What to Expect During your NorthStar VETS Visit


As we all know too well, the pandemic has changed just about every aspect of daily life, and visiting the veterinary hospital is no exception. At NorthStar VETS, every member of our team has worked harder than ever for our patients, clients, referring veterinary practices, and each other as demand for veterinary services has increased tremendously. With that, we ask for your patience and understanding that wait times are longer than usual.

Recently, a client in Robbinsville gave us this feedback. “Our local vet was no longer offering service at nights or on weekends. They had staffing issues, operational issues, and scheduling issues all brought about by the pandemic. Chili’s issues seemingly compounded at the same time. That left us coming to NorthStar VETS, and I’m sure we were not alone. We could see your attentive staff doing their best to provide much needed services for your patients and their families. I’m sure at times the volume of patients was off the charts. It wasn’t lost on us that all of you have families and pets that you care about. We can’t begin to express how thankful we were that all of you came to work at great personal expense. You were our heroes! That alone doesn’t begin to express our deepest appreciation for your collective commitment to the work you do every day. Thank you!”

At our location in Brick, a lovely client visited us with her pet. Knowing how busy things were and that there would be long wait times, she came prepared. To keep herself and her pet comfortable, she had a blanket, snacks, phone charger, and entertainment.

Why are emergency visits taking so long?
Pet hospitals nationwide are overwhelmed with sick and injured pets, creating longer emergency wait times. All NorthStar VETS locations have seen patient surges due to family veterinarians being closed or not accepting new clients. As in human medicine, our facilities triage patients according to an assigned degree of urgency based on wound, illness, or trauma. The higher degree of urgency, the quicker a patient is admitted. While this can be frustrating, it helps our ER staff assist those requiring immediate treatment faster and even saves lives.

Long wait times are a result of:

  • A larger volume of cases overall.
  • Curbside check-in procedures taking more time, but keeping our clients, staff, and patients safe.
  • Critical patients taking priority and requiring immediate refocused attention of staff.
  • An influx of phone calls increasing on hold times.
  • Diagnostic work-ups and tests (i.e. blood work, X-rays, and ultrasounds) taking longer to process due to increased demand from in-hospital patients.
  • Backlogs in our Pharmacy department as a result of refill requests from clients at home.

What hasn’t changed is our absolute commitment to you and your pet. We are doing our best to serve you 24/7, but need your help! Please bring patience, kindness and good energy to your conversations with our Customer Service Representatives, technicians, and doctors. Allow ample wait times for physical exams, patient work-ups, prescriptions, discharge instructions and follow-up paperwork.

For the latest information on how to efficiently navigate our curbside protocols, read the announcement at https://www.northstarvets.com/blog/update-to-our-covid-19-hospital-protocols/.

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