What follows below is a short guide for what you can expect while your pet is an inpatient at our hospital. If you have any questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
What to Expect When your Pet has been Admitted
Specialty Consults and Appointments
Patients are normally referred to VERC by their family veterinarian. Typically, your primary care veterinarian will send us a referral form. The form will describe your pet’s problem and identify the appropriate specialty department to see your pet. Your veterinarian will receive a complete copy of your pet’s medical record upon discharge, including examination and procedure reports and discharge instructions. Any diagnostics that are returned after the time of discharge will be forwarded to your family veterinarian.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, please call when you arrive. A member of our team will provide you with instructions and next steps. When the medical team is ready to see your pet, a technician will collect your pet and bring him or her to an exam room to begin the appointment. A member of our team will be in touch by phone to discuss your pet’s history, diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan.
Free Parking: There are three parking spaces designated exclusively for our clients, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, right outside our front door. If those spaces happen to be occupied during your visit, any spot on the upper or lower parking levels, marked “Customer” are available, free of charge for up to two hours.
Paid Parking: All other numbered spaces are available as PAID PARKING unless marked “Reserved.” Please be careful to avoid any of the 24-hour reserved spaces in the lots other than the three we have set aside for you out front. If the three reserved spaces out front and the various upper and lower customer spaces are all taken, you will need to pay for parking in one of the numbered, paid parking spaces by using the pay boxes (cash only) located on the upper and lower levels of the parking area. Please be aware of the time you have been parked while you are here, as the lot is monitored regularly and they will issue parking tickets for cars that are in violation of the parking guidelines described.
If you do need to park on the upper level, you are able to walk easily to the building entrance on the 3rd floor and take the elevator or stairs down to our first floor lobby. Please let one of our staff know if you have any difficulty finding a parking space, or have any problems with the valets from our neighboring nightclubs, who may be protective of the lot in the evening.
If Your Pet is Admitted to the Hospital
Prior to admission, you will receive information from the medical team about your pet’s specific condition and/or treatment plan. This may include changes in feeding schedules or medications. Please ask if anything remains unclear following this conversation. Our team’s goal is to ensure that all of your questions are answered. We will always go through an itemized treatment plan with you. We will keep you updated and informed of any changes in your pet’s condition and will work with you to help you understand the diagnosis and treatment options.
During your pet’s hospitalization, our medical team will call at regular intervals with updates on your pet’s condition. Please be sure to provide our Client Care Specialists with your preferred telephone numbers if you haven’t done so already. Our commitment to you and your pet is to provide the highest standards of medical care and personal service possible.
During Your Pet’s Hospitalization:
Medical Updates and Phone calls
You will receive a daily call with an update on your pet’s condition.
- We will also call if there are significant changes in your pet’s status. You may call for information about your pet at other times, but please understand that you may not be able to talk to a member of your medical team directly. If you are asked to leave a voicemail, a team member will return that call in a timely manner.
- In an effort to streamline all communications, we ask that you designate one family member for all medical updates, and ask that he or she relay information to the rest of your family.
- We treat each patient’s medical condition as confidential. You can be assured that we will not discuss your pet’s condition with anyone but you or the person you have designated on the patient information sheet, nor will we be able to discuss the condition of another patient with you. We will however keep your family veterinarian updated of your pet’s condition.
- We will call you with an update on your pet’s status daily or more frequently if changes occur in the status of your pet. You are always welcome to call us for an update on your pet. Please recognize that our doctors are responsible for multiple hospitalized patients at any given time and may not be available when you call. When our doctors are not available, our nursing staff will be able to provide you with accurate updates on your pet’s condition.
- Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center is open 24 hours a day, so you may speak to several doctors over a multi-day hospitalization. Different doctors may be directing your pet’s care on different days and at different times of day, but rest assured that each of these doctors is knowledgeable about your pet’s case. The doctors hold “rounds” two times a day at 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to discuss each hospitalized patient. Your pet receives the benefit of having the input of multiple doctors and specialists each day. When you call, our receptionist directs your call to the doctor on duty that is responsible for your pet’s care at that time. The doctor on duty will inform you of your pet’s progress.
We are unable to facilitate in-hospital visits during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Visiting Policies during non-COVID times:
- We understand that it can be stressful for your pet and your family during your pet’s hospitalization. Visits from the family can often improve your pet’s recovery and give your family peace of mind. We encourage you to visit during your pet’s stay with us and offer ample visiting hours to accommodate your schedule.
- We ask that owners call first before coming in so that visiting time can be scheduled. This allows us to make sure there is a room available for you and your pet to visit and ensure that your pet is ready for visiting.
- If your pet is in critical condition we may ask that you visit your pet in the treatment area. Visits in the treatment area are limited to 10 minutes at a time. Visitation is not allowed during shift changes as this time is important to allow doctors to round on and assess hospitalized patients. Please coordinate your visit with your medical team prior to arrival.
- Visiting hours for pets in our emergency care are 9 p.m. – midnight.
- Visiting hours for all other pets in our care are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
When Your Pet is Ready to Leave the Hospital
Please be prepared to spend an hour or more during the discharge process for your pet. It is important that enough time is available to review important information regarding your pet’s care and that you have time to ask any questions. Our team is currently experiencing a higher than normal number of patients and COVID safety protocols are time-consuming. We thank you for your patience.
Once your doctor feels that your pet is well enough to be sent home, a member of our medical team will contact you. At this time they will discuss:
- Your pet’s current medical condition
- Briefly review the discharge instructions and discuss any rechecks that may need to occur
- Update you on your balance
- Schedule a discharge appointment
The Discharge Process:
When you arrive for your discharge appointment, and prior to meeting with a member of your pet’s medical team, you will be given a copy of your pet’s discharge instructions for your review. If questions arise, now is a great time to note them down.
Your pet’s technician or doctor will then take you to a quiet area and review this material with you. You will receive any necessary medications for your pet and discuss instructions for administering. The doctor or technician will review the current treatment plan, and discuss home and follow up care with you.
A lot of information is conveyed during this conversation and in order to reduce distractions, we prefer to have this conversation without your pet in the room. This gives us the opportunity to focus on answering your questions, but also allows you to (later) have some dedicated time for reuniting with your pet. Both of these processes are extremely important, and we respect your relationship with your pet enough to ensure that reunion is also free of distractions.
Once you feel comfortable with the at home instructions, you will be taken to a member of our client care team to complete the financial part of your discharge and to schedule any recheck appointments that may be required. During this time, the technician or doctor will leave to retrieve your pet.
- Please do not hesitate to ask if you require any assistance getting your pet into your vehicle. We are here to help.
- Our policy is to remove all bandages related to IV catheters or blood draws from your pet prior to leaving the hospital; however, in some cases, it may be necessary to leave a bandage on until they get home. The medical staff will instruct you on removal of the bandage.
- If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask before you leave.