Instructions for Clients Visiting Port Royal Animal Hospital – COVID19 Procedures – updated August 20/2020
~ We ask that you refrain from coming to our workplace if you are ill (or immunocompromised). For the safety of our workplace for all, please be honest in informing us of any COVID19 symptoms or recent exposure to known infection or travel-related self-isolation that is taking place in your household or bubble. We are still able to accept your pet if urgent care is required, but please call us ahead to give us time to prepare for these special circumstances.
FOR A VETERINARY EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 902-532-7387 FOR ASSISTANCE.
Please note our hospital hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8 AM to 5 PM
- Wednesday, Friday 8 AM to 1 PM
- We remain closed Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
The Veterinarian is available for emergencies ONLY, outside of these hours. If you have a veterinary emergency, please call 902-532-7387, for assistance. If your call does not result in an emergency visit, there is a telephone consulting fee of $29 plus GST to consult with the veterinarian after hours. The veterinarian is not able to consult via phone for callers that are not clients/for patients she has not previously examined. If you are visiting the area and are not certain of the urgency of your pet’s concerns, we recommend you call your regular veterinarian first, for advice. Then, on their direction, call our veterinarian for assistance.
~ Please CALL AHEAD (902)-532-7387:
o For a veterinary emergency
o To announce your arrival
o To arrange an appointment
o To PRE-ORDER pet food, Rx refills, and supplies (alternatively, you may email: firstname.lastname@example.org, to pre-order supplies or ask general questions)
~ Please, maintain a 2-meter physical distance from our staff and other clients, whether inside OR outside the hospital
~ Wearing of a face mask, which properly covers the nose and mouth, is required for entry into our hospital. At this time, entry is restricted to 1 person at a time, and for payment purposes only. Special circumstances, such as end of life procedures, will be addressed with clients individually, and every effort will be made to respect their wishes at this difficult time, while respecting COVID19 directives.
~ We continue to provide “curbside” service for appointments, surgical admits, and those who choose not to wear a mask or enter the hospital:
- Please wait, in your vehicle, in one of our marked parking spaces in front of our hospital; call (902)532-7387 to announce your arrival.
- Please have your pet, secured (dog-on leash/cat-in carrier), in the rear, passenger-side seat of your vehicle; it is preferable that only 1 person be in the vehicle for our team member to remove the pet; that team member will then escort your pet into the hospital for their appointment while you wait, in your vehicle; (if at some point it becomes too hot for you or your pet to remain in your vehicle, instead of keeping your vehicle idling, please take advantage of the green space at the rear of the building or stand under our sun/rain shelter). We are doing our best to run an efficient schedule and reduce your waiting time as well as your pet’s time in our hands and away from you. Please remain in your car with your cell phone (on and charged), so that we may call you during the appointment. For those without a cell phone, the Dr will be coming to your vehicle to discuss findings and recommendations.
~ There is considerable effort being made to reduce the actual time the patient spends in the hospital, or waiting in the parking lot/car– we are doing this in several ways:
- We have adopted a ‘pre-visit intake interview’, often taking place the day before, so we may prepare ahead of time as much as possible for the needs of your pet, as well as managing our time and yours, whether waiting in your vehicle or in contact with the Dr.
- We are altering our appointment schedule to reduce ‘traffic’ at any one time. With our revised protocols we are now permitted to extend our services beyond urgent or emergency care to include elective surgery (spays and neuters, etc) and dentistry. Some consultations may be best done by phone. We will once again be able to offer nail trims, but will need to limit them to our patients only, as well as to our schedule. We recognize that unforeseen issues (eg. emergencies, previously unknown health problems uncovered by the examination, or computer crankiness), will sometimes wreak havoc to our carefully planned schedule. We ask that you have patience and understanding if our schedule is not going as desired, and please do your best to respect your appointment time.
~ In order to facilitate client entry to accommodate additional methods of payment, we have done the following:
- Installed a clear, impervious barrier at the front desk to allow use of the point of sale machine, and have added the ‘tap’ feature to reduce hand to hand contact. If your method of payment is cash, please place it on the counter and likewise, receive your change from the counter (and not directly pass to/from our team member). We invite you to use the provided hand sanitizer prior to and following this interaction.
- Our most significant modification is the placement of a team member with the specific task of ‘gatekeeper’. She is tasked with managing the entry/exiting and presence of clients and patients in our hospital, escorting patients and orders to/from for curbside service, cleaning of surfaces between each person, cleaning exam rooms between patients, and more.
At some point, we hope to resume in-person appointments. Much of this will depend on COVID19 protocols, but also the demands and pressures of our schedule. Like most veterinary hospitals, our schedules are full at the moment, trying to ‘catch up’ from when initial constraints were placed. It simply takes more time, and bodies, and ongoing vigilance to ensure our workplace is safe and our patients are served.
Please remember, we are doing our best to serve our patients and clients under very challenging circumstances. The initial phases of re-opening are exciting and welcomed on a number of levels, for sure, but it’s an entirely new learning curve that will take some patience and fine-tuning to get there and get it right. If we are not getting it right, and one of our team becomes ill with COVID19, it may result in a 2 week closure of the hospital, or worse. We appreciate how very patient and kind and grateful our clients have been during this time – that in itself has made this unique stress and strain on our team that much more bearable.
Jody Cunningham, DVM
August 20, 2020