Contributed by: Kamerin Rhodes, Veterinary Assistant for ICU Department

It has been said that veterinarians and clinic team members are some of the best practitioners of medicine there are, because we cannot ask our patients what is the matter. We have to know or do everything we can to find out.

We are critical thinkers, problem solvers, mathematicians, medical professionals, and advocates. We are students and we are teachers. We are allies to life and watch it battle with death every day.  We do all that we can to help your pet while understanding how expensive medicine is.

Our shifts are long and challenging. Our work does not stay at the clinic. It often follows us home, or to barbecues, or to the river on hot sunny days.

Compassion fatigue can occupy our days off. We may leave our shift hopeful to see one of our patients that we have been rooting for, only to come to work the next day to see a clean and empty kennel.

Like in human medicine, veterinarians and veterinary technicians take an oath to practice ethical medicine wherever we may be. Each new day we show up for work and tackle the next challenge with hope and sincerity.  We have the best job in the world, and as incredible as it may be, our days can end in heartbreak.

We truly care about your pet. Providing compassionate care for them comes naturally to us and we treat your pet as if we were treating our own. We know that being in veterinary medicine means supporting both pets and the humans that care for them.

Please, be kind to your veterinarian and clinic staff members. We are here for you.

In memory of Bambi Brown and Alisha Shelton who were valued team members at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)   |   https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/