A few years ago the practice l was at had a high reception desk, unless you were standing it was a struggle to see over it.
I did nights and at about 1am we had a cat in that had been in an RTA. The owner and her sister had been out at a party, got home, found him injured, and brought him in. We kept Socks in for obs. but he seemed ok, just shaken.
The pair came up to the desk and l asked the owner to sign the consent for treatment form. Her eyes rolled up into her head and she went down like a fallen brick.
Her sister said some thing like “oh no not again” and knelt down to put her in recovery. I managed to squeeze out from behind the desk. The unconscious owner was lying across the entrance.
She kept coming to then fading out again. The sister said “don’t worry she has a blood pressure problem. The party tonight and now this with socks has just upset her”
After about 10minutes of in and out l had had enough. I said l was going to have to call for an ambulance. The sister was upset as she said it would all resolve. I apologised but l had proper (ok to me proper) patients to see to and this was wasting time.
The sister agreed, not that she had a choice l was dialling 999. When l put the phone down the vet who had been sitting down behind reception listening and not offering to help made his move.
He jumped up
Looked down at the owner lying on the floor still fading in and out of consciousness, more out than in. When he judged she was on a slight conscious mode he said …..
“How do you want to pay your bill… cash or credit card?”
Oh dear god how l wanted the earth to open up and swallow me at that moment. How can one describe the total and utter embarrassment of that situation. I wanted to strangle him. If there had been something handy l would have pulped him with it.
The sister looked across at the vet also shocked and said “l will sort it don’t worry” and paid by cheque.
The ambulance came and took the sister inside their little “room on wheels” and ran some tests, checked her medication and sent her home. The cat went home the next day.