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Waiting curbside at the vet- why does it take so darn long?

What Takes so Darn Long Waiting Curbside at the Vet?

Time well spent

If you’re headed to the veterinarian, be prepared to wait in the car. There are many reasons your wait may seem so long- be kind and keep this in mind when the staff come to your car. The vet techs and clinic staff are essential workers, and this is their new norm: running back and forth to the parking lot in 90 degree heat in full PPE, then heading back inside to the 70 degree hospital temperatures, all for you and your pets. 

So, why is there such a huge difference between the old vet visits and the new ones? Think of the old normal visits you used to have. You would pull up to the clinic while your pet started shaking knowing where you are, get your stuff ready, get out of the car with the carrier or leashed pup, and head into the clinic. Here is what your time would be spent doing,  from check in to check out:

Now add curbside time to the pie: same data, different name. 

Have patience with the staff at the time of your visit and understand the wait time will be long. Ninety minutes is the average time you would spend at a sick pet appointment in our old normal setting. In our New Normal, it’s about 145 minutes. It seems much longer than that because we are SITTING in one place waiting and waiting. 

Other reasons the wait time seems longer than normal include:   

    1. You can’t see progress inside, making it seem like forever.
    2. You can’t see interruptions or emergencies that may be happening.
    3. Sitting in the car in silence seems like nothing is getting done. 

You also aren’t seeing your normal timeline of: 

    • The receptionist who moves you to the exam room
    • The technician that takes the history, vitals, and draws the samples
    • The lab tech bringing the results in to be reviewed
    • Staff passing the room with progress updates
    • The doctor giving the exam and ordering the plan
    • The phones ringing off the hook
    • The other clients facing desperate, heartbreaking decisions
    • The treatment getting done
    • The medications being prepared
    • The charges being processed ahead of you.

A few things you can do to prepare for the visit could include: 

  • Call Equipaws Pet Services if you feel you won’t have the time to wait. We can take them for you and we will wait for them curbside. You will still make all the decisions but we will be there to assist. 
  • Be ready and bring a book (and snacks if you’re like us)
  • Be sure and check out our YouTube channel and read our blogs while you wait.
  • Take your computer and work while you wait. May clinics have guest Wi-Fi that makes it to the Parking Lot. 

 During your visit:

  • Make sure you check your phone for calls from the vet’s office 
  • Remain in your car! 
  • Make sure you have your mask ready to put on when the vet tech approaches.
  • We have YouTube tutorials to watch and blogs for you to read which may pertain to your visit or just help you pass the time. 
  • Have your credit card or cash ready for payment. Many take payments over the phone.

After your visit: 

Always ask for written discharge instructions with the full treatment plan. It never fails- you will have more questions once you arrive home and start the treatments.

  • Keep in contact with your veterinarian if you have questions you forgot to ask.
  • Look on the instructions given for answers to said questions.
  • Email is a new way to get the staff to give you the doctor’s response, if calls aren’t going through.
  • Read the discharge instructions again. 
  • Contact us at Equipaws Home Health Care for essential assistance in carrying out the treatment plan for the best possible outcome of this very important visit. 

If we can be of any assistance, please reach out. We have relationships with many of the clinics and are happy to assist you!

Lory Nelson Brunner  


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