Have you ever asked yourselves what the difference between a veterinary hospital and veterinary clinic is? Most people assume that the main difference is size, but there is more to it.

Veterinary hospitals offer higher standards of service then normal veterinary clinics. At a veterinary hospital, services are often available at all times and there are full facilities for all kinds of examination, diagnosis, prophylaxis, medical treatment and surgery.

Vet hospitals are also able to provide accommodation and nursing care for their patients and some can do it on a 24 hour basis, just like human hospitals.

So how can a veterinary practice become a veterinary hospital? Well there is more to it than just calling yourself one.

A veterinary  practice can apply to become a hospital through the Veterinary Board of South Australia that conducts a rigorous inspection in order to make sure that the practice is up to scratch. Some of the things that the Board looks for are:

  1. Facilities: The prospective hospital must meet many requirements inside and outside to pass the certification process. There must be designated rooms for a surgical theatre, an X ray room, a reception area and even the size of the public toilet and its accessibility is specifically prescribed.  The assessment makes sure that the future hospitals are noise insulated and even the sewer system must meet certain requirements. The size of the cages, ventilation and internal lighting are also regulated.
  2. Staff (vets, nurses) and levels of staffing: All vets and nurses must undertake further studies and training in order to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. They must keep written records and the records are examined randomly when the accreditation process is done. A registered Certificate 4 nurse must be present at the facility during operating hours to make sure that quality health care is always provided.
  3. Record keeping: Vet hospitals must have accurate health records of all their patients and they must be of a high standard.
  4. The equipment must be of high quality, up to date and well maintained.
  5. A veterinary library must be existent, up to date and of good quality.
  6. A pharmacy must be present at the facility and stock a range of pharmaceuticals consistent with a good standard of practice.

All hospitals are accredited for a certain period of time only and they have to go through the certification process on a regular basis to make sure the standards are maintained and constantly improved.

This is why whenever you bring your pet to one of our hospitals you can be certain that the standards of care will be consistent and outstanding.

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