It is with mixed emotions that we write this to let you know that Saturday October 9th will be the last weekend we will be open for the foreseeable future. Let us explain why this is happening….
Our amazing team comes to work every day to provide the care and love your pet deserves because they love what they do and truly want to make a difference. We have been fortunate at King Street Vets to have provided our clients and their pets with a very consistent, personalised service, with local staff who have been with our clinic for long periods of time; some over 10 years, others over 20 years.
The reality is, we are facing a nation-wide shortage of veterinarians, borne by the unprecedented, premature exit of veterinarians from the profession. Why are vets leaving the industry? Well, this is a demanding job, physically, emotionally, and mentally. And, despite the many positives of caring for animals, and loving what we do, we play “emotional yoyo” every day we work, all day.
This is happening not just for the vets, but for the vet nurses too. We have to pivot from ending the life of someone’s beloved companion (and usually a pet we know and love dearly ourselves, not to mention our love for the owner), to making sure a paralyzed tick patient in the ICU is receiving all the intensive care they need to recover and guiding the owner through the intense emotions of having a critically ill pet in hospital. We then might have to walk into a consult to meet a new puppy and their owner and make it a fun and exciting time and a comforting place for their new little family member. We flip and jump and twist from one emotional state to another. This takes its toll, as we are generally an amiable and compassionate bunch of people in the veterinary industry, with a lot of responsibility and we set high expectations for ourselves.
To be able to deliver the best we can for you, we must take care of ourselves. Mental Health is a real issue in the veterinary profession, and we want our vets and nurses to be fulfilled in their careers, not just working until they burnout. Sadly, veterinarians are four times more likely than the national average to take their own lives. Right now, we ask for your understanding and support as we best navigate these stressful, challenging and often exhausting times, particularly during COVID.
We have been looking for another vet to join our team for over 10 months now and though we have found the wonderful Judy, we need more to function at full capacity to meet the demands of an increase in pet ownership population. It’s important to get the right vet and we won’t accept anything less for our clients, patients, and team. We know they’ll come, but they’re not here yet.
We’re aware of the impact of this on our clients and patients and it’s been difficult for us to make the decision to do it. We hope that this is only temporary, and we will notify you all when we can provide services on Saturdays again. We direct our clients to use weekend veterinary services at AES at Carrara and North Coast veterinary services at Bangalow or Ballina. We have also opened our consultation times on Mondays and Fridays to see patients who may need us before or after the weekend. We ask that clients don’t let their pet’s problems go on for days or weeks or months until they are in need of urgent attention, as this will become more and more difficult for all vet clinics to cater for as time goes on. We encourage you to seek veterinary attention for your pet sooner rather than later.
Oh, and if you know a great vet that wants to come and work with a great team, please give them our number!
Thank you for your understanding and all your on-going support,
Dr Samantha Bicknell (Director) and the King Street Veterinary Hospital Team.