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A Day in the Shoes of Vik, Surgery Patient Care Coordinator

As The Ralph’s Surgery Patient Care Coordinator, Vik Davies, works alongside our whole surgery team (both Soft Tissue Surgery and Orthopaedics).

In this blog, Vik gives us an insight into her daily to-dos, and how she finds her role. So whether you’re working in practice, aspiring to pursue a veterinary career, or simply curious about what goes on behind the scenes, read on!

Describe a typical day for you at The Ralph

My day starts by greeting any surgery patients who are booked in to be admitted to the hospital. I discuss each patient’s specific needs with their carer(s) so that I can pass this information on to their care team before getting them settled in the ward. Once the patient is settled, I’ll double check the details on their paperwork and ensure all the teams can access it, to help ensure the patient’s journey is as smooth as possible.

I attend morning rounds with the Soft Tissue Surgery team – who cover all areas of soft tissue surgery from small lump removals to lung lobectomies – and love hearing how our inpatients’ procedures went and how they are recovering. I’ll note down what updates I can give to carers and prepare for any discharge appointments for the day ahead.

For difficult cases that may require a little more discussion between different teams we always have multidisciplinary rounds. This is where colleagues of all areas such as anaesthesia, ECC, medicine and surgical teams come together to discuss challenging cases, encourage each other and pass on experience to others.

Throughout the day I form the communication link between the ward nursing team and other teams for our surgical patients. Good communication helps us to provide smooth, high-standard care and understanding for our patients, carers and team. Examples include anything from discussing post-operative care, arranging transfer appointments between teams and answering questions from the wards nurses about our patients.

I routinely check on surgical patients to ensure their recoveries are going smoothly and give those all important reassuring snuggles! I ensure medications dispensed are taken to wards and that discharge packs are made up correctly for any patients going home.

The end of my day is spent doing post-operative ‘check in’ calls with carers to provide any support/advice they may need following discharge. I also look ahead and prepare for the following days’ admits and consults.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The patient and carer journey is very important to me. I take pride in trying to provide the best level of support and care that I can; the process starts before the patient has even visited and long after a patient has been discharged and can really help ease concerns.

I enjoy ‘getting to know’ our patients and spending time with them all during their stay in hospital. The best part is being with the carers at discharge when they’re reunited with their beloved family member. The wagging of tails, head butt greetings and snuggles really warm my heart. It’s also lovely to see patients back for their post-operative checks and to hear how well they are doing.

I love working within a team who go above and beyond for their patients, providing the highest level of care and compassion to both them and their carers. We are a support to one another and help each other to learn.

The specialists in the teams have dedicated many years of their lives to achieving the highest level of knowledge and expertise in their areas. They care for every single patient as if they were their own and are very invested in doing the best they can for them all.


What do you enjoy least about your role?

Computer skills; technology and me don’t go hand in hand!


What motivates and inspires you in life?

For me I am motivated by being able to set a good example to my daughters. I love to make a difference both at work and outside of the workplace. It makes me smile and gives me a sense of achievement.


What advice would you give to someone seeking the same line of work as you?

Firstly, it’s really helpful to have some background knowledge of how the veterinary profession operates. I believe going out and getting some first hand experience is invaluable and would give a good insight into how everything works. It’s also useful to have a clinical background. You also have to have a good eye for detail, good communication and organisational skills.


Can you tell us a funny story from your time at The Ralph?

There was the friendliest XL bully – an orthopaedic patient. He was getting a bit anxious in his kennel so we set up a separate area for him to help calm him down. I went over to give him some reassurance in the form of snuggles, which he loved a bit too much!! He proceeded to walk around me, which would’ve been fine if he didn’t have a lead attached, and then lean into me. I couldn’t move and my legs were tied together, causing me to lose my balance. I was desperately trying not to collapse in a heap on him, whilst tears of laughter streamed down my face. Colleagues came to help as they continued to laugh at me!


Any other reflections?

One thing I love about The Ralph is that all patients are treated equally whether they have a forever family or not. One day I arrived at work to see the cutest little blue-eyed kitten in the wards who had been found all alone in some woods and unable to fend for himself. He needed a family to foster him as he was soo young. My daughters and I fell in love with him as soon as we saw him and put ourselves forward for the role.

As you can imagine, this now not so little kitten, Rio, has become a permanent part of our family and we feel truly lucky. He is the cheekiest boy; his favourite thing is leaving his toys in the dog’s water bowl and following his feline friend Mr Biskit around!! He brings us so much joy every day.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Vik’s role! Feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions about our team and how we may be able to help you and/or your pet.

Bye for now!

Team Ralph 🐾



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