Goodbye to Winter

The theme of this blog is to give a better idea of the day-to-day workings of the practice, outlining general duties of all the staff and who tends to be doing what at each time on the London Road. I will note that this is very general, as we have even seen this week, which has been both hectic and really quiet for some strange reason.


A day at the London Road

With consults starting at 8:30, the morning vet, nurse and receptionist usually drift in at around 7:45, ready for any possible emergency appointments at 8 o'clock and to start answering the phones. The first thing to go on is the kettle of course so everyone is at least half awake by the time people walk in. The sign goes out, the lights go on and the vaccines collected. If there are any in-patients from the night before, the vet goes straight down and checks they are in a stable condition and there aren't any problems that end. The nurse meanwhile disappears downstairs to write up the day's ops on the giant whiteboard in prep and get a few kits ready if they are feeling especially prepared.

Then at 8:30 consults start. In the morning, both the vet and nurse are running consults. These are mostly pre-op checks, however situations that have arisen overnight can be seen here (there are always a few slots that are unavailable until the day of). At 10, the nurse disappears back downstairs to ready patients for pre-meds and check how hospitalisation is suiting day-patients. The vet follows on at around 10:30, heading downstairs unless there is anything urgent that requires their attention, to begin the day's ops. It is then quite usual for the vet and nurse not to resurface for at least 3 hours after that.

The day's consulting vet usually arrives just before 11, to run 3 appointment periods throughout the day. There will be a quick check of the emails, and scan of the day's note before first consults at around 11. During this time the receptionist has been taking calls, filing, making notes and generally making sure the vets and nurses have more than enough to be getting along with during the day. The 2nd nurse of the day usually arrives around about 12, and is immediately into the mêlée of the practice, either assisting the consulting vet in animal handling for blood tests or going down to ops to provide assistance (read as following 10 paces behind the vet picking up whatever they have dropped) down there.

At the end of lunchtime consults, everyone seems to reappear. The vets tend to have a working lunch, where they are typing up the ops histories, sorting out insurance, or just the little jobs that crop up on a daily basis. During this time, the calls are made to the clients whose patients we have taken in for the day, blood test result phone calls and general tests are run such as in-house urinalysis. This also tends to be the time for the vets to spend a bit of time consulting with each other, where they may bounce ideas off each other regarding different cases to draw up a better picture of various situations and to pass on any updates on the in-patients downstairs, whilst the ops vet downs their 17th cup of coffee of the day. The stock order arrives in this short gap (hopefully) and the floor gets its first wash to help stop the spread of cross-infection.

At the start of mid-afternoon consults there tends to be change of receptionists, as the evening receptionist settles down to clear up whatever mess the morning one has caused. These run for two hours and during this time one of the nurses also leaves for the day, however, due to the hectic nature of a vet practice, leaving on-time is a novelty. The ops vet, after writing their novella of a home-care guide for each day-patient, will hopefully head off around 4, however it can be known for them to stay on as long at 7:30 due to everything seemingly happen at once.

Afternoon nurse clinics start at 4 and continue till 6:30, however during this time also the nurse has to check and feed in-patients, clean out empty kennels, do the washing, clean and sterilise theatre, prep, kennels and the rest of the downstairs, make up and sterilise the operation kits and remain sane. How they manage every day is beyond me.

Evening clinics start at 5 and providing all has gone well, that day, finish at 6:45 with no animals left in hospital. The phones clock over to the out-of-hours message at 7 and all that is left is to cash up, wash the floors, bring the sign and check that there are no jobs left that won't hurt until the next day. Alarm is set and Ashman Jones goes dark for the evening.


What's been happening?

Well, there is only one thing that happened of any note, and that this week we had Louisa back. Louisa is our lovely vet student who is currently in 5th year at the Royal Veterinary College and was here completing here EMS (what this is will be a future blog). She will be qualified in the summer and is, from we've seen, going to be a brilliant veterinary surgeon.


To next week

Debbie Ash (vet nurse Debbie) is off towards the end of next week as she is off on her T-Touch CPD, which is mentioned a few blogs back (and can be viewed here at so we have a locum nurse in for a few days running things in the prep room. Next week also marks the next in the mini-interview series of blogs, as we get to the end of March.


If you would like to participate in this blog just email us at or head to our website where you can email in from there. Just make sure that you make the subject for the attention of the blog, otherwise we may miss it!

And for the photo, though this may be a generic black lab, everyone at Ashman Jones knows this look if Zim happens to be around.