So this week I started as a recepcionist at an animal hospital. I would rather be a vet tech, but they have 18 and 24 hour shifts too, and that’s something I can’t do right now, so I went with the second best option.
On my first week, I wasn’t alone, one of the recepcionists was always with me. On the first three days, I did morning shifts (8-15) on Friday, I did evening shift (15-22).
The majority of these days were calm, no emergency cases.
It started like this on Friday as well. Not so much patients, some phone calls for vet advice, nothing serious. But then! Around 8 pm, patients started to come with moderately serious promblems. Then it hit. At 8:30, an owner rushed in, crying. Her dog was just lying, didn’t respond, was in a serious condition. The vet tech told the other patients that they had to take the dog in first, it’s an emergency. One of the owners who were waiting for a time now, told that her cat’s condition is serious too (why didn’t she tell me at the reception?). After a few minutes it was clear that the dog needs surgery. In the evening only one veterinarian is there with two assistants, so all the other patients must wait, or go home. While they waited for the dog to get the infusion to make the anesthesia safer for her, the vet examined two patients who waited for a long time, one of them was the cat with serious condition. She couldn’t save the cat – she was old, had cancer (which was operated before at another place, but only the half of it was removed), had inflammation, everything.
They told us that we have to tell everyone that comes after this that they must do the dogs surgery before anything else, so patients have to wait at least one and a half hours. So we should try to send them to other non-stop hospitals.
The dog was on the table, 5 owners rushed in at the same time. All emergencies. One with a 8 week old pug, wwho was definitely dying, one with a 8 week old chihuahua, dying. One phone call from a guinea pig, dying. A cat that ate lilies, which is extremely poisonous to cats. I had to send them away. The closest non-stop animal hospital is EXTREMELY expensive at night. There was one that’s only opened till 10 pm, but they could get there before 10 by car, but is all 5 of them go there… We sent them away. We had to. None of the cases could wait till the end of the dog’s surgery. I wanted to cry.
Then another owner rushed in, with his beagle in his hands, covered in a towel. He said his dog just got in this condition, but the smell told me different. That dog was already dead. I asked the vet tech, could she take a look. I was right. I saw the assistant’s face, her nose was red. She works there for ages, but this night was too much even for her.
At 10 pm my shift was over, I drived home with the loudest rock music in my car. I was so upset I couldn’t even park my car. I had to call my boyfriend to come out and park for me.
I worked as a caretaker in a shelter for 2 years. I saw dogs dying. I saw dogs in unimaginably bad conditions, because their owners were assholes. I rarely cried in those two years. But this night was just too much. Those owners came for help, and we couldn’t do anything.
Sorry for the long post without pictures, and sorry that my grammar and spelling is disastrous in this post, but I’m still upset 😦