Veterinary Exam Room Instruments & Equipment

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  • 00:01 The Exam Room
  • 00:30 TPR Equipment and Scales
  • 2:20 Examining the Eyes and Ears
  • 3:09 Miscellaneous Objects…
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will cover some of the more prominent and important pieces of equipment and instrumentation found in a veterinary hospital's exam room and what they're used for.

The Exam Room

Having gone to the doctor's office once or twice in my life, I can say for certain that I know some of the major pieces of equipment and instruments found in an exam room. Stuff like thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and tongue depressors.

A veterinary exam room, the place where patients are initially assessed by a veterinarian, also has some pretty standard things you can expect to find in almost any veterinary hospital. We'll go over the major ones right now.

TPR Equipment and Scales

In most veterinary exam rooms, you're going to find a small animal scale, a scale (many times a baby scale) used to weigh small creatures. Typically, when I refer to small creatures in this instance, it's everything in size from a cat on down. On the floor or built in as part of the veterinary exam room table, you'll find the larger animal scale where dogs are typically weighed.

As a technician or assistant, you'll likely be asked to help get the animal's TPR, temperature, pulse, and respiration, before the veterinarian comes in to see the patient and client. Most often, temperatures are taken via a rectal thermometer. Oh, the indecency! But it must be done! Some clinics still use older mercury thermometers, but digital thermometers that give a quick reading are fine to use as well.

While pulse rate and heart rate are not the same thing, for this lesson, we'll say that you can get the animal's pulse rate by listening to its heart rate, as they're most often equivalent in number. To that end, you can use a stethoscope, an instrument that allows you to hear the sounds inside a body. By placing the stethoscope over the heart, you'll be able to get the heart rate.

If you really wanted to get the actual pulse rate, you'd have to place your fingers over an artery. For instance, you can do this on yourself by placing two of your fingers over your wrist as shown on screen.

How to take a pulse rate
wrist with two fingers taking pulse

In a dog or cat, a great place to measure the pulse rate would be on the inside of one of the hind legs, over what's called the femoral artery.

Anyways, by placing the stethoscope over the chest or by simply watching the animal breathe, you can also get the respiratory rate, the respiration from TPR. To record all of this information, you may either put it on a paper record or input into a computer found in the exam room.

The Eyes and Ears

There's plenty more that can be found in an exam room. Let's take a look see here. There's likely an otoscope lying around somewhere. An otoscope is an instrument that helps a veterinarian look inside an animal's ear. 'Oto-' means ear, and '-scope' means an instrument for viewing.

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