We only worked two days at the Las Varas Spay and Neuter Clinic, though overall I must say the town really came out in support of their first clinic. On Wednesday morning, the Registrado or Mayor came and introduced himself in perfect English and shook everyone’s hand. Local vets and families were very grateful for our efforts in showing up to help. The Compostela Vet School team of five students plus their instructor were a great help, allowing both Dr. Poly and Dr. Anthony to attend to surgery while the students spread themselves from the prep table, each surgery table, instrument cleaning, and onto the recovery table. The local school students also observed and helped carrying kennels, working the recovery table and general duty.
As a teaching clinic, we had a lot of people in the surgery area all through the day, which adds a lot of stress on the surgeons. Dr. Poly and Dr. Anthony were excellent in answering questions while still handling a few difficult cases. With a count of about 61 animals for two surgery tables in two days, you can tell this was an “efficient machine”.
I feel very confident Las Varas can take on their own clinics in the future. It seems their coordinator managed to contact the right people, in their local large-animal vets, the Compostela Vet School, and local professionals, to ensure this clinic was a success, then let them do their jobs. Very effective management skills.
A few things to fine-tune for their next clinic:
- Cage-cleaners lined up from local students or those bringing their animals in for sterilization.
- Laundry detail for the evening or afternoon. Lalo is doing laundry at their donated rooms for this clinic.
- As with all levels of management, “train your replacement”, or train a few people that can simply fall into place in your absence.
Congratulations to Las Varas on a GREAT first clinic!
Editor’s Note: This clinic was initiated by the Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue and McKenzie Vet Services of Victoria, B.C. It was sponsored by Canadian veterinarian Dr. Carla Bell, who has volunteered her services at a previous JBAR clinic and wanted to do more for the animals in our area.