World Veterinary Day
13th April 2021
24th April is World Veterinary Day! A day to celebrate our industry and the amazing individuals within it.
The theme of World Veterinary day for 2021 is,
'The veterinarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic'
Keith & Bobby have been reflecting on this and here are their thoughts:
"Like many of you, the sudden and longer-term changes of working through the Covid year is unlikely to be surpassed in our working lifetimes as Veterinary Surgeons.
Working with small groups within the closed clinic in late March and beyond during the first lockdown, seeing essential emergencies only and consulting by telephone, video call and providing email support will stay long in the memory and is certainly here to stay in the medical professions in one form or another.
The way the clinic responded to the lockdowns, providing local delivery of food and drugs and the continual changes and updates to our working practices and following our professional body's guidance as we opened and shut again through the remainder of 2021 was fantastic. As we move forward through 2021 with the UK covid-vaccine rollout going well we hope that everyone's lives will return to being much more normal.
The veterinary profession responded so well and, although we are all unique businesses, being able to support local practices when they were forced to close with Covid lockdowns alongside the efforts of support from recognised specialists free of charge for complex cases through one of the companies we work with shows how well the profession came together to manage the care of our pets at a difficult time for us all.
The vet profession has always been close-knit, and I think this really reinforces how it tries to work together to benefit everyone's pets the best way we can. Video advice and consulting, telemedicine and the availability of our specialist-trained colleagues to help us out as general practitioners is here to stay.
Finally, we hear a lot of the pressures of lockdowns and the last year on stress, anxiety and the mental health of the population. Well-being and mental health care are huge topics within the profession. Vets are 2-4 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population and the focus on all of our well-being within the practice and the availability of support online and from charities that support the vet industry has been really positive and will continue long beyond covid."
"The most challenging thing for me has been communication. I greatly missed having clients in the consult room with the patients when no one was allowed in the building and felt that the ability to forge relationships and communicate plans and treatments was greatly hindered because of this. In addition, even since letting clients into the building, I still find that showing empathy and support during difficult conversations and euthanasia appointments is extremely hard. The PPE removes a lot of our ability to communicate through facial expression and body language - and as a highly empathetic person, the lack of ability to give hugs and show how I'm feeling has been very hard. This has led to some development of other ways of communicating - verbally and digitally via email, which can be seen as a positive effect.
The Hillside team has been phenomenally supportive throughout the whole ordeal, especially for someone like me - starting in the middle of the first lockdown. I have felt understood and supported the whole way through - I also find the understanding of pressures outside of the work environment unparalleled. It has been hard (as no one likes change!) but as a whole I feel that we have come through this (a little battered and bruised perhaps!) but as a stronger team for it."
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