When vets clean their practices, including the surgical areas, the cleaning is generally assessed just visually – do the surfaces look clean? But this is an unreliable way of assessing hygiene.
In 2019, Chippy Vets veterinary nurse Katie Whalley won a research bursary from drug company MSD to carry out a research project using an ATP bioluminescence monitor to assess how effective our cleaning protocols are in areas of the veterinary hospital. By measuring surfaces in the clinical areas of the hospital before and after changing our cleaning protocol, Katie demonstrated not only that hygiene can be objectively measured, but also that certain adjustments to cleaning protocols can improve hygiene.
For this work, Katie won first prize at the 2020 MSD Research Bursary Awards Day, beating off competition from vet students at five of the UK’s veterinary schools. And this was the first time a veterinary nurse had taken part in the competition!
A much deserved win for an excellent project. We hope Katie will enjoy the £1,000 prize.
Here is Katie receiving her trophy from MSD veterinary surgeon Michelle Townley: