COVID-19: A Day in the Life
Initially the ‘lockdown’ brought everything to a sudden and unnerving halt. The practice, whilst usually a busy and bustling place was suddenly staffed by a shadow work force after all non-essential staff were furloughed. Being a small animal locum within a mixed practice I felt I was the one vet who’s position within the practice was the most vulnerable. My workload had dried up and being self-employed (and with a defined cost to the practice!) it was easily perceivable that my position could be terminated at any point. All my colleagues (and my employer), on the other hand, being predominantly large animal vets seemed to be keeping themselves busy.
Luckily for me, my employer could easily see the value of keeping me on in the longer term, as he was clearly worried about the possibility of losing vets through self-isolation or actual COVID-19 infection. At this point of writing we have managed to keep everyone infection free and life is moving forward, albeit at a slower and slightly different pace. We are now doing a lot of phone triage calls, video conferencing, email discussions and are (generally) managing to combine running the practice with effective social distancing! If someone were to take a quick look at our practice inbox, they would find an interesting array of assorted pics of dog’s eyes, ears and bottoms!
Going forward towards an easing of the lockdown, will hopefully allow us to start to carry out some more routine procedures and with any luck, allow a little normality back into the practice… within reason of course! When reflecting with my colleagues over coffee and brownies (a gift from Bec the vet and a definite plus point to her having more time on her hands!) we were discussing a) how our clients generally taken to the changing practice working practices with good grace and enthusiasm. (Though sadly we are still alarmed how many people can still walk through a door saying, ‘DO NOT ENTER’!!) and b) whether one of the upsides of this pandemic for the practice may be the ongoing ability to charge for our time spent giving advice over the phone. Who knows!