Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Side of the Table

When a client enters a veterinary clinic exam room (at least ours) there is an obvious "client side" and an obvious "doctor side" of the exam table. Sometimes clients stand on my side of the table. That's ok, I'm not married to that side of the table, it just makes it hard to reach for supplies and equipment if I have to reach around the client every time. Most people will eventually move when they realize things are not going smoothly. This is, however, only the beginning of some of the unusual behaviors people exhibit in a veterinary clinic examining room. People somehow find it acceptable or helpful to do all of the following...

1. Allow the animal to repeatedly climb back up their shoulder or into their arms during the exam forcing me to repeatedly drag the animal back to the center of the table, climb over the table and up the client's shoulder after the animal, or disrupt the technician from typing so they can hold the animal even though the owner is right there and clearly hasn't caught on to the fact that I have now retrieved the animal 5 times. I don't know what people are like when they take their child to the pediatrician but I doubt they expect that they won't have to let go of the child and put it on the table at some point.

2. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who try too hard to restrain their own animal (whether is needs it or not) and assist with the exam by holding the animal in unusual and completely unhelpful positions. Prying open your dog's mouth, lifting up its ears, and throwing it down on it side so I can see the rash on the abdomen are all unnecessary.

3. Sit in a chair and watch while we try to catch their loose/freaky/growling pet or sitting in a chair while we try to hang on to a very wiggly pet.

4. Expect that we will crawl under the chair to retrieve and or examine their pet (when was the last time your doctor crawled under a table to examine you?)

5. Want their aggressive dog that bit the last vet to be examined unmuzzled (even after it tried to eat a person in the lobby)

6. Want their large dog that they won't/can't hold still examined on the floor instead of the table.

7. Announce after you have looked closely at the dog's teeth-"he didn't bite today!"

8. Let the 80 dog they just helped lift on the table jump off in the 30 seconds it takes the tech to go get the doctor-like they didn't know we would want it back up there?

9. Allow their child to place food or pacifiers dropped on the floor back in their mouth (we mop a lot but still-gross).

I'm sure the list goes on.


Sue said...

The same goes for the waiting room. I don't want your sick dog coming over to meet my dog, even if he "just wants to play". On the other hand I don't want my sick dog playing with your dog, why do you?

CK said...

OMG..I am now going to have to make sure that I don't hold the dog in an unhelpful manner for Dr. Rund. I try to stay out of his way as much as I can because it pisses me off as an EMT when someone is in my way on a scene. I got a good laugh at the other stuff. Crawl under the chair LOL.

Jayme said...

I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one (as a tech) that's annoyed by these things. Seriously. Would they like to handle someone else's aggressive man-eating cat with no sedation??