Adapting our ways of working through COVID-19
Now more than ever, we have been working collaboratively, to adapt our service, to ensure we’re still able to provide outstanding care and support for both our patients and clients in this tough and uncertain time.
As we continue to comply with social distancing rules, we are working in smaller teams to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our adapted working ways have meant our standard protocol has been adjusted to ensure our fantastic teams are safe and protected, this, however, does not mean that our standard of care has changed – and we continually strive to provide only the best treatment and service for both our patients and clients.
We are continually abiding by the guidance from our governing body, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) alongside the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to maintain our ability to be available to help any pet that needs us, ensuring the health of our patients are always cared for.
Whilst operating a ‘closed-door’ practice, we have recently launched a new phone consultation service – an online one to one appointment with the client, patient and vet.
We have been asked many times how the phone consultation differs from an in-practice appointment – so below we have detailed some invaluable insight which promotes all the knowledge and hard work which into what could be perceived to just be a phone call.
- Initially, we would ask you to call your local practice if you are worried about the health and welfare of your pet. To begin with, this call is taken by a member of one of our reception or nursing team.
- Once our team has listened to your concerns, one of our vets will call you back at the earliest convenience for a triage call.
- Dependent on the concern, the team may request some photographs. The sooner the client can get the images to the reception team, the quicker your appointment with the vet will be scheduled.
- Understanding the concern, and with enough insight, the vet will then call the client. If you have raised a concern and sent your photographs, please ensure you have your phone readily available to take a call from your vet – unfortunately missing a call, is like missing an appointment and means you’d have to wait for the next available appointment.
- The vet will then ask a series of questions and will require as much information as possible to assess whether the patient is required for an in-practice examination, which would be done following out the correct social distancing and safe practice protocols, which will be explained if required.
- If the vet feels they are happy to prescribe medication over the phone, then the collection process will be explained. Please note, we can only prescribe some medications over the phone if we have seen the patient within the last 12 months, although some medications do require more frequent check-ups.
Our team at Blacks Vets, like most other places, are finding themselves working in very different ways, and have been very busy consulting over the phone to ensure all of our patients are seen and receive the care and support they deserve, and of which we pride ourselves of being known for.
We hope this provides a little insight into our new ways of working through the COVID–19 pandemic and showcases just one of the many ways we have adapted our ways of working to ensure we protect all of our hardworking team, whilst providing care and our continued support to accommodate our patients, clients and staffs welfare, and health.
For more information, how you can be best prepared for a phone or video consultation, please see our top tips below, and to stay up to date with the latest information, and for advice of how to take care of your pets in these unprecedented times, please take a look at our Facebook page.
When checking your pet’s gums, we are initially looking for the colour. Gums should be pink in colour and should also be moist to touch. To check your pet’s gums, gently lift their lip to reveal the gums and examine. The vet may also ask you to apply pressure to the gums, release and count the time it takes for the gums to return to their normal colour.
To check for dehydration, gently pinch some skin up either on the back of your pet’s neck, or on their leg, and count how long it takes the skin to return to normal. The slower the skin to return to normal, the more chance of your pet being dehydrated.
- Heart Rate
To find the best place to count your pet’s heart rate, gently lift their front left leg up to their chest and place your hand at the point of contact between their body and the elbow. Count their heart rate for a minute.
- Respiratory Rate
Using a timer, time a minute and count how many breaths your pet takes during that time.