Coming to a Veterinary Hospital Near You!

17 Jul

Cat’s Meow jumped on the Idexx/Cornerstone bandwagon this year.  Though I think the practice is too small to really benefit from the companies primarily intent on increasing productivity and sales figures, we have done it, because it is THE thing to do in veterinary medicine.  For me, this means a serious pain in the ass while everyone gets all stressed about setting everything up, transitioning old resources to new, and learning the equipment.  I used Idexx at my very first job, and in-house labs were actually my favorite thing to do.  I used the Idexx/Cornerstone/Digital Radiology in Seattle last year and I found them to be functional, but not necessarily better than other programs.  Except D.R.–that is the most amazing way to take x-rays EVER!  Seriously, it’s like cheating.  If the animal is halfway off the processor and moving, we were still able to get a high-quality, very detailed image.  Quickly.  That we could e-mail right to the specialist, and that we could make a client CD to send home in 2 sec.

Anyway, I’m off track.  The real reason I’m writing, is because of the big change I am forced to lose my weekend to “train.”  Never-mind that when anyone gets a veterinary job they are hired because of previous experience.  Vets, who are not great business people, and are notoriously short on time (and staff) just want to hire a person that can jump right in and work.  So it’s a new computer program to you–learn as you work.  New diagnostic equipment?  Muddle through–ask co-workers.  So it makes very little sense that all of us have to come in for 8 hours a day Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday to learn the new computer system.  The one I used when I worked purely reception for 6 months in Seattle, and the one I continued to use all year in the back.  Sigh. . .

I guess that’s not my real point either.  We had the Idexx trainer in our tiny, hot upstairs room, and she was teaching us how to enter a new patient.  Everyone was happy that “attitude” was an option to fill in.  Then it got to the topic of what we call fractious/mean/naughty/aggressive cats.  Lori told everyone that she tells me the pet is a “sensitive soul”  when I go to take its vitals.  A euphemism I coined through my years of experience.  See, staff needs to know if they have to handle the pet differently, but owners do not want a negative connotation–their pet is nice at home.  So sensitive soul is perfect because it conveys the message to handle with care, but without stigma.  Everybody laughed and said that was a definate Laurel-ism.  The trainer said she liked it so much she was going to use it when she went to train hundreds of other vet hospitals around the country.

So if you hear the phrase “sensitive-soul” at your next vet visit–it’s mine!

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