Choose wisely, Practice in the real world

Watch for signs of animal collecting when interviewing prospective employees
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Feb 01, 2005

Jane: Late 20s and has worked for Dr. Taylor as an assistant since the beginning for five years. She is not a certified technician. She shows dogs and has no previous medical training. Pay: $12 per hour. She feels she is the leader of the hospital. A lot of Jane's friends are clients of the practice.


Look for the red flags
Alice: Early 20s. Has worked in a previous veterinary hospital for one year. Has worked for six months for Dr. Taylor. She has a BS in agricultural science. Pay: $11 per hour. She is devoted to the mission of the hospital.

Dr. Jeff Taylor: Is in his mid-30s and very interested in the medical side of his practice. Started practice five years ago after dissatisfaction with his income. Originally hired staff at minimum wage and has had high turnover rate until last year. Jane is the only original staff survivor. Money is tight, and the practice is not growing anymore. He has yet to equal his income from his first job. Avoids conflict.

Sylvia: 20 years old and has worked for three months as a receptionist. She is the only receptionist. Dr. Taylor's wife substitutes for Sylvia when needed. Sylvia is involved with Greyhound rescue.

Scene One Jane Meyer is a bossy sort and somewhat loud at times. She watches out of the corner of her eye as Alice washes some slides. Dr. Taylor re-uses the slides used to perform fecal tests, and Alice has just finished rinsing and drying several. Alice now places them against the side of the sink and walks away.

Jane calls her over and bluntly tells her that she likes to use a different soap and that the propping angle for those slides is too low. She states that it will cause spotting of the slides. Jane smiles as Alice adjusts the slides. Alice smiles back weakly. She returns in 30 minutes to inspect, clean, polish and put them away.

Later that day, Alice prepares the examination room for the next patient — an obese Maine Coon cat named Killer owned by Janet Spiller. Alice weighs Killer at 28 pounds. Janet had bought Killer from a breeder a few years ago.

Just then, Jane appears from the back.

"You know, Janet, that Dr. Taylor will try to be nice and tell you that Killer is a little overweight. You should know that he is totally obese, and you need to put him on a diet." Jane opined.

Janet Spiller was shocked and immediately came to Killer's defense.

"Main Coon's are supposed to be "big boned," and he hardly eats a thing. He may be a little overweight, but I can't really see how," she replied.

Dr. Taylor enters the room and begins his examination while Jane and Alice exit. Alice starts to prepare the vaccinations for Killer behind the exam room when suddenly Jane blurts out in a loud whisper.

"You know that fat cat is really not a Maine Coon at all. It is just a big fat cat that some local breeder is passing off as a Maine Coon?"

Alice tries not to listen.

Dr. Taylor cringes in the next room as he can hear every word that Jane had just "whispered".

Janet had been stroking Killer during the examination and had hesitated briefly as Jane's whispers floated into the room.