Everyone knows Mochdre Vets offers a diverse range of services and therefore we have lots of people that specialise in a different area. We are a very sociable group but it sometime hard to appreciate everyone else. I am sure if you asked each staff member who worked the hardest they would say themselves but wouldn’t necessarily know what someone else was doing so it was decided everyone would spend time in each department and do job swaps.
Gwenan’s job swap!
Being down in the rehabilitative department for most of the day I often miss out on all the rush and emergencies seen in the practice. My first job swap was with Sarah! Suddenly I was back to feeling like a work experience student and desperate to see everything. Luckily this was a very busy day and I was able to see some emergency treatment and see surgery. Seeing how many cases there is to juggle in a day and how they vary so much was exciting but definitely made me appreciate how much the veterinarians have to manage.
Sessions in the rehab department are structured and aren’t affected by emergency cases very often. This meant it was a holiday away from home for a lot of the nurses who came down with Claire even taking a swim in the pool! It was nice to share with the girls what I look for with every dog, how they are moving and what we do to improve on this. It also provided an opportunity to share some of our wonderful regulars who are referred to us, that don’t normally meet the rest of the team.
It’s a known fact within Mochdre Vets that I am rubbish when it comes to reception. I think this role involves a lot of practice and knowing where everything is immediately. Being at the other end of the practice I don’t often have time to hone in on my reception skills and I’m probably not the person to ask when it comes to the printer settings. One thing doing the job swap taught me was how quickly things change and I am finally able to take prescription requests without needing to ask Jo for help!
Success all around, although you’ll likely still find me down in the pool!
Three departments in three days!
When we were first asked to job swap I thought it would be an absolute doddle, how wrong I was! I have a brand new appreciation for all the work everyone does in each of their individual departments to make sure the practice is running smoothly.
Day one; hydrotherapy
This is the department I was most excited to work in but equally dreading it as I knew I’d have to somehow squeeze into a wetsuit! Getting into a wetsuit is a full days work in itself but then having to go outside in it was a whole other story. The sessions I had booked in on my day were an equal mix of treadmill and pool with some post-op recovery rehabilitation and some general fitness and conditioning. Shout out to Luna, Nutmeg and Jack who all let me be part of their sessions.
It is such a calming experience in the hydro centre, it really does feel like a spa day. I usually see all the familiar faces at reception for a chat but it was interesting to hear Gwenan assessing each patients progress and seeing how far into recovery they are. Writing up the clinical notes was completely new to me as I would normally only deal with clinical notes when processing insurance forms.
At the end of the scheduled sessions I had my own dog to swim, handsome Bert who everyone knows has a fitness level on a par with mine! We managed an impressive six laps together, with rest stops in between and whilst Bert was a model patient I was definitely flagging by the end!
Day two; nursing
The nursing team nearly make up more of the staff than the rest of the Practice combined but even with all those extra bodies there are still plenty of times where they’re rushed off their feet as I was about to find out.
The day I chose to do nursing had a combination of different Op’s scheduled including lump removals, castrates and dentals which is fairly typical for our diary. As everyone knows I’m more than a bit of a molly-coddler when it comes to the dogs coming through reception so spending time with them in recovery after their Ops was probably the part I enjoyed most. The thing people won’t realise about the nursing team is how super organised they need to be as they never know when an emergency surgery is going to present and while looking after patients post-op keeps them busy there is almost always a number of inpatients also needing cared for, some intensively.
Patient care is always the number one priority in the Practice and the nurses work really hard to treat every patient as if they were their own. The cleaning never stops and the chance of a cuppa is a rare thing when working on the nursing team!
Day three; Vet consults
I am constantly in and out of Vet consults for pain management therapies but I don’t often get to be present during clinical assessments so this day was a real eye opener. Lowri was the Vet I was shadowing and on a busy Friday afternoon we were back to back with routine consults. We had some really sweet patients in for routine check ups, vaccinations and ear cleaning but we also had some very poorly patients who required full clinical workups and in one instance dmittance as an inpatient. While Lowri tried her best to see everyone in a timely manner, some things do take a little bit longer due to the circumstances and needs of the patient. It is a really fine balance between running on time but still giving each patient the full attention they deserve. We had a particularly upsetting case in one room but Lowri did her best to continue with consults in another room, whilst still running back and forward to check on her patient. All our Vets do this and it really impresses me how well they can juggle a number of patients while still giving everyone the attention they deserve. Discussing finances can be really tricky but our Vets do this really well in consult so we can make clear treatment plans going forward, especially for patients being admitted.
While consulting, the Vets are constantly being pulled away to check on inpatients and call owners back regarding results etc. and put up prescriptions. I don’t know how they manage it and I’d love to say that it all stops at 8pm but as we run our own out of hours service, it doesn’t!
Reception job swap.
The job swap made me appreciate how intense working on reception can be and how crucial the role is as part of the team in keeping the practice running smoothly. Reception is the front of house and the first thing customers see when they come through the doors so it important that everything is organised, well managed and smiles are on display.
Nurse job swap.
Thoroughly enjoyed my time with the nurses. Very informative. It was good to see first hand how the nurses run their day and have the opportunity to take part.
Vet job swap.
Spending time with Sarah gave me a greater insight of the constant work flow and variety of cases that walk through the door on a daily basis. It made me realise how quickly a 20 minute appointment can be used up and the demands on the vets to keep to time whilst providing the best care and advice to the client.
Hydro – I thoroughly enjoyed my morning in hydro most of the morning was in the pool.The initial assessment I found really interesting and learnt the benefits of using treadmill and pool for certain conditions. The time spent there made me realise how much the hydro girls have trained to match treatments for the different conditions. I also found it gets a bit cold switching from pool to treadmill!
Vets – I followed Lowri in her consults which that morning were mainly cat consults. I found Lowri handled nervous cats well especially doing boosters. It made me realise how effective it is having a separate cat designated area which makes the environment cat friendly which certainly helps reduce stress in cats.
The second part of the vet swap I watched Lowri operate with one dog castrate and two cat castrates. I found this really interesting especially seeing the difference between dog and cat castrates. The stitching afterwards would be my worst nightmare with my sewing skills!
Nurse – from the nurse side of ops it became clear how important it is that the vets and nurses work so closely together through the ops. The nurses play a great part in keeping obs on the animals whilst under anaesthetic and when coming round. Checking heart rate breathing etc. Their role doesn’t stop there either as there is so much preparation before the ops making sure everything is sterile and cleaning up afterwards. Running the bloods is something I learned also.
All in all the girls in hydro, vets and nurses all work really hard to make the practice so successful and work as a team. If I was to choose to swap again I think I would choose time in hydro as thoroughly enjoyed swimming the dogs.
So for my job swap day and I had the honour to shadow Gwenan in hydro therapy for the day. They say you cant teach and old dog new tricks well I learnt a lot during a swim they need to position themselves correctly while they swim each individual animal has a program designed as to what they need to do in the pool. I also watched a physio session in the treadmill for a spinal patient it was great to see Gwenan at work doing what she does well.
The nursing team regularly helps out on reception so we appreciate their job but it was nice showing them what we do and why.
I did my job swap with Hayley, she is a one of the Hydrotherapist here, first session was in the pool, the aim of the session was to encourage a dog to use her hind limbs more due to lameness. I was able to 1.5 lengths in the pool which meant I encouraged her to swim the length of the pool by placing my hand close to her right hind limb. I noticed that there was much improvement of movement from when Hayley did the first lengths with her, this was quite interesting to see the difference in movement while under water as opposed to on the ground.
Next session was in the treadmill, the aim of the session was to encourage a dog to use her left fore limb due to on and off lameness, this was a difficult dog due to her being young and very bouncy at the beginning. Once in the treadmill with the harness on, she seem more relaxed, Hayley asked me to distracted her with a toy while the treadmill was on to encourage her to pay attention and to walk forward. I noticed while she was walking through the water, it looked like she was struggling on her rind hind and also shorter a gait. But towards the end of the session she was striding out easier which was a good improvement to see. It was very interesting to see both the pool and the treadmill in use, the treadmill is more hard work for them, it easier to see their gait and where they are struggling but the water aids in supporting in as they feel weightless as opposed to on the ground. I really enjoyed my job swap with Hayley.