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Low-Stress Handling for Your Patients and You

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In this lecture, Jenn Fiendish, CVT, VTS (Behavior), discusses low stress handling techniques and why they are important.

This talk is specifically RACE-approved for one Technician CE credit.

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Jenn Fiendish's picture
Jenn Fiendish

CVT VTS(Behavior)

Enrolled: 08/2011

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Dallas Shoffner's picture

Greetings! First off, I loved your energy and attitude when speaking about this topic. It's clear you have a lot of experience and passion for your field of work. I wanted to ask how I could best incorporate low-stress practices in my hospital. I work on a pretty tight schedule each day, with most appointments only lasting 30 minutes in total. I find that I often struggle to build a positive relationship with the patient I'm assisting whilst simultaneously achieving what the patient was presented for. How can I work to use low-stress techniques while still being so time constrained?

Rachel Medo's picture

Hi Dallas,

I shared your question with one of our Training Specialists here at Dove and have posted her response below.

"Great question!

The best way to start getting into the habit and mindset of fear free is to think about first impressions. Understandably, with only 30 minutes to see the pet and find out its needs, you won’t have a lot of time to establish a report. Good news is most pets WANT to like you. Most pets know people mean snuggles and cookies, and who doesn’t like those? The first thing we try to do in an exam room is get down on the floor with the pet while the Owner tells you everything you need to know. There shouldn’t be any examining being done. Just pets and pleasant “get to know yous” (i.e. letting the cat come out of the carrier on its own, or sitting on the floor and letting the nervous nelly come to you to sniff your hand.) This give you 5-10 minutes to just discuss the issues/history with the owner, while providing treats/pets to the patient. Also, a lot of our pets take their cues from the mood in the room and their Owner. We've noticed that if we come into the room and sit down, talk to the owner without making them feel rushed or worried, their palpable anxiety lessens and gives the pet the signal that this new person is not a threat, but a friend of their Owner."

Feel free to email me directly at rmedo@dovelewis.org if I can answer any additional questions!