Behind the GlassDoor: In Regard to COVID-19
As you are all aware - this afternoon, North Carolina will be entering into Phase 3 of easing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have visited us since March – you are fully aware that we are CURBSIDE ONLY for all of our services; and like many veterinary hospitals across the country, we are seeing an increase in the number and severity of cases, with the additional challenge of being curbside.
Phen and I are asked daily: when are you opening back up the hospital? and Phen and I discuss weekly our plan to do so; however, to answer that question, I want to paint a picture for you: Just the other day, I allowed a client to enter our hospital with a mask on for some detailed instructions on how to treat her cat.
Since, working safely on a cat curbside while instructing the owner possesses a significant risk of escape, we used an exam room in our hospital. For the entirety of my time with this owner, the mask she was wearing was correctly positioned ONLY 25% of the time. If she had pre-symptomatic COVID, my assistant and I would surely have been exposed in the enclosed space of the room. Now let’s fast-forward and imagine this same client falls ill a day or more later and being COVID tested is warranted. I have to ask myself: will she remember to let us know at the hospital? Maybe or maybe not BUT either way, by then - my assistant and I could already be shedding the virus and potentially exposing the whole hospital team. Yes, my team and I do wear masks as much as we can BUT my team has no way to distance from each other and still take care of your pet(s).
Fast-forward another week and half my team is out. Who takes care of your pet then?
Do we send you to the expensive emergency clinic like many other hospitals are doing for even the non-urgent cases (urinary tract infections, skin rashes, ear infections, etc)? Will you have to wait days or a week to get an appointment because with only half a team, I can only schedule half as much? You see our dilemma? In short, we absolutely do NOT want to be curbside. It makes everything SO much harder forus. We battled through the summer - the 100-degree temperatures, humidity so high it feels like it could melt your skin; we have stood in the rain, changed our socks 4 times in a day; on one fateful day, we answered 612 phone calls – that is more than one phone call every minute our hospital is open. Every single interaction makes our phones ring off the hook and taxes the 4 lines we have coming into the hospital and I do apologize for the times you’ve called and received a busy signal or were sent to voicemail. We are just that busy and I promise, we are not ignoring you! But beyond the logistics of this curbside approach – WE MISS YOU!
The interactions and connection with our clients are what feed us. Helping to ease your anxiety; solving a problem; saying goodbye; or being able to help someone through the bratty puppy stages is what makes it worth the 12-hour days and still come back to do it again.
I miss hearing about your kids or your last vacation. We miss you all being a direct part of what happens "Behind these Glass Doors". So, know we are curbside because it is the RIGHT thing to do to ensure that we will be here today,
TOMORROW and next week when you and your fur-kids need us.
Please be patient. Please be kind.