You’ve brought your pet to an animal emergency hospital because of an illness or injury. Naturally, you’re concerned and you want your dog or cat to receive the best possible care. But what is really going on “back there” while you wait?
Here at The COVE, take comfort in knowing that your beloved companion is in good hands. The head of our emergency department, Jacqueline Nobles, DVM, DACVECC is a specialist who is board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care. Our veterinarians are highly trained and experienced in emergency care, as is our team of licensed veterinary technicians (LVTs). We also have veterinary assistants who provide support to our doctors and LVTs by assisting with restraint, obtaining vital signs, gathering histories and consent for care, as well as helping with lab work, treatments, and nursing care for all our patients. A very important role is also played by our client liaisons – the wonderful and dedicated people who greet you warmly, assist you with paperwork and much more.
Importantly, we have the breadth and depth of diagnostic tools and equipment to assess and treat each patient, all while giving them the compassion and respect they deserve.
Here is a glimpse of behind the scenes at our hospital’s emergency treatment area:
- We have a color-coded triage system to ensure that we are treating the sickest and most severely injured patients first – just like you’ll find at an ER for humans
- We are staffed 24/7/365 with an exceptional emergency team, including veterinarians, LVTs and veterinary assistants
- LVTs and assistants are helping veterinarians with exams, running diagnostic tests, keeping patients stabilized, and administering patient treatments
- In addition to walk-in cases, our emergency department team oversees hospitalized patients and/or patients in our intensive care unit (ICU) – which is why our parking lot may appear empty, but our team could be quite busy
- All patients are always being evaluated – even if they are resting in a secured environment, we are observing and documenting their behavior as part of our evaluation process
- We work in teams, highly trained for ‘low stress handling’ of patients – this reduces stress for pets and our clinical team
- We have a fully functioning onsite lab and pharmacy, which closely interacts with our emergency department around the clock
We know you are waiting and are anxious to hear about what is happening with your furry family member. If there is an extended wait, there is a reason for it. We have not forgotten about you. As soon as possible, a veterinarian or LVT will meet with you and present an overview of the situation, along with recommended diagnostic tests, a preliminary treatment plan, and cost estimates.
We will review your financial commitment prior to initiating treatment. Payment is due at the beginning of the exam or procedure, or as a deposit for hospitalized cases. Payment ensures that our team can move forward with the advanced care that we provide here at The COVE. We offer several payment methods, including third-party financing such as CareCredit or Scratchpay (low or no-cost financing plans). We also help our pet parents understand the benefits of having pet insurance.
You may wonder why the costs of emergency treatment are higher compared to a visit at your primary care veterinarian’s clinic. Just like emergency rooms for humans, our ER costs are higher because of our medical team’s skills and experience, along with our advanced equipment. We’re also open 24 hours a day.
Emergency Care During COVID-19
As we are still under strict COVID-19 protocols, our process has been slightly adjusted. We continue to offer curbside service for emergencies [and check-ins for specialty appointments]. Emergency patients will be triaged promptly by a medical team member and brought into the hospital for assessment. After examination, all communication with doctors and team members will take place via phone.
We understand that you want to be with your companion. We assure you that they are in great hands with an exceptional team. At this time (June/July 2020), we are strictly following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and will, therefore, continue with curbside service for the foreseeable future. This protocol will maximize social distancing and ensure we can provide care to as many patients as necessary. As for our process for reopening our doors, we know that some businesses are slowly reopening throughout the region and the country. We look forward to the day when we can welcome you safely back into the clinic. In the meantime, please know that we are assessing the situation daily. There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of everyone – our team, our patients, and our clients.
Importantly, because we have been prudent and cautious during this unprecedented time, we have been able to provide uninterrupted service 24/7.
If our communication with you is taking longer than expected, or we are not explaining things to you in an understandable manner, please say something! We want all of our clients to experience superior service and we want to know if and when we are falling short of that so we may fix the problem promptly.
As always, we are here for you when needed. Learn more about signs that your pet needs emergency care. Or, call us anytime at 757-935-9111.
The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.