Curbside – A Vet Intern’s Blog

By: Astra Sleeper
On my last day of my internship at the Newbury Veterinary Clinic before our “Remote Learning”, I witnessed how they were affected by and how they were dealing with the recent and prevalent pandemic. The receptionist moved her chair, computer, and whole workstation closer to the front door. Outside the door a sign was placed that read, “Do not come inside. Please wave or knock, or call…” Doctor and owner, Amy Cook, requested that the clinic switch to “curbside” as much as they could. No clients were allowed inside the clinic for the safety of everyone. The receptionist would check in clients by talking through the front window and then ask them to wait inside their cars. A technician would then go out to the clients car and do the usual history and check in. Depending on what the patient needs and the comfortability of the techs and doctors, some appointments were handled outside at the client’s car. Most appointments required the technician to bring the patient inside without being accompanied by their owner. Clients were told they could wait in their cars or go home and that they would be called when their pet was ready to be picked up. Appointments went as they usually do. It was difficult not being able to directly talk to the owners about how they would like to proceed and to ask more and clarifying questions that would help the doctor come up with the best treatment. One patient that day came in because of pain. The doctor called the client’s cell to ask if they wanted x-rays to be done. After each appointment the technicians and doctors would change their tops, wash their hands, and have the tools they used (pens, clip boards, stethoscope, etc.) sterilized with hydrogen peroxide. Door handles and countertops and anything touched by humans was being wiped with bleach that day. Jessica was making phone calls canceling interns, volunteers, and letting kennel assistants know that their amount of work time would be little to none. The number of workers would be limited for safety reasons and because the boarding kennels were becoming empty.
Featured Photo by Astra Sleeper

x-ray image of a cat depicting arthritis at the tail head, potential cause of the pain.