THE UNSUNG HEROS

ImageBeing a veterinarian is a great job and for the most part, I love it. One of the aspects that I love the most is the team I work with comprised of members not called “doctor.”  

Most of the time when you call, you are going to talk with our reception team. In teams of one or two, they manage to take all of your calls for boarding, appointments, prescription refills, and your concerns. They do this all while checking people in, checking people out and keeping the front area looking nice. They manage to do this with a smile. How? I don’t know, but if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t get to see any of you. Make sure to thank them and say hello to their ulcers!!

The other part of the team are the members I work with in boarding and treatment. Our talented pool of kennel attendants take time to play with your pets, feed them, keep them clean, and most importantly, make sure they are doing well. They will tell me about any changes in appetite, bathroom habits, attitude and give critical medications to your pets, ensuring that all of their medical needs are being met and alerting us to any concerns. Many of them do such a good job that they are trained to help in other duties around the clinic and will eventually go on to become veterinarians themselves.

Last but certainly not least are the technicians and assistants. Without them, I couldn’t do what I do…literally. Sometimes, I have nightmares of walking into surgery and finding there is no animal on the table. They draw my presurgical blood work, anesthetize and prep the patients and take care of them after surgery. They get my appointments into rooms, take the history and release patients from exams and from surgeries. They impart wisdom and instructions in a way owners understand. If I had to do this, I could only see 25% of the cases I do all day. In between this, they are doing the blood draws, trimming nails, cleaning up animals, treating hospitalized patients, filling prescriptions and talking to clients on the phone. They literally lose blood and sweat and tears. 

Not only do the techs and assistants do this tough, demanding job, but they love what they do. Our four technicians have gone to school to become licensed, and most of our assistants have four year degrees in various fields and are extremely intelligent. When you are in an exam room, you will often hear them baby-talking and using high-pitched voices when they see a cute puppy or kitten because they care. When they do the procedures I mentioned, they do it in a way to not stress your animal and when they work on an animal, they put their hearts into it. If we ever cannot save an animal or lose one after a long fight, they grieve, too. These intelligent, hard-working, caring assistants, are also fun! They make me laugh and put up with all of my stupid jokes and that’s what I love the most. I’m writing this to thank them. I’m lucky to have them. And so are you. Make sure to thank them, too, the next time you see them.

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