Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital Triage
ABC 7 SoCal pet owners waiting days, sometimes weeks
General Veterinary Clinic Closures
Covid-19 has also affected the staffing of general veterinary clinics. Because general clinics have a smaller staff, some clinics have been forced to close, many older veterinarians chose to retire during the covid-19 epidemic. This has left the industry short handed and overworked.
When the general practices close, they refer their patients to urgent care animal hospitals like Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital. Since March of 2020, Mission Vet has seen four times the number of emergency patients then were seen in 2019, mainly due local veterinarians referring patients due to closures, or being overwhelmed from their own short staffing difficulties.
The Triage Process
When a pet arrives at Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital, our technicians evaluate them and get a complete history. This assessment allows our team to identify the most life-threatening problems. Pets who are experiencing life-threatening difficulties requiring immediate attention are prioritized over pets who need less urgent care. If your wait is longer than someone else’s, keep in mind that your pet may not be in as desperate a condition as another that is being attended to immediately. There can be significant waiting periods depending on the number of emergency patients arriving. Please try to be patient and kind to the staff as we work diligently to ensure each patient receives the best possible care and chance at life. If you notice your pet’s condition is declining during your wait, please notify a member of our team immediately.
Updates on Your Pet
Depending on caseload, clients may call and receive immediate updates for their pet from a veterinary technician as workload permits. In-patient rounds occur from 7am – 10am in the mornings and every evening from 5pm to 7pm. During rounds doctors and technicians discuss plans, diagnostics, and ongoing care of hospitalized patients, so our staff are less available for updates during this time of day. Clients waiting to hear back from their pet’s attending veterinarian, can expect calls when the doctor has completed rounds . Consequently, phone calls for updates may be returned as late as 11am in the morning, or 9pm in the evening.
One Pet Does Not Equal One Team Member
Mission Veterinary Clinic and Animal Emergency Hospital has a staff of over 40 individuals because we operate 15 hours a day.. We have teams for days, nights and weekends. It takes a team of technicians to secure and run diagnostic tests, place IV catheters, take x-rays, perform ultrasound, and care for a single patient. A single patient in shock due to extensive trauma may take as many as a half dozen technicians in addition to a doctor more than an hour to provide the most immediate lifesaving care.
We know that pets are a precious part of every family and having an emergency is hard, confusing, and scary. We understand that waiting any amount of time is stressful, but realize our team is doing all they can to ensure that each patient receives the care, love and compassion that they need.
It Can Be Hard Being a Veterinary Health Care Worker
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians work for the love of animals. It can be emotionally taxing. Realize the technician or veterinarian that is seeing your pet today may have just experienced losing a critical patient just moments before, may have worked a double shift to cover someone who is sick, may be caring for multiple critical cases at one time, or may have just spent 20 minutes resuscitating a dying pet. Remember to be kind, patient, understanding, and compassionate to those that are trying to help pets recover. Help them to help your pet. They have the same goal as you do, to get your pet home as quickly as possible.