ER: What to Expect
While pet emergencies are never planned, it is important to be prepared in case one should occur. No one wants to walk in blindly to an emergency situation, so on this page we explain in detail exactly what happens when you come to RegionalVet to get help for your pet. Here’s what you can expect if you’re coming to RegionalVet for an emergency.
Wait time: Patients are triaged when they arrive and are treated based on the severity of their condition. We appreciate your patience and understanding that the sickest patients must be seen first when we are faced with multiple emergencies.
CPR Code: While it may be upsetting to consider, the triage nurse will ask you to choose a CPR code in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. This enables the HealthCare Team to react immediately and without delay and care for your pet according to your wishes.
Medical History and Medical Records: Your pet’s health comes first, but in order to deliver quality health care we often need a lot of information about your pet’s current medical condition and previous medical history- including current medications, recent laboratory diagnostics, x-rays and ultrasound results. Before the emergency doctor examines your pet we will review all of the available information and a veterinary nurse will speak with you. This level of thoroughness can take some time but it is time well spent, as it will result in less duplication of tests and a more focused and accurate diagnostic and treatment plan for your pet.
Examination, Consultation and Treatment: A veterinary nurse will gather the information described above and perform an exam to get your pet’s vitals. Your emergency doctor will review the medical information and history with your nurse prior to joining you and your pet in the exam room. The emergency doctor will then speak to you and then perform a full emergency physical exam. Throughout the exam the doctor will verbalized what he or she finds so that you are part of the process and are kept completely informed. The doctor will then either provide you with a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment, or if additional diagnostics are needed, the doctor will discuss the diagnostic plan and the nurse will review the treatment plan and associated costs.
You are an integral part of the health care process and the more relevant and accurate information that you provide us the better the outcome will be for your pet.
Hospitalization: If your pet’s illness requires hospitalization for treatment or diagnostics you can be assured that he or she will receive excellent and compassionate care. Doctors, nurses and hospital assistants are present to care for your pet and comfort and pain management are a priority. All patients are kept comfortable with soft blankets and heated cages. Cats are also given privacy boxes to help reduce their anxiety. We aggressively manage pain and anxiety with multimodal drug therapy, laser therapy and cold compression therapy.
Communication and Visitation: If your pet is hospitalized for care we encourage open, consistent communication and visitation. We know from experience that the more involved that you are in your pet’s care, the better the outcome is and more likely that we will meet your expectations. We will call you each morning and evening during your pet’s hospitalization and we will provide you with progress updates and current diagnostic and therapeutic plans.
Visitation hours are from 8:30 pm to 8:30 am and from 2:00 pm-4:00 pm.
Cost of Care: RegionalVet is a Level II state-of-the-art emergency and critical care hospital with emergency doctor and nursing care. RegionalVet offers advanced diagnostics, treatment and patient care, and has an onsite blood bank. We strive for excellence and to provide your pet with the very best care. However, maintaining this level of patient care in an emergency and critical care hospital can be expensive, and as such we are unfortunately unable to provide free or discounted care. While we will always offer the highest and most thorough level of care, we will also work with you to create a viable health care plan for your pet in the event that you are faced with financial limitations. We care about your pet’s health and are passionate about our ability to provide the best care for your best friend.
Something to keep in mind when assessing the cost of emergency and critical care services– veterinary doctors and nurses are the lowest paid of all health care professionals. Veterinarians provide similar care for our patients and do it at a fraction of the cost of human health care.
Payment Options: We offer Care Credit and take all major credit cards in order to help you take the cost of care out of the equation when deciding how to best care for your pet. We also offer web-based payment as a convenience so that a family member or friend can offer assistance with remote payment. We cannot however take a check or credit card if it is not in your name, and we legally cannot take a post-dated check.
Payment Collection: The emergency exam fee is collected after your pet has been triaged. If your pet requires hospitalization a written treatment plan with associated estimated cost will be provided to you. A deposit is required prior to admitting your pet to the hospital.