Although less interesting, the veterinary hospital could not function without a room full of electronics for the computer and telephone systems, offices, laundry and storage. These are positioned on the first floor so that the ground floor is kept clear for the treatment of patients.
As the practice has grown - now into a central veterinary hospital and 4 veterinary centres around Plymouth - the need for a central administration area has increased. To this end an upstairs extension to the hospital was completed in 1999 to house the offices and to free space downstairs for clinical use.
The practice office team work in a large sunny office at one end of the first floor. In spite of (or is it because of) computers a large amount of paperwork passes through this room. Most practice forms and leaflets are born here. Financial records are kept up to date on computers and bills are paid on time to our suppliers. Monthly reports are generated for the partners who own the business.
The Directors office also doubles as a meeting room where we meet with pharmaceutical representatives and run training sessions for personnel. With over 40 members of staff meetings between heads of department, vets, nurses etc. are critical to ensure good communication between us all.
One small office is virtually filled with computer equipment to run the telephone and practice computer systems.
There is still one office downstairs which is used by all of us and is where the practice library is situated. We regard further education of our practice team to be essential and the 250 or so texts on the shelves are an essential, and much used resource.
Because of the odd hours that we frequently work we provide a large rest room complete with cooking, washing and sleeping facilities for our team to use.
Laundry & maintenance
The ward produces mountains of dirty bedding which is laundered on site in commercial washing and drying machines, which work hard all day every day to keep up. This ensures a constant supply of fresh bedding to keep patients comfortable. In addition, although we use some disposable surgical drapes, for some types of operation cloth drapes are still preferred and these have to be recycled through laundry and sterilisation prior to reuse. Sterile operating gowns go through the same process.