. Veterinary Nurses study for 2 - 3 years to a lower level of qualification and administer medication once the veterinary surgeon has diagnosed the illness of the pet and prescribed medication. Veterinary nurses do not have the ability to prescribe medication themselves as they do not have the qualifications necessary to diagnose the animals. Nurses assist the vet when treating an animal in any way and due to lesser qualifications cannot do certain things without the Vet's clearance first. Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses need these qualifications in order to understand how to use science correctly. For example when using chemistry for medicinal purposes, they need to know that they are using the right medicine and the effects that it will have. They will need knowledge in physics as when they are performing diagnostics such as x-rays and ultrasounds, in order to know how to use the equipment and diagnose the results. For example, when doing an x-ray, they need to know the differences in tissue densities, which are what the x-ray detects, in order to see certain tissues. Very dense tissues will come up as a lighter shade, whereas less dense tissues will appear as a darker shade. The most important thing they will need knowledge in is biology, in order to determine if an animal is healthy or not, before using chemistry and physics to diagnose and treat it. They will also need an in depth knowledge of pharmacology, to decide what medicines to treat the unhealthy animals with.

ICT skills will be needed in order to regulate machinery such as anaesthesia equipment, vital sign monitors and defibrillators. This will be needed by the veterinary nurse as they will have to maintain this machinery while the veterinary surgeon performs other tasks. ICT will also be used to store and archive confidential clinical records and information, which can remain safe as it is password protected. It can also help with communication within the practice and other related organisations by using email, which can be a huge advantage with specialist referrals. It will also be needed in order to use digital x-ray machines correctly. It will also help with commercial uses, such as their website in which they can clearly show what the practice specialises in, such as Complete Medical Assessment, Flea Control, Dentistry, Neutering, Soft Tissue Surgery, and Orthopaedic Surgery.

The commercial constraints they face are the lack of a big enough financial budget, and they also must maintain confidentiality, which means they must act within the data protection act legislation. Legal constraints they face are under the EU directive, which is now enforcing that all medicines must be labelled in order to show the environmental risk of it. There are also legal age restrictions that they must deal with when allowing work experience to be done in their practice. They will have to overcome this by carefully guiding the person on work experience to make sure they do not do anything unsafe. They are also constrained by health and safety laws, such as their presence during x-rays in order to remain safe from radiation. They overcome these constraints by carrying out regular training, Risk Assessments, SOP's and Accident Reporting. They are inspected by the Royal Veterinary College for Veterinary Standards every 3 years but can have a spot check at any time; this keeps them maintaining their practice to a very high standard.

Plunkett's vets must also follow many health and safety guidelines, in order to maintain a safe environment for the employees, customers and animals.

The purpose of health and safety legislation and the safety executive is to protect the employees and also to ensure that any customers or members of the public are not put at risk by anything the company does. The health and safety at work act makes it a criminal offence to not comply with the duties it imposes. Failure to comply could lead to prosecution in the courts with heavy fines and/or imprisonment and ignorance is no excuse. This will impact on the veterinary practice by constraining certain things that would be easier to do unsafely and improve the business, however it will also help prevent any legal issues that may arise as they have guidelines to follow in order to remain working within the law. It also helps kept the working environment safe to work in and the building safe. It will also impact on the veterinary surgeon and nurse by increasing the amount of safety that they will receive and their knowledge of how to do certain things safely, which will also help protect them from prosecution or injury. They will also have to wear certain safety equipment which is supplied and used for the safety of the staff, such as gloves when performing surgery, in order to not pass on germs to the animals or contract diseases from the animals. They will also have to wear gloves and aprons as a minimum when performing an x-ray. They may also be required to wear more protective equipment such as Thyroid collars or lead glasses. This helps x-rays to be carried out safely as they will have the knowledge to carry it out without being harmed and wear the correct safety equipment due to signs that will warn them of the radiation before they enter the room. Without this and with long term exposure to the radiation can have effects on the body which could be fatal. Veterinary surgeons and nurses must follow these guidelines in order to remain safe while working and also to avoid prosecution. They use risk assessments which is Advice from the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme in order to assess any potential risks that would help them to deal with them to remain within COSHH guidelines.  This is also used in order to identify and assess hazards likely to have a significant impact upon the health, safety or welfare of their colleagues, clients and others affected by their activities. For example Manual Handling, Pregnancy, Young Persons and Practice Safety. This is because there are some substances in veterinary practice which pose a very serious risk to health of animals and humans. They also carry out certain procedures in order to remain safe such as SOPs (standard operating procedures) which involves having complicated steps being broken down into simple steps which are broken down into more detailed subsections, detailing exactly what the operator is required to do, this helps to assure of the quality of the service, enables veterinary surgeons to delegate, which will free time up for other duties and to protect staff and clients. It also guides all staff to carry a task out in the same way, which helps provide continuity and safety. For example, fire and emergency procedures must be carried out in the same way in order to avoid confusion. They also have safety training which involves raising awareness about safety and OSHA issues in the practice. All staff in the practice are required to carry out online Health and Safety training. This includes Fire Awareness Training, Fire Warden Training, Display Screen, Equipment Training, Slips, Trips and Falls Training, Manual Handling in the Workplace and Stress Awareness in the Workplace They must also report every accident that takes place on the premises whether it is staff or a member of the public involved, which is then documented and forwarded to our company Health and Safety Manager, which is then further forwarded to the RCVS which will help them to maintain a safe practice by being inspected every 3 years, but also may have a spot check at any time. They also have safety signs such as X-rays/Radiation warning signs and do not enter signs, which guide people to carry out safe actions. They will also have signs which show tht there a veterinary supplies in a room, so it miust remain locked in order to keep clients safe. This also helps as an instruction to employees to carry out the action. ICT also helps maintain health and safety by storing and archiving clinical records safely providing client confidentiality.

COSHH is the Control of substances hazardous to health. This means that all substances that could affect human or animal health must be handled in a certain way in order to remain safe. Under COSHH regulations the veterinary practice should assess the risk of all medicinal products and any other substances to health and safety. The employed scientists should respond to this by classifying all substances according to the risk level. All specific risks must be identified. For example, an animal may have an allergy to penicillin. They must also take measures to control exposure to high-risk substances and make sure it is explained to all staff. The veterinary practice must also carry out a COSHH risk assessment or every individual medicine, to find out what hazardous effects the medicine may have. The COSHH risk assessment will enable the practice to take the necessary measures to control exposure to hazardous substances that come from working with veterinary medicines.  It helps them to calculate if it is completely necessary that the hazardous substance is used, or if an alternative substance can be used in its place, that will have less potential harmful effects. If it is found that the substance must be used, then they must examine the hazards that could possibly arise from it, and also who could be harmed by it. For example, if the wrong dosage is given or if it is accidentally injected or swallowed. The practice must ensure that they comply with the safeguards on the product label or safety data sheet when handling hazardous substances. The veterinary surgeon and nurse are also required to check that the engineering controls and ensure they are the most suitable for the job. For example, finger guards and automated fish injector machines can help prevent injuries when injecting fish, which would be more suitable than trying to inject the fish by hand. They must also ensure that the work area has adequate ventilation. Once animals have been treated with veterinary medicines, the veterinary nurse must check that there is no continuing risk once the animal has left the practice such as medicines present on animal skin, which would be a risk for the owners and the animals or on wool, which could be mistaken as clean and used on another animal which could result in negative consequences. They must also consider carefully the disposal of all waste and provide containers for sharp objects such as needles and syringes. The storage must be adequate and safe from accidental damage and where possible fireproof, to help remain safe if certain chemicals coud be let into the air in the case of a fire.

RIDDOR is the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences. This means that all employees in the practice must report any harm that may have come from exposure to veterinary medicines. Reporting this will help relevant authorities to be aware of any unforeseen harmful effects of the medicines and help to prevent further incidents.

Businesses use kite marks to deliver quality, reliability and reassurance. In the veterinary practice kite marks would mean that the customers feel reassured as they know their animals will be in safe hands.

The commercial constraints they face are the lack of a big enough financial budget, and they also must maintain confidentiality, which means they cannot advertise certain animals cases. Legal constraints they face are under the EU directive, which is now enforcing that all medicines must be labelled in order to show the environmental risk of it. There are also legal age restrictions that they must deal with when allowing work experience to be done in their practice. They will have to overcome this by carefully guiding the person on work experience to make sure they do not do anything unsafe. They are also constrained by health and safety laws, such as their presence during x-rays in order to remain safe from radiation, by wearing the correct safety equipment such as gloves and an apron.

Plunkett's veterinary practice impacts on the local community by increasing employment directly as they have hired veterinary surgeons and nurses who would otherwise be unemployed. It also impacts on the local economy by creating profits which overall with all other veterinary practices contributes greatly in terms of taxes, land, labour, capital and management. It provides a local service to the local community, as well as training/learning opportunities for future vets and nurses by providing college work placements and school work experience placements.

The practice also has an impact on the environment by releasing contaminants which are widely used in veterinary medicine such as estrogens, anti-inflammatory cortico-steroids and anabolic androgens. This could be causing bad effects in humans and wildlife. Energy use also impacts on the environment as they have a lot of machinery to run throughout the days which consumes a lot of energy. There are also various aspects of Clinical Waste that is incinerated by a regulated company. There may be traffic pollution from client base in the local area. Domestic Energy use is also impacting the environment.

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