The "A" Team

Posted: Mar 5, 2019
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Differences in titles and roles in the assistant team allow individuals to specialize in different departments and tasks, emphasizing individual strengths and helping to distribute resources appropriately between departments. Here at Dove, we have four different types of assistants. While all of the assistants have the same overarching job duties, the different titles direct the individuals focus into specific departments and tasks to improve overall efficiency of the hospital, and a smooth patient experience.

We recently added a new assistant title, called Emergency Assistants. This new title of assistants combines duties of technician assistants and doctor assistants, and has simplified our ER floor processes. With this new addition, we now have four assistant titles including:   

Emergency Assistant (EA): EA’s are scheduled on the ER floor and we have multiple EA’s on the floor at any given time. This is the only department where there are multiple assistants scheduled at any given time. EA’s focus on emergency preparedness, assisting DVM’s and techs with evaluation and stabilization, outpatient discharge, filling go-home medication, transport van setup and driving. When other hospital staff like DVM’s and technicians are in need of assistance, they are directed to ask an EA for help as there are more EA’s to help reallocate work load.

Technician Assistant (TA): TA’s are scheduled on the ICU floor and there is only one assistant in this department at a time. While all assistants are tasked with maintaining a clean and comfortable kennel environment, the importance of this is amplified for a TA. Many of the hospitalized patients in the ICU are unable to manage bodily functions so it’s important to have a dedicated staff member to this duty. Technicians can also rely on TA’s to help with restraint, patient treatments, and monitoring.

Surgery Technician Assistant (Surgery TA): Surgery TA’s are scheduled in the Surgery Department and there is only one assistant in this department at a time. The focus of a Surgery TA is to assist with surgery consultations and rechecks, setting up and prepping patients for surgery or scope procedures, assisting surgical team during procedures, and breaking down and cleaning all surgery rooms and equipment after procedures. Surgery TA’s also spend a large amount of time caring for instruments and ensuring proper sterilization, as well as inventory and stock for surgical tools (screws, drill bits, etc).

Specialty Technician Assistant (Specialty TA): Specialty TA’s are scheduled in our specialty departments (specifically Internal Medicine) and there is only one assistant in this department at a time. The Specialty TA is the only assistant on staff who may be trained in venipuncture. Duties specific to the Specialty TA and not performed by assistants in any other department may include, blood draws, intravenous catheter placement, and creating blood smear slides. The Specialty TA also assists with gathering patient history, exams, procedures, scopes and treatments.

It’s also important to recognize the Veterinary Assistant (VA). Here at DoveLewis, a VA is a person who has the skills and experience as a technician, but is not certified in the state of Oregon as a veterinary technician. These staff members are part of the technician team (rather than the assistant team) despite their title! While holding a CVT license proves ones educational background in the field, it is not a requirement for practicing technician skills in the state of Oregon. Our VA’s have all passed strict written and skills requirements, and proven their abilities before being welcomed to our team. Many VA’s have been licensed in other states previously, where they gained the skills that they bring to our team. VA’s are restricted from certain technician tasks such as monitoring anesthesia and intubation, which can only be performed by Certified Veterinary Technician.

In a large hospital like ours, having distinguished roles makes a big difference in the efficiency of our daily work. We are always looking for new and improved ways to make our patient care and client experience the best it can be.