The recent UrgentVet location that opened on County Road 210 in St. Johns has already been leaving its mark on the pet owners in the area.
The business opened its doors with a “soft opening” on October 21 and followed it up by joining the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house Dec. 8.
According to clinic manager Cassie Jones, the soft opening worked great because it allowed the staff to understand the UrgentVet model by easing into the new venture and not being too overwhelmed at any one point.
“It took us about a week, so that we could figure out how to flow efficiently as a team,” Jones said.
One of the reasons the soft opening worked so well in this situation is because the UrgentVet approach is so unique in many ways.
“UrgentVet is really designed to bridge the gap between your general practice or primary veterinarian and your emergency facilities,” clinic manager Cassie Jones said. “It’s designed to see those acute sick and injured.”
According to Jones, that means things that may not be life threatening, but also something that can’t wait the week or two when their primary veterinarian can schedule an appointment to see the animal.
Their method means that developing a strong relationship with the primary vets in the area is key.
“We send all of their records over and encourage that they go back to their primary care for a follow-up,” Jones said.
Jones has found that sometimes the best thing UrgentVet provides an animal, and their owners is a sense of ease knowing that the facility and its staff has a situation under control.
“Probably about 90% of patients that leave here end up being able to go home,” Jones said. “We do not need to refer to the emergency facility all that much.”
Another unique aspect that UrgentVet offers are its “fear free” tools, which are designed to make the animals as comfortable as possible by limiting the stress of the environment.
This is done thanks to calming pheromones and dimmable lighting in the rooms, as well as rooms designed with specifically for dogs or cats.
The latest technology is also used to help when diagnosing an animal, including digital x-ray system where the image can be obtained immediately and fast-scan ultrasounds that allow for a quick diagnostic check of internal organs.
The facility is only equipped to service dogs and cats.
UrgentVet is open weekdays 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The facility is also open holidays from noon to 8 p.m.
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