How Do I Choose a Veterinary Hospital?

Choosing the right veterinary hospital for you and your pet is almost as important as actually choosing your pet! It’s a good idea to choose the hospital before you choose your new pet. That way if you have a sudden emergency, you will not have the added stress of picking a veterinary hospital on the spot. Start your search by asking family and friends for recommendations. Doing this helps you begin to narrow down the hospitals. Once you have done that, visit the hospitals that are on your list.

Here are some things to keep in mind during your visits to potential veterinary hospitals:

• Office hours: Be sure to notice if there are regular office hours and make sure that the hours work with your schedule. Also make sure you find out who covers the hospital when the veterinarian is not available.

• Professional staff: The attitude of the staff is very important when choosing a hospital. Take notice of how routine phone calls are handled. Find out if you can request appointments with specific veterinarians and most importantly, make sure that you feel comfortable talking to the entire staff.

• Services: Some hospitals offer services that others do not. Find out what kinds of services are offered at the hospital you’re visiting.

• Emergency care: Not all veterinary hospitals handle emergencies, especially after hours. If the hospital doesn’t handle during or after hour emergencies, find out if they have an affiliate hospital where they send their patients to in the case of an emergency.

• Fees and payment: Find out what types of payment the hospital accepts. Also, are payments required on the day of a visit, or can you use a payment plan?

• Professional affiliations: Find out if the veterinarians are part of any national veterinary associations.

• Facility: Take a tour of the hospital and make sure that it looks clean and orderly. Also, check for any foul odors.

Once you have made sure that the hospital facilities meet your standards and expectations, you want to make sure that you are comfortable with the veterinarian as well. You should be able to comfortably communicate with your pet’s doctor. Make sure that you feel that you can ask questions and that the answers are clearly explained. Your relationship with your veterinarian is essential to your pet’s health. Your pet cannot tell the doctor when something is not right, so you need to be able to.

Choosing the right veterinary hospital is an important step in choosing a new pet. Be sure to carefully choose your hospital. Be sure that your pet is going to be as important to the veterinarian as it is to you!

Making Veterinary Design User Friendly

WYSIWYG. We’ve all seen the acronym – “What You See Is What You Get”

When building my first website I came across this term. After doing a Google search to discover its meaning, I thought, “Well, that’s software I can use!”

Today WYSIWYG can be applied to architectural design software, but not in the same regard as website development. More accurately, we now have the tools to provide you, our veterinary clients, a peek inside and outside the veterinary facilities we’re developing before they are built. True, the talented veterinary architect and staff could previously render their veterinary design concepts meticulously by hand, but this could be both laborious and time-consuming. These renditions were typically from a particular vantage point and were limiting. When the client asked, “but what does it look like from here?” We would often wave our hands and futilely attempt a word picture. Building Information Modeling or BIM has changed that.

As veterinary design professionals, we are always looking for software to make our job simpler and more productive. We are endlessly seeking the graphic holy grail to effectively communicate how our design concepts are resolving our veterinary client’s needs and desires. In all areas of our lives we’ve seen how digital technology can be transformative. We’ve watched software applications evolve from the floppy disc to instantly deliverable applications on our ‘smart’ devices. No other technological advance has changed and is in the process of changing the architecture profession more than BIM. It is transforming the way we deliver our services. In short, when used to its potential, our veterinary clients experience WYSIWYG in a profound and often beneficial way:

  • More complete and accurate project visualization.
  • A means of delivering multiple solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Parametric documentation that reduces errors and ultimately costs.
  • Assists in identifying possible conflicts that may arise during building construction.
  • Construction sequencing analysis and potentially shortened project schedules.
  • Assists owners in making informed decisions about the proposed project earlier in the design process.

One of the maxims in the construction world is that a project owner may ask for cheaper, faster and better, but will only be able to get two of the three. The evidence from projects constructed utilizing a BIM methodology indicates that it is possible to deliver completed projects that are completed faster, are less expensive, and of higher quality.

BIM does not design veterinary clinics, that will likely always have a human component, but it does help to enhance the collaborative relationship between veterinary architect and veterinary client by providing a means to effectively communicate design solutions through a 3-dimensional data-rich model. Though BIM is helping to close the communication gap, inspiration will always be required to envision solutions to our client’s challenges. The table napkin will remain one of our most cherished tools.

Veterinary Technician Certification in Clinical Medicine Areas

As a veterinary technician, you have the responsibility of working with animals and providing the necessary care required in order to maintain the animal’s good health. Technicians will administer first aid, take x-rays, take samples for testing, and prep animals and instruments for surgery, among many other tasks. These individuals also have the option of earning more specialized certification, if they so wish. Especially for those who work in clinical medicine, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) is a great resource. NAVTA has created a standard list of criteria for individuals interested in earning academy or society status through the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS).

Societies are available to individuals who have an existing veterinary specialty and are interested in a focused discipline of veterinary medicine. In order to attain academy status, students must have already completed formal education and training at an accredited institution. Students MUST be a credentialed veterinary tech to register for further certification or specialization in an academy program.

The societies and academies listed below have been approved by NAVTA. However, this is not a complete list of all the academies available. After successfully completing an academy program, individuals will earn the Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) title in their chosen discipline.

• The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians – those who work specifically with large animal medicine, small animal medicine, neurology, and oncology may be interested in this academy.

• The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetics – designed for techs who wish to learn more about what is involved in anesthesia care. Students will learn about how to deal with an animal before, during, and after a surgery or procedure.

• The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians – these individuals involve themselves with behavior health, problem prevention, behavior modification, management, and training. Often, behavior technicians work with animals and their owners on improving the bond between the two groups.

• The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians – those who already have experience as surgical technicians should explore this academy in order to qualify for a national examination to become a VTS (Surgery).

• The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice – for veterinary techs who are interested in this academy, a series of three subject areas will be studied: avian/exotic, canine/feline, and production animal.

Here is the list of the five societies:

• Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians – students in this society will learn about behavioral subjects such as management, modification, and training.

• The American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians – geared towards equine vet technicians and other related fields, this society will discuss aspects regarding horses.

• Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians – focused on zoo animal medicine

• Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society – vet techs who work with veterinary emergency and crucial care medicine and surgery may be interested in this society. Those in this society will be educated on the proper practice involved in critical patient care and other animal-related emergency situations.