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Get to know us - featuring Sarah Garrity

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SarahCan you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be an emergency vet tech at Allied?

- I’m a college graduate with a degree in Studio Art who desires to become a veterinarian. I’ve been working in animal medicine for the past three to four years starting with a local small animal clinic where I was trained and learned the basics.  After a year or so there I really wanted to expand my knowledge and hands on experience, which led me to apply to Allied.   I thankfully got the job and have grown leaps and bounds in animal medical knowledge and found a true home in the emergency field.

Do you have pets at home?

- I have a cat! His name is Phineas on medical record, but I just call him Cat. He likes that better. I rescued him as a 10 day old kitten - eyes and ears closed - nursed him, and fattened him up into the spoiled, squirrel tailed, wonderful cat he is today. Truth be told I’m more of a dog person, but with the restrictions of a two bedroom apartment and working nights, a cat was just the pet I needed and he is perfect - very dog-like.

Is it hard to stay awake and alert on those long overnight shifts?

- For me no. There is always something to do, whether in patient care, phones to answer, or clients to see. There is rarely a dull moment at the ER and I love to be there for the animals as well as their owners. Staying up of course is a lot easier with coffee on board, but mostly caring for our patients’ needs keeps me on par and moving - making the night generally fly by.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite or most memorable cases as an emergency tech?

- One that always strikes a chord with me is a pitbull that had consumed and overdosed on a client’s muscle relaxers. It came in basically comatose. It was unable to breathe because the drug relaxed the dog’s muscles so much it could no longer expand its diaphragm, however it still had a strong heart beat. The owners told the staff to do whatever we could to help their dog so we breathed for it manually for 24 hours before it could breathe on its own. After 36 hours it was finally able to move its limbs, 48 hours after the initial check in, the patient walked out of the hospital. It truly showed how given the chance, an animals outcome can change dramatically in just 2 days. It’s situations like that which make you proud and help you to remember why you do what you do in animal medicine.

What would you tell others who are interested in a career in emergency veterinary medicine?

- It is truly an unpredictable element. There will be days when nothing walks through the door, and days when the whole city has a problem and it’s up to the doctor and staff to solve it all in a timely manner. You have to be ready to do your best and perform at the highest quality, listen with both ears, anticipate what the doctor will want, and be there for the client no matter what - they are the ones who ultimately decide if a patient gets treated or not. Emergency medicine is where miracles happen right next to a person’s saddest moment. It’s beautiful, exciting, and truly requires heart.

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Dr. Potter is the medical director of Allied Veterinary Emergency Hospital and is the only board certified emergency veterinarian in Tallahassee.

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Guest Friday, 26 May 2017