What is a triage?

In human and veterinary medicine, triage involves assessing each patient’s condition on arrival to determine which patients need immediate medical attention. The goal and purpose of triaging is to identify and treat any immediate and life threatening conditions first.

What happens when they take my pet back to the treatment area?

Our emergency team will get a quick history of what happened from you and do a quick evaluation of your pet’s vital signs, comfort level, and overall stability. If the “TPR” or “temperature-pulse-and respiration” is abnormal, or the triage staff feels as though your pet is painful or unstable, a doctor will be notified as soon as possible so treatment can begin. This may include starting immediate therapy or diagnostics as the doctor sees necessary and will be discussed with you.

This evaluation is critical for appropriate prioritization of care for your pet and other critical animals, and can facilitate life-threatening conditions to be identified so treatment can be started as soon as possible.

If your pet is categorized as unstable, our staff will keep them in the treatment area, allowing for quick judgment and prompt treatment as needed.  We will update you as soon as possible on your pet’s condition and the doctor will speak to you as soon as they are able.  Please keep in mind that there are often multiple patients being assessed and treated at the same time, but know that priority is always given to the most critical patients first.

Can I go with my pet back to the treatment area?

There are other critical patients and often procedures ongoing in the treatment area with various medical supplies and IV lines that are a safety hazard for untrained staff. Therefore, it is protocol for owners to stay in the front for their personal safety and to ensure proper patient care.