Acute Vomiting & Diarrhea: Team Roles

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The following guide outlines the roles and responsibilities of each team member when managing a GI patient, from client communication to diagnosis and treatment.

Receptionist

Patient and client bonding expert, client educator

  • Actively listen to the client’s concerns and advise him or her to bring the patient to the practice for an examination
  • Greet the client and alert the veterinary technician of his or her arrival
  • Clean and disinfect the waiting room according to practice protocol
  • Oversee any financial transactions
  • Schedule recheck appointments as directed by the veterinary team

Technician

Patient caregiver, client educator

  • Obtain a patient and nutritional history
  • Obtain and record the patient’s weight and vital signs
  • Assist the veterinarian in the examination room
  • Obtain diagnostic samples as directed by the veterinarian        
  • Administer medications and fluid therapy as directed by the veterinarian
  • Monitor the patient’s appetite, eliminations, attitude, and vital signs
  • Educate the client about acute gastroenteritis, prescribed medications, and nutritional support
  • Review the treatment plan, associated costs, and discharge instructions with the client
  • Make follow-up phone calls

Veterinarian

Medical expert, client and team educator

  • Review the patient and nutritional history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Discuss the examination findings with the client
  • Express any concerns regarding symptoms and explain the differential list to the client
  • Order diagnostic tests  
  • Interpret the test results and explain the findings to the client
  • Prescribe medications
  • Document patient treatment orders and discharge instructions
  • Determine when a recheck appointment is warranted

Practice Manager

Workflow facilitator, team and education coordinator

  • Provide team education about proper specimen handling and preparation
  • Provide education for veterinary technicians about proper radiograph positioning and techniques
  • Ensure adequate quantities of laboratory supplies are kept in stock
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Assist the medical team in developing and making available client handouts

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