What Does the Internal Medicine Assistant Do?
My name is Colleen, and I am the internal medicine assistant here at Sunstone. One of the questions I am most often asked about my job, right after “what is the weirdest animal you see?”, is what I do as a part of the Internal Medicine team. As a client, you spend most of your time with the doctor, so you may not see much of what Katie, the Internal Medicine technician, and I do every day. As Dr. Elliott’s team, we do everything we can to let him focus on figuring out what is going on with your pet and making them feel better.
Before each appointment, we sort through the medical history, making sure he has all of the puzzle pieces at his disposal. Katie or I then meet with you, the client, to hear the full story from the person who has been by the patient’s side at every step. This gives Dr. Elliott a more complete picture to base his conversation with you off of.
Once his exam is complete and a treatment plan has been decided on, Katie and I jump into gear. We take X-Rays for Dr. Elliott to evaluate, administer medications and draw blood, which we may test ourselves in our clinic or we may send out to a lab. Some patients need more advanced imaging or procedures which require Dr. Elliott to be involved. In these cases, we set up everything Dr. Elliott will need. One of my favorite parts of my job is mentally rehearsing each procedure to think through anything that could possibly be useful to have on hand. We also prepare the patient, sometimes setting an IV catheter, giving sedation, or fully anesthetizing the animal. Once all the testing is done, we fill any prescriptions, give demonstrations you may need to continue their care, and send them home with you.
Once your fuzzy friend is at home, there are often questions that arise. We hope that you will not hesitate to call us for answers. Katie and I are always happy to chat, sort out any confusion or get an update on the progress being made. We pass these messages on to Dr. Elliott to make sure the pet is responding the way he expected. The Internal Medicine team does not often see simple cases, and treatment changes may be necessary along the way. Good communication with our team is key to making sure your pet is getting the best care possible.
Now that you know a bit about what I do, you should also know that I really, really love my job. I have been told that this is somewhat unusual, but I can’t seem to help myself. I am happy when Monday morning rolls around and, my husband will attest, it took some convincing to get me to agree to a week-long vacation away from Sunstone this summer. There are lots of reasons why I am lucky enough to feel this way, but one of the biggest is that I am blessed to be a member of an amazing team of people. I have worked with Dr. Elliott and Katie for about two and a half years now, and I could not admire them more. When Dr. Elliott decided to start his own practice, I was more than happy to follow my fearless leader. This practice, Sunstone, has been a wonderful place to work, with staff who respect each other immensely, and who care deeply about both pets and their people. It’s hard not to love your job when you are surrounded by this environment day in and day out, and I hope that passion is clear every time you walk through our door.
Internal Medicine Assistant