FARMING: There’s more to a being a vet than the animals

Wednesday 1st July was a notable date this year when many furloughed staff returned to work after a long absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 12:00 am
Veterinary surgeons do more than just treat animals like these.

In some ways it seemed a long time since we were at work but, in others, it was a chance to catch up on jobs at home - those long put - off tasks of cupboard cleaning, decorating, gardening etc, and to spend many hours on the phone chatting to family and friends around the country who are sometimes neglected in the frenzy of working life.

In the Rothbury surgery,we are a close team of not just colleagues but friends who have supported each other via phone calls & messaging as some have had to isolate.

Our vets have been working throughout, doing not only their own jobs but also those duties normally done by us on reception while we were all furloughed.

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They have had to answer the phones, wash waterproofs, clean rooms and mop floors several times a day.

A quick lesson on ordering supplies, the cleaning, sterilisation and preparation of instrument kits and even use of the card payment machine was given prior to lockdown.

This was added to their principal duties of continuing to provide dedicated care to small and farm animals at a very busy time of the farming year - lambing and calving and in restricted circumstances.

As I gradually return to work, I am grateful to our colleagues who have worked through this crisis to keep the practice open and interested to hear their accounts of life on reception.

It is a very varied role and no two days are the same.

As a small surgery, we get to know both clients and their animals and appreciate how much these animals mean to them and their families not just as pets but also businesses.

Although we are part of a corporate company, we have the benefit of being a local business.

During the past weeks some of our clients have sadly passed away and we shall miss seeing them.

Some older pets will have been put to sleep but it is heartening to meet many new pets and to welcome our new clients.

I am fortunate to have a job to return to at this time and especially one which I enjoy so much.