Story by Megan Myers
The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVM) Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) has been recertified as a level II emergency and critical care facility by the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society (VECCS) for its dedication to providing the best care possible for emergency patients.
By recognizing hospitals that meet and exceed the minimum standards and guidelines published, the VECCS hopes to raise the standard of care while also increasing public and professional awareness in the area of veterinary emergency and critical patient care.
The VMTH’s Emergency & Critical Care (ECC) Service was designated as level II for exceeding the minimum requirements for certification under VECCS and being open to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“This is a nice way to display the dedication and level of training that we provide through the emergency service here at TAMU,” said Dr. Christine Rutter, a CVM clinical assistant professor and head of the Small Animal Hospital (SAH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “It acknowledges that our team is in a category with some of the best hospitals in the country.”
Level II facilities are required to have a dedicated surgical preparation area and keep in stock items such as canine and feline packed red blood cells, central venous catheters, and several medications used in emergency situations.
In addition, the facility must be able to provide nutritional support, both directly to the gut and through the blood stream, and consult with a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology for the review of diagnostic images when necessary.
By meeting all these requirements, the VMTH ensures that the Emergency Service and ICU have all supplies and staff necessary to give patients every chance at recovery. The certification also represents the VMTH’s commitment to a positive environment and team approach.
“I think the best part about bringing your pet to the Texas A&M Emergency & Critical Care Service is that we use a team approach to health care,” Rutter said. “You aren’t just getting the experience and care of the doctor you see; you are getting the care and expertise of a huge technician team and access to a wide variety of specialists who provide the most complete care possible for your pet.”
The VMTH will display the VECCS certified facility logo for the next two years, after which recertification will be necessary to remain a level II facility.
“I think it’s great that VECCS has found a way to identify practices based on the service and care they are able to provide,” Rutter said. “Our ECC team worked very hard to get the application and certification materials together. It’s a huge effort, but it’s worth it to be able to show people who we are.”
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216