What is a Veterinary Receptionist?

Maureen and I both enjoy working as receptionists at Oakview. We like interacting with all the interesting people and pets who come through our doors. We are pretty different with different backgrounds, so we compliment each other nicely. We’d like to tell you about our job as veterinary receptionists!

The Front Lines

The job may seem pretty straight forward. We answer phones, schedule appointments, and check patients in and out. But the truth is that everything that happens at Oakview begins and ends in reception. We are the front lines. If you want to see or talk to a doctor or technician, you must go through us. You may even find at times that we are protective of the rest of the staff! We are very aware of their time constraints and what they are dealing with at any time of day. We take a lot of messages in order to keep the clinic running smoothly. You would be surprised how many calls technicians have to make in a day! The tricky part is figuring out if a call is a medically urgent one or if it can wait until later for callback. We have each had training in medical issues, so we know the questions to ask to determine if you are having an emergency or an urgent situation that cannot wait. If we don’t know, our awesome staff of techs, assistants, and doctors can help us.

Karen - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Karen
Maureen - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Maureen

The Police of the Lobby

We have also been called “The Police of the Lobby”! It is our job to make sure that every person and pet is safe. This is why we may ask you to use a leash or rein in that retractable leash (retractable leashes on their own can cause problems, and we have seen this happen at Oakview). We also separate pets into our two lobbies or into exam rooms to keep the peace. There are times when clients don’t even realize a situation is developing and may wonder why we rushed them into a room. We have to know how to recognize the body language of fearful and/or aggressive dogs. Lots of folks think a veterinary clinic lobby is a fun place where your pet can meet other animals. Unfortunately, it is not. It is a hospital waiting room. That means that many pets are sick or hurt. So, the lobby is not the place for fun. We actually try to prevent pets from meeting. This is a very difficult part of our job because clients often don’t understand. Just yesterday, a puppy was waiting in the lobby. Another client came in with a dog on a retractable leash and allowed their dog to “rush” the puppy already there. This can make any animal nervous, especially in the overstimulating environment of a vet clinic. The owners of the dogs thought it was great fun. They did not see the puppy’s anxious and defensive posturing. No one can imagine their sweet pet being aggressive, but you really can’t blame them if another dog is rushing at them uncontrollably. And besides, we absolutely don’t want this kind of stress for our patients. We separated these dogs immediately.

Remember that a vet clinic lobby is actually a hospital with sick, injured, and anxious pets who aren’t feeling well enough for meet and greets!

Sometimes we work long hours. Our “closing” times don’t mean much as far as when we actually leave. The doors may get locked, but no one leaves until the work is done. It can be difficult to miss so many family dinners, but it is worth it for us to be able to help so many pets and their people.

Although we are front desk staff, it’s everyone’s job to keep the clinic clean, so we have to take care of any “accidents” in the lobby. We also help clean exam rooms. So, we get our hands dirty, too!

Overall, we enjoy meeting the wide variety of people and pets that come through our doors. We get satisfaction from knowing the pets here get a high quality of care. We try to give that same quality of care to their owners. We know how anxious you can be when your pet is sick, and we want to be there for you. Thank you for letting us help you and your pets!

written by Karen Russell and Maureen Shewmake

Karen - Oakview Vet - Plover Stevens Point WI

Karen moved into our area in 2012, and we are so happy she chose to work at Oakview! She brings with her experience gained at other clinics and a fresh perspective.

Karen shares her life with her fiance Tim.

 

 

 

 

Maureen - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI

Maureen joined us in 2016. She was born and raised in Illinois, and after some time in Florida, she moved here in 2011.
Maureen shares her home with her husband, three children, and dog “Buddy.”
In her free time, Maureen enjoys camping, watching sports, and spending time with her family.

 

Oakview’s Rescues

Since our theme this month is rescuing pets, we thought we’d share some of the pets Oakview employees have rescued!

Oakview Vet - Plover WI

 

Chelsea was homeless with a bad injury. She needed a leg amputation. After performing the surgery, Dr. Hankison adopted her.

 

 

 

 

 

Oakview Pet Gazette Vet Blog - Plover WI

 

Shamrock had serious medical issues her owners could not afford to treat. They decided to euthanize. Nikki intervened, adopted her, and treated her medical problems. She is now healthy and happy!

 

 

 

meeko in zen area

 

Meeko was abandoned on the porch of Oakview Vet in 2012. He was extremely obese and plagued with allergies. Dr Curtis worked with him for a long time to get his allergies under control. A diet has kept him slim and fit. He is a senior now with some kidney troubles. But Meeko is a happy, healthy rescued kitty.

He worked his way up very quickly (as most cats do) and is now a supervisor at Oakview.

 

 

 

Rescued Pets - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI

 

Slugger and Blooper were both adopted through rescue organizations by our kennel attendant/assistant Kim

 

 

Bandit - Oakview Vet Blog - Plover Stevens Point WI

 

Bandit was saved by our Lead Technician Angel. She came in with a nerve injury and was going to be euthanized. Angel opened up her heart to this wonderful dog.

 

 

Finn - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI

 

Finn was a “foster fail” by our technician Nikki. That means she fell in love and ended up keeping him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI

 

Stanley was a foster of Nikki’s who found his way into our kennel attendant, Megan’s heart. As you can see, he is one happy boy with his new family.

 

 

 

 

Cerberus

 

Cerebus is but one of Lindsay’s rescued pets. He was rescued from a bad situation where he had developed some bad habits (understandably). After a short time with Lindsay, he became a happy and healthy dog. He is now 11 years old and just had his gallbladder removed!

 

 

 

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Lindsay adopted Lynus from the Anti-Cruelty Society. He had been rescued from a hoarding situation along with 41 other cats. He was 11 years old and having difficulty finding his forever home. Now he has found it!

 

 

 

 

 

This is just a sampling of the many pets Oakview employees have rescued. Check back, we’ll keep adding more!

 

 

Helping Pets in South Wood County, Wisconsin

In the late 70’s and early 80’s my mother was employed at the Wood County shelter. At that time, it was very much a “city pound” and not the humane society it is today. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of spending time with my family’s three dogs…all adopted from the shelter while my mom was working there. I recently had an opportunity to have a telephone “interview” with Beth Peabody, the Director of Animal Care at South Wood County Humane Society. Below are some of the topics we discussed (paraphrased, not verbatim as I didn’t make an audio recording of our conversation).

Lindsay - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Lindsay with one of her family’s rescued dogs

How many animals are currently in your care at SWCHS?

The number of animals being housed at SWCHS really depends on the season. In the spring and summer, for example, many shelters are faced with litter after litter of kittens. Currently, there are about 53 cats and 23 dogs at SWCHS. There are usually more cats than dogs in their care; as dogs seem to get adopted faster and are more often reclaimed by their owners when lost. In the past, SWCHS has also been a temporary home to rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ACTUAL pigs, and goats. Don’t forget to check your local shelter before you buy your next “exotic” pet!!

Do you work with other humane societies and rescue organizations?

Yes! SWCHS works with many breed specific rescues in our area. The shelter recently worked with a Basset Hound rescue to help find a loving, forever home for a Basset in their care with special medical needs. SWCHS also works with other shelters, from Rhinelander to Oneida, to take in animals when other shelters might be overwhelmed.

What does the adoption process at SWCHS entail?

People who are interested in adopting an animal from SWCHS start the process by filling out a brief questionnaire. If potential adopters are renters, they will need permission from their landlord. Shelter employees will then sit down for a conversation with the potential adopter, and to see how the animal interacts with them. They believe that the animal really has to choose the owner…that’s how they know it’s a good adoption match!

How can the public get involved with SWCHS?

SWCHS loves their volunteers! Volunteers are an essential part to making the shelter experience as pleasant as possible for the animals and human visitors. Volunteers come to the shelter to walk dogs, play with cats, and to provide enrichment to all of the animals staying there. Donations (monetary, food, blankets, and toys) are also much appreciated, of course, as SWCHS is a non-profit organization.

SWCHS - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI
Three of our Oakview staff recently participated in a 5K to benefit South Wood Humane.

What are the benefits of adopting a shelter animal?

When people adopt from their local shelter, they are helping their community and saving a life in the process. This can be extremely rewarding. These adopted animals feel such a sense of pride in their new homes, and really seem to appreciate the fact that they were rescued by a loving family. These animals are not broken. Some may be unwanted, and some may have been hurt in their previous situations, but they all have the potential to be loving, loyal pets once adopted!

What plans does SWCHS have for the future?

At this time, SWCHS is still looking for a new Executive Director. This position is extremely important and necessary for community outreach. SWCHS hopes to continue to build trust with the local community. They want to make sure the public realizes that they’re here to help animals and the people who care about them.

Beth Peabody and the South Wood County Humane Society encourages you to adopt, volunteer, and get involved!

written by Lindsey Truikys

Lindsay - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI

Lindsay has been an assistant at Oakview since 2017. She comes to us from the prestigious Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago and has a degree in zoology. She is passionate about rescuing animals of all species! Currently she has 4 rescued pets. She is smart, unique, and overflowing with compassion!

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