Nurse Mel has worked at Lort Smith for four years. She has had a lifelong affinity to animals though it took her a little while to find her calling as a vet nurse.
“We put our very special family dog of 16 years, Timbo, down in 2014. It was caring for him in his senior years that inspired me to return to study and become a vet nurse,” remembers Mel.
Mel can usually be found in the wards working with inpatients, in the theatre or our intensive care unit (ICU). Two nurses and one vet are rostered on in the ICU during the day, and one vet and one nurse during the overnight shift. It’s not a huge workspace and can quickly fill up when vets discuss a complex/unusual case, or nurses come in to admit a patient.
“The best thing about working in ICU can also be the worst thing about ICU – it’s always busy and intense and you just never know what will come through the door next. Hit by a car? Respiratory distress? Cardiac arrest needing CPR? Seizuring animal? Uncontrolled diabetic? Anaemic puppy/kitten? There’s never a dull moment!” says Mel.
Cleanliness, hygiene and infection control are paramount in any hospital setting. The covid-19 outbreak has seen an increased level of cleaning across Lort Smith.
“Washing and sanitising hands has always been an important part of reducing transmission of disease from animal to animal – since the covid-19 outbreak there has been even more importance placed on it. Three people in the small ICU room during the day is not ideal. We try not to stand too close to each other unless it is necessary for handling or checking patients,” explains Mel.
Lort Smith is an essential community service and continues to offer emergency, urgent and essential care to animals. Like a human hospital, our on-the-ground vets, nurses and customer service teams are true heroes!
Thank you Mel for your hard work and incredible commitment to the animals in our care.