We at Tenino Veterinary Clinic have decided to offer post pandemic curbside only veterinary care indefinitely. This decision is in small part, due to a continued concern for the health and safety of our staff. Even though the pandemic has eased, we can ill afford to risk a team member’s health, wellbeing, or absence during this challenging period. We will continue to mask and social distance. Not only did we avoid a covid closure during the height of the pandemic, but we have all but eliminated other communicable colds and viruses amongst staff by these measures. With the heightened alert about covid, these other respiratory maladies can trigger the potential need for test and quarantine protocols which could cripple our ability to provide care. The continuation of curbside only service is however due mostly to some of the consequences of the pandemic, and from things we have learned in navigating the last two years in an unconventional manner.
One consequence of the pandemic has been the creation of a severe shortage of veterinarians and veterinary care. It is unclear why this has occurred, but for some reason we are still in the midst of a crisis. Clients are commonly waiting eight to ten hours in veterinary emergency parking lots, with no guarantee that their pet will be seen. Sadly, many pets die in their owners’ arms because the ER clinics are at “capacity”. Patients are being scheduled weeks to months out for issues that require immediate attention by their regular veterinarians. This scenario has caused our service area and clientele numbers to explode and continue to swell. Without curbside, we are simply unable to accommodate the sheer volume of patients and clients. Our facility is just not big enough! Even if it was, the chaos and resultant stress to pet patients would be extraordinary.
There is one valuable lesson we have learned from the unconventional practice of curbside service, and the one that serves us best in being able to continue to provide quality veterinary care against these overwhelming times. Most pet owners and most veterinarians were not aware of how much time and efficiency is afforded by separating owner and pet. Most pet patients are much less anxious and much easier to work with when owners are not present, even to the point of negating the need for anesthetics and hospitalization in patients who would otherwise require sedation to be examined and treated. A positive veterinary patient experience and a better treatment outcome are often the result.
Pre pandemic veterinary medicine was a lot more fun than it is today. We all miss the face-to-face personal interactions that we used to enjoy. Unfortunately, in the current critical environment, the time and empathy involved in these personal interactions, sometimes involving conversations and topics unrelated to the pet’s medical issues, negatively impacts our ability to deal with the complex medical needs of all our patients. Pet owners are generally unaware that the veterinarian is routinely simultaneously dealing with multiple emergencies while fielding questions from five active phone lines and questions and directives from staff. Personal interaction has become a luxury and a distraction we are just unable to continue if we are to continue providing service to this expanding clientele.
We realize that this policy will be unattractive to some. We would like those to be aware that it is this policy that allows us to see pet patients on an emergency basis who cannot be seen by an emergency clinic because they are at “capacity”. This is the policy that allows us to schedule a patient whose owner has called twenty veterinary clinics unsuccessfully, to have their pet seen, or to the client who is told, “no longer accepting new patients”. We attempt to turn no one away! The veterinarian will discuss diagnoses and treatment plans with the owner when necessary. The veterinarian also makes a point to introduce himself and meet and greet all new clients. Our main goal is to streamline the examination process so we may continue to accommodate the many needs of our expanding client base, maintaining efficiency and providing continued quality patient veterinary care.
Thank you for your time and patience
Tenino Veterinary Clinic
We offer a full range of veterinary care from introductory wellness exams, preventative medicine, advanced diagnostics, minor and major surgical procedures including orthopedic, soft tissue, and trauma, and dentistry. Whether your pet needs vaccinations or advanced diagnostics or surgery we want to be your choice for quality veterinary care.
Client Code of Conduct
Here at Tenino Vet Clinic, we seek to continually provide a welcoming and safe environment which ensures trust and respect for all people and pets.
We have a zero-tolerance policy for the following behavior:
Verbal abuse, malicious or harmful statements about others, profanity or disrespect directed at a person or pet
Any form of harassment
Discriminatory comments and/or actions
Intimidation tactics and/or threats
Allowing your pet to intimidate or threaten a person or another pet
Failure to comply with requests from our staff, including leashing/restraining your pet
If your behavior is problematic, we reserve the right to terminate services immediately.
This policy is strictly enforced, and non-compliance will result in corrective measures being taken, which may include termination of veterinary services, being asked to leave the property and the potential of involvement by law enforcement.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
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