COVID-19 as a veterinary professional

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COVID-19 as a veterinary professional

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Pandemic Pets>Veterinary Care & Death

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I am a veterinary assistant (VA), working for 2 years at a large practice. In my state, there is currently a stay at home order, and all non essential businesses are closed. Social distancing is encouraged. However, not much has changed.

Essential businesses and places that are still open include: hardware stores, big box stores (Target, ect), grocery stores, pharmacies, farmer’s markets, liquor stores, convenience stores, veterinary offices, pet stores, lodging, laundromats, maintenance, construction, communications services, emergency services, banks, government, health care and public health.

My practice has changed their policies, but they all seem to be geared towards protecting the doctors, not their supporting staff.

Examples of changes and their failed alternatives:
1. Only 30 minute appointments. People are still messing this up, and hours have been cut for the veterinary assistants so we actually have more work with this. It's a skeleton crew.
2. No in-room appointments; doctor communicates over the phone but the veterinary assistant still gets a moderate amount of face time with the client.
3. Increased cleaning. We try to clean more but again, hours have been cut.
4. Significantly more PPE. We have been told to reuse masks and gloves due to shortages.
5. Social distancing. Pretty impossible in this field, because it usually takes two people to do anything with a pet. Sometimes 3, 4, 5. All within 4 feet of each other.

Morale is low. We are overworked, under-appreciated, and poorly protected.

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