When we go to the doctor’s office or the hospital, often the first person we encounter when we are in the exam room is the doctor’s nurse. Did you know that when you take your pet to the animal hospital that it’s actually the same procedure? At Full Circle Veterinary Hospital we have 2 wonderful and qualified staff members who work with Dr. Michelle to help care for your pet. Karen Lasher, is our Licensed Veterinary Technician and has been a member of our team since we opened our doors in November 2014! Karen came to us with over 20 years of caring for animals and being a pet nurse in small animal hospitals! Karen Miura joined our staff in August 2015 and brings with her 20+ years of animal care as a Veterinary Assistant. Both of these team members are here to assist Dr. Michelle with caring for your pet but are also here to help with any questions or concerns you might have either during the visit or once you return home.
So what does the Vet Tech or Vet Assistant do at Full Circle Veterinary Hospital? It’s a great question and each clinic or hospital is different but here at Full Circle our standard of care for clients and pets means that our “nursing staff” is as much of an integral part of your pets care as Dr. Michelle, your veterinarian. Here are just a few things our nurses do on a daily basis to assist with the running of our clinic and caring for your pet.
Our nurses, and yes they are truly nurses perform all the same duties as a human nurse each day. Actually, since we only have two on our staff, they actually perform the work of several nurses! They are phlebotomists (helping to draw blood or urine from your pet), x-ray technicians, anesthesiology nurses, surgical assistants, post-op nurses, pharmacy technicians and on most days that is before noon! Often after your visit you will receive a call from either Karen with blood work results – we know sometimes you’d like to talk directly to the doctor, however, it is important to note that any phone call you receive in regards to your pet’s lab work has been discussed between the doctor and her two nurses! We like to call with results within 24- 48hours of a test and it’s often quicker to receive a call from the nurse rather than wait for the doctor to be free from appointments to call
Working as a nurse in an animal hospital often mean they wear many “hats” – not only are they a nurse to your pet, but they are often the person who keeps the clinic looking and smelling so wonderful and new! You are likely to see anyone on our staff in the housekeeping roll! When a dog gets nervous in the lobby and urinates or your cat gets sick in the car or urinates in their carrier on the way to the office, it is usually the nurse who comes out and with the broom or mop and cleans up. It can be a dirty job at times but it’s part of what we do! We understand coming to the vet can be a nerve wracking experience for any pet and we want you to be able to focus on helping them feel safe and comfortable and not being embarrassed by a little poop or pee … we’ve seen it all and nothing scares us at this point!
Being a nurse in an animal hospital means we get our daily workouts in while at work! Weight lifting, squats, stretching, weird yoga poses, and wind sprints are all a part of our daily routine. The average day at work for an animal nurse helps to burn 200 – 400 calories per hour!
As a pet owner we want you to know that being a pet nurse requires a ton of patience. Sometimes your pet is super well behaved and no trouble at all. Sometimes they try to bite us just for saying “hi”. The stress of having a sick pet can often make owners feel anxious or short tempered as well. We understand this and want to work with you to help ease that stress on you and your pets. We understand they are not just animals to you, but “furbabies” who bring you love and affection each day. A few things to keep in mind that can help make your pets’ visit to the doctor’s office smoother include, if your dog knows how to sit, and if your dog or cat doesn’t mind having their paws or ears touched. These can often be sensitive areas to your pets. One thing you can do at home to help them get used to being touched in these spots is to rub your dog or cat’s head, touch their ears often and even rub and play with their paws while cuddling at home. This helps tremendously with blood draws, nail trims and if we need to check their ears for infections.
The entire team at Full Circle have big hearts and will treat your pet with the same care and affection as we treat our own pets. We will love your pets as much as you do! The nursing staff at Full Circle is here to help you with any questions or concerns you have when it comes to the care and well being of your pet. They are dedicated to helping Dr. Michelle care for your pet during a well visit exam, a sick visit, surgery and even when it comes to end of life decisions. They are often the person who greets you when you come to the office and they stay with your pet for most of your visit! Being a pet nurse is a rewarding and demanding job but our team wouldn’t have it any other way!
February is here … Don’t forget it’s Dental Health Awareness for pets! If you missed Dr. Michelle’s January article about Dental Health for pets, you can find it on our blog at: http://fullcirclevethospital.com/blog/ or the January issue of Your Valley.