The first thing one learns about working in an emergency veterinary clinic is that no two nights are ever the same. The second thing learned is to never, ever comment about it being a slow night. If the second rule is ever forgotten, you can rest assured that your crew will give you an eye roll or two followed by audible grunts and sighs. The only thing for certain in an emergency clinic is that you will never, ever be bored. I work overnight shifts, and each shift brings new challenges, new furry faces, and new often very frightened pet parents.
Emergency veterinary technicians endure just about every human emotion possible over the course of one shift. Deep sadness over the loss of a client’s beloved pet, happiness for those owners who get the all clear from the doctor to take their pet home. Restored faith in humanity for the good samaritan who is stepping up to care for an abandoned fur baby, and sometimes even frustration when we are blamed for a bill an owner cannot afford.
During the night we are doing our rounds and checking temperatures, heart rates, and hydration statuses. Cleaning feces, urine, and vomit while making sure all our hospitalized babies are loved on as well. Attempting to keep up on laundry, cleaning walls, floors, and doors. Taking phone calls throughout the night and updating patient records. In the morning we are prepping patients to go home or to be transferred to their day clinics. Going over medical instructions with owners and giving the days last belly rubs to our beloved patients before they leave.
After closing we are refilling supplies, cleaning slobber kisses from the glass entry door and folding clean laundry fresh from the dryer. We are straightening up the magazine racks, scrubbing out the wet tables and cleaning up the lab stations. Emptying the nights garbage and recycling and doing a final check to ensure the parking lot is free from any debris. After clocking out and making our way home, we are praying for those who need a little extra help before finally setting our own heads down for some much-needed rest. Always knowing our hearts are full, we gave our all and will happily do it again tomorrow.