What’s In A Name?

Submitted by Lynnsey Hamilton, RVT-VTS (Behaviour)

What’s in a name? William Shakespeare said that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet but I have a high amount of confidence that if roses were called stinkweed you would probably be less likely to take a bouquet to your grandmother, and your probably not going to give your sweetheart a bunch of flowers called please forget me’s.

The same is true when we look at every patient that walks through the doors of our practice. We all have them, the fractious “demon” cats, the landshark in exam room two, those uncooperative dogs that refuse to get on the scale or that a-hole pug that is in again for a nail trim. Admit it, your hair stands up a bit and your heart rate elevates just thinking of them. But what if we stopped using negative projections on our patients and started seeing then for what they really are, scared, confused, unsure, excited, unsocialized, and untrained? 

You end up with this interesting perspective shift that makes you more willing to do what you need to do to help that patient to be a dream to work with. Our clients don’t come into the clinic knowing what we expect from their pets, our patients don’t come into the clinic knowing that we are not a threat to then, we need to communicate. Teach your clients about cooperative veterinary care, discuss counter conditioning, implement a counter conditioning and desensitization program for those fearful creatures.  Advocate for your patients and improve their entire wellbeing, mental and physical.

I challenge you for one month to not use negative connotations for any patient that enters your hospital. You might be surprised at how the way your care for them shifts when you start to see the world through their eyes. 

Submitted by Lynnsey Hamilton, RVT-VTS (Behaviour)
Veterinary Behaviour Technician
Low Stress Handling Silver Certified
Fear Free Certified Professional Level Two

**you can find Lynnsey presenting at our conference this year

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