Let me start by saying, thank you for trusting the Schoolcraft Veterinary Clinic with the health of your pets. These last few months have been incredibly stressful on everyone as we all have had to navigate through the challenges that this pandemic has brought upon us. There has not been a single aspect of anyone's lives that has not been affected. As a result, we realize that everyone's patience is wearing thin and from time to time, someone may not project their best selves. We do ask however, that if you are feeling upset or angry, please do not take it out on our staff. We are just as stressed and unhappy with the present situation as you are.
Knowing this, I am asking you to please be flexible and understanding. We are doing everything we can to provide you with the most timely veterinary care possible. There are some things that you can do to help:
Please be sure your phone is on and charged when you arrive to our parking lot and please answer any calls you receive whether you recognize the number or not.
PLEASE WEAR A MASK when our staff approaches your car. We have had at least two staff members that have had to self quarantine because a client that they worked with found out they had been exposed to COVID prior to their appointment. We want to prevent having to close the clinic due to positive staff, or be short staffed due to quarantining. If you do not have a mask, please let our receptionist staff know and we can provide you a mask when we come to retrieve your pet.
PLEASE, if you have tested positive, been around someone who is positive, or are feeling ill in any way, please reschedule your appointment.
Please don't wait until last minute to call in for prescription refills and call ahead and provide payment when picking up scripts and food.
We do not have any restrooms available to the public. Please take care of that before arriving.
When scheduling an appointment, be prepared to have to wait. It is not uncommon for us to get behind due to all the extra time that this new normal requires. We have never sent pets home because we got too far behind? we will stay late to take care of everyone that is scheduled. Also, please realize that if you arrive 30 or 40 minutes early for an appointment, you will most likely NOT be seen before your appointment time. We will not put you ahead of someone who arrives on time for their appointment just because you chose to be here early.
Below, I have included answers to some frequently asked questions.
In closing, I would just like to say thank you again for choosing our clinic for your pet's veterinary care. We promise to do our best to provide you with quality care in a timely fashion. Please be patient and understanding with us during these unprecedented times. We will get through this together.
Dr. Paula Sauer, DVM
When will we be able to come into the clinic with our pets?
Truly, I am not sure. I do not expect it though until mid to late 2021. We realize that this policy creates a lot of anxiety for many of our clients. We know that your pet is like a child to you and that you worry about them when they are not with you. Believe me, we would much rather have you bring your pet into the practice as your absence creates more work for us and slows the entire process down. However, until a large enough percentage of the population has been vaccinated against COVID to render its spread negligible, it would be unsafe and irresponsible for us to do so. If one staff member in our facility comes down with this virus, we will most likely have to shut our doors for a minimum of two weeks. That means that if your pet becomes ill, you will most likely have to take them to the Southwest Michigan Animal Emergency Hospital as all of the veterinary clinics in our area are being overburdened already due to this pandemic.
Is there something wrong with your phone lines? Are your phone lines down?
No our phone lines are not down. With the new way we have to approach veterinary medicine, every aspect of the appointment is being conducted over the phone, from the time the client arrives at the practice until they are receipted out. Our phone capabilities have been stretched to their maximum. To help with this, we have added cell phones and are looking into other avenues to assist in this area. However, it would help us out dramatically if you would be sure that when you are in our parking lot for an appointment that you make sure the ringer for your phone is on and that you answer ANY call that is made to you during that time, even if you don't recognize the number. We have been unable to get our cell phones to look like they are coming from the clinic number so that call that you think is spam is usually one of our staff members trying to reach you.
Why do I sometimes have to wait in the parking lot so long for my appointment?
Please try and understand that all of our appointments are more time consuming because of COVID. Instead of our technicians being able to pull all of the blood, run the tests, and do all the other tasks they were doing before to speed up the process of each appointment, they are spending most of their time holding your pet and loving on your pet to keep them calm during your absence. Our doctors are having to help take radiographs or hold for blood draws and toe nail trims because there is minimal support staff to do it as they are handling other pets. Our doctors are also having to wait for free phone lines to call out, owners to answer their phones, go through physical exam findings, get authorization for further tests, and go through diagnoses and treatment plans. Unfortunately, these are all tasks that are time consuming and cannot be rushed. We don't want to decrease the number of patients we are seeing, as that just means there are pets that won't receive needed care.
Why are appointments for routine care being scheduled so far out in the future?
We are trying very hard to accommodate as many of our clients in as timely a fashion as possible but we have to be sure that we do so safely and responsibly. The Governor's initial restrictions put us months behind with yearly exams, dental procedures and surgeries. We have been working hard to catch up and continue to look for ways to schedule more appointments. Having multiple staff members self quarantine for anywhere from 7 to 14 days for potential COVID exposures has affected appointment availability. In addition, we have had a number of staff that have had to be out of the office for medical reasons, surgeries, or to care for family members with these same issues.