What Is Going on With My Veterinarian?
Busy phone lines. No appointments. Long wait times for everything. We know that you are dealing with all of these and we thank you for your patience with us during this unprecedented time. So, what is going on?
Veterinary practices have been dealing with a nationwide phenomenon that began with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. All around the country, veterinary practices are overwhelmed by the volume of appointment requests, prescription refills and phone calls. Requests for services have exceeded our capacity, resulting in many challenges for veterinarians and their teams across the United States.
Why Is This Happening?
This appears to be a perfect storm of multiple different events coming together at the same time.
New Pet Adoptions
COVID-19 presented a perfect scenario for pet adoption. Quarantine and working from home is a perfect time to train a new pet. Pet adoption rates have climbed resulting in many new puppies and kittens to be seen.
Increased Appointment Requests
We are experiencing an unprecedented number of appointment requests for a few reasons. Pet parents are home and are taking advantage of this time to get their pets in for their wellness exams. Sick appointments and pet accidents are also on the increase. More time spent with our pets outdoors playing, hiking, etc., can, unfortunately, lead to more pet accidents. Owners are also noticing issues with their pets that may have been missed during the busyness of our pre-COVID days and they want to get these things checked out. The increased appointments then result in increased surgeries and procedures.
Reduced Appointment Slots
COVID-19 measures mandated by the state have increased our appointment times, leaving us with less available appointments each day. Curbside appointments take significantly longer to complete than regular in clinic appointments. Unfortunately, until the 14 day quarantine for exposure is lifted, we cannot expose our veterinarians and staff. We cannot risk having employees quarantined at a time when we need them most.
Many veterinary practices have been forced to reduce hours due to a decrease in available staff. High risk staff members have opted not to work during this time. Others are dealing with child care responsibilities and find that they have had to reduce hours or stop working altogether. The veterinary industry has been experiencing a staffing shortage for a couple of years now, so these staff members are not easily replaced. This has forced practices to reduce hours or, in some cases, to close. Practices that are still open are getting an influx of clients who cannot get in with their regular vet due to decreased hours or closures.
As general practitioners, we can typically refer cases to an emergency facility if we are overloaded. Since COVID-19, the ER practices are overwhelmed and cannot handle the volume of referrals. It is not unusual for clients sent to emergency practices to experience 4 to 6 hour wait times due to volume of cases. For that reason, emergency practices are turning back any case that is not dire to the general practitioner so they are able to concentrate on what they do best – emergency medicine.
Where We Are Today
Hopefully, this gives you some insight into some of the things we are dealing with and how it is impacting our ability to provide you with the type of service and experience you are used to receiving at NPAH. We are constantly brainstorming ways to decrease wait times and make things better for you, our clients, and we will continue to do so.
Our veterinarians and support staff are working so hard day after day to provide care for your pets. We all love what we do and we are happily working very hard and many extra hours to ensure we can see as many pets as possible. But, honestly, we are tired. We appreciate our clients so much. Your kind words, patience and treats; as well as, those special moments with your pets, are what keep us going. It is amazing how a few kind words from you or a snuggle with your pet can lift us up. Thank you!
We are looking forward to the time we can welcome you back into our hospital. We miss you and we are hoping that time comes soon! Until then, please bear with us and stay safe.
The Doctors and Staff of NPAH
14 thoughts on “What Is Going on With My Veterinarian?”
We are so appreciative of the loving care you have been providing for our “Webster” , whether it be a simple nail trim or a wellness check. We think the curb side service is efficiently run and the wait time minimal. You all do excellent work, and our family is very grateful!
Patti, Jerry and “Webster”
Thanks for being there for us and our pets. We know it isn’t easy working under these conditions. We appreciate all the care you have given the girls over the last 6 months.
Thank you for everything you are doing. My Myles had Giardia a couple of months ago and I had to bring him into you 3 times. The curb side pickup work well and your staff were amazing. They all were very patient with me and answered all my questions. These are trying times for all of us and everyone has to adjust. You guys are doing an awesome job!!! Keep up the great work.
Toni & Myles.
Thank you all for everything. While sitting in the car and watching all your activity, it appears that all is very organized and care is personalized as always.
You all have done an amazing job !!! We are so glad that you are open and able to care for our dogs – it is worth any wait on our part. Everyone has been professional, kind, friendly- going above and beyond what is expected. We appreciate that everyone at North Penn is working so hard for our pets !!! We love you guys❤️❤️ Thank you from Cheryl and the crew at Roadogs and Rescue 🐶
You are all doing a fantastic job! I have never felt that my pet was not getting the best care in all this craziness! I appreciate that you are open and the curbside has worked really well every timeshare! Thank you for all that you do!
Being a high risk owner I truly appreciate the steps you have taken to keep me safe. Unfortunately during this time I had several occasions where my sweet boy Charlie had to be seen as an emergency, due to his bladder cancer, and everyone went above and beyond to make sure that both him and I were well taken care of. When that incredibly difficult time came to let him cross over the rainbow bridge, it was handled with so much love and compassion. I sincerely feel blessed to be a client of Dr. Rossi’s and am eternally grateful to the incredible staff of NPAH. All of staff members who not only listened to my fears but truly cared about Charlie and I you will never know how much that meant to me!!! Love ya…Hugs:) Beth Reynolds
The McGowans are thankful for all you do. Despite the difficulties, you’ve all kept pets and pet parents at the forefront. We respect you and support you.
Troy, Grady, Shadow McGowan and our people
Thank you so much for your care and dedication. You made time to see my pet (in the Spring) even without being a regular patient. Please keep up the great work !
You guys are the best!! Ginger, Frankie, eric and I all Appreciate everything you all do! Love, the Kelly family
You are the best!! 🙂 Yogi and I say, thank you for taking care of him–and Dr.Volpe for being the best surgeon!! THANK YOU!!!
Every day, in every way, you deliver exceptional care to your pet patients and their parents. The integrity of your service delivery at every level provides an environment of genuine empathy, despite, the pandemic and your managing to work within its restraints.
Our sincere and deep gratitude for your healing hands and for continuing to work so diligently during this challenging time. May all of you know the difference you make in our lives and remain healthy!
Nancy, Mike and Boswell
I have been breeding Bearded Collies for years, but this is the first year that I have actually had 3 litters! You were able to accommodate all of those puppy visits pleasantly and efficiently, without my assistance holding them and sorting them out for vaccines, etc. I missed the opportunity to be there, but knew they were in very good hands! Thank you so much for being there!
Audrey and Jim
I love this practice. Every one of our senior pups has pulled through some crises or another no matter who manages their care. Last year we sadly had to euthanize one of my pups with no notice due to his sudden illness. As always Dr Bilello guided me through the process and my precious old boy peacefully passed in my arms. I wouldn’t dream of ever changing practices. All staff are amazing from front desk to lab and everyone in between! Thank you for all you do.