The Royal Collage Of Veterinary Surgeons has today issued this statement
Should Veterinary Surgeons get called up to aid the NHS with the Coronavirus crisis, we are sure our esteemed profession will come to heel immediately, seizing their new roles like the proverbial dog with a pet-safe chew toy.
However, we do have a few words of advice;
Although PPE is in short supply, arm length gloves will NOT be required. Patients have enough to worry about without seeing farm vets in their usual gear. This is also true of calving jacks and ropes, should you be seconded to the maternity units.
Instructions have been given to all staff and patients to refrain from touching their faces. Remarkably, the humble buster collar hasn’t yet been utilised but if it is, we are advising that rapid deployment of Veterinary Nurses will be required to construct and fit the bl**dy things.
Please remember where the thermometer goes (and does NOT go) in humans.
We are advising your medical colleagues to try to remember to not request that you ‘put a patient to sleep’. However, if this does happen, PUT THE SYRINGE DOWN.
If you are asked to take a blood sample, remember that the patient does not need to be restrained by being nestled in your chest (no matter how much they might like it). Nor are you likely to be required to wrap them up in a towel or place a muzzle. However, if you are stationed in paediatrics, your handling skills may actually come in extremely useful.
It is important to put patients at their ease in the hospital. Although it possibly isn’t standard practice in the human field, do continue to compliment your patients on their shiny hair/excellent teeth/ideal body condition as appropriate. Calling them a ‘good boy/girl’ will hopefully be taken in the spirit it is intended but ear tickling or a vigorous bottom rub may be considered a little too much. It is unlikely they will want to lick your face but if they do, it is in any case not permissible under the current hygiene restrictions and should be discouraged.
We hope you find this advice is helpful as you transition from hairy, four legged patients who can’t speak, to slightly less hairy but more chatty ones.
At last, we can truly call ourselves Dogtors!