If you follow our All West Facebook or Instagram account you may have noticed that the week of October 14th, we had daily posts about each of our technicians. (If you missed the posts, here are the links to our Facebook and Instagram). You may have noticed that the photos weren’t your average portrait, many of them being taken without the technician even looking at the camera. I intentionally did this, without any resistance, to show you an average work day of our technicians. It was your behind-the-scenes look at our hospital staff.. now if only we could get Ryan Seacrest to come host!
Our day “starts” at 7am: Truth is, many of our technicians get here before 7 to get ahead of the day. Cleaning, feeding, letting out, administering meds, taking morning vitals- All of these happen before the average person has had their morning coffee.
Surgery patients begin dropping off around 7:15. From here the doctor performs their examination and pre-meds are administered. The technicians are responsible for monitoring anesthesia and taking patient vitals during surgery. It is nerve wrecking anytime our pets go under anesthesia, because let’s face it, there is always a risk. But nobody knows this better than our technicians, which is why they take this part of the job so seriously.
Appointments start at 8am. A technician starts the appointment with taking vitals and questions. We honestly care what every person feels about each visit, mostly because we expect the same thing for our own pets. We want our concerns to be heard and questions answered. We want to know that the doctor cares about our pet just as much as we do. That is why the technician asks so many questions. They are there to facilitate the doctor’s examination. Most of the time the technician will come back into the exam room to demonstrate medication administration or to follow up with any necessary paperwork. Typically there are 3-4 appointments happening at the same time, so if you hear scurrying feet on the other side of the exam door it doesn’t mean there’s a fire. It just means that the technicians are trying to give as much time and attention to each client and patient as possible.
Think you have a minute? Nope! Let’s get that room clean, patients outside to potty, answer the phone, grab your charts and start entering medical history. But regardless of what is happening, our technicians work together to keep each patient happy and cared for. While it’s not always sunshine and puppies, our technicians are there to be cheerleaders and as moral support. They follow the progress of most patients almost as closely as the doctors. When your heart is breaking, know that you aren’t alone in that. Many times we go home thinking about a patient or writing notes to remind ourselves of something to call a client about the next day. All day each technician is responsible for being a nurse, groomer, x-ray technician, phlebotomist, chef, personal trainer, educator, and personal assistant. Talk about chameleon!
The lunch hour is a fun game of hot potato as not everybody can go at the same time. We have an eye on our hospitalized and surgical patients throughout the day- meaning sometimes the sandwich comes with a little hair from the dog whose kennel you are sitting in. Appointments start up again at 1pm and surgical patients begin being discharged around 4pm. Want to come to the hospital when it’s the loudest? Come around 4pm. Want to come to the hospital when you see the most smiling faces? Come around 4pm. Ask most of our technicians- this is the best part of the day. No, not because we are getting towards the end of the day. It’s for the reaction when pet meets person. Have you ever seen a dog smile? We have. When we get to send home a healthy pet, we are reminded why we all got into this career in the first place. These moments are what make the job so meaningful.
The doctors are the hands of the hospital, receptionists are the face of the hospital, but the technicians- the technicians are the heart of the hospital. This job requires an insane amount of multi-tasking without losing attention to detail. This job is utterly exhausting and wonderfully rewarding. So for doing this job, we want to thank them all for everything they do: Amy, Oleta, Nikki, Taylor, Michelle, Kylee, Sarah, Liz, Shelby, Morgan, Katie, Dalayna, Rheanna, and Logan.