A note from Nala:
“Happy August, everyone! My name is Nala, and I’m Bug’s baby. I’ve hijacked the blog for this month because I have something important I think you should know about. You may have noticed the nice red plaque on the wall as you leave the building with the letters AAHA. This is really important in a veterinary hospital because it means that they have taken the time and effort to work to the highest standards and are inspected regularly to make sure they are maintaining those standards.
If you know someone who is going to a clinic that is not AAHA accredited, please tell them what you love about TotalBond at Bethel and why they shuld look to change.
OK, I promised Mom I would keep it short, but please ask the staff at Bethel if you want to know more about AAHA accreditation. All I can tell you is that my human mum doesn’t take me anywhere but AAHA-accredited hospitals when we move, and there is a good reason for that!
Hope to take over again soon!”
About AAHA accreditation
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization to accredit companion animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Unlike human hospitals, veterinary hospitals are not required to be accredited. In fact, only 12-15 percent of animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada are accredited (including TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Bethel). And, nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe their veterinary hospital is accredited when it actually isn’t.
Every three years, an AAHA consultant comes to TotalBond at Bethel, evaluating us on our adherence to approximately 900 standards of veterinary care. Those standards cover everything from our medical processes and safety precautions to how we store medications and keep records.
AAHA accreditation is completely voluntary, and animal hospitals that choose to pursue accreditation work hard to stand out among the rest, providing the highest quality medicine and service. When you choose an AAHA-accredited animal hospital for your pet, you can rest assured that the hospital actually meets the highest standards of veterinary care (they don’t just say they do!).
The AAHA standards
With approximately 900 AAHA standards of care, we can’t list them all here. But, here’s a peek at a few key standards and what they mean for you and your pet:
- Pre-anesthesia examination — If your pet is going to receive anesthesia for a procedure, we’ll conduct a thorough assessment of her major body systems, including her cardiovascular and respiratory systems. We’ll also examine her eyes, ears, mouth, and other areas of her body so we can get a complete picture of her overall health and create the most appropriate anesthetic plan to keep her safe.
- Multi-parameter monitoring during anesthesia — During a procedure requiring anesthesia, we’ll rely not only on our physical observations of your pet, but we’ll also use equipment to monitor her blood pressure, respiration, temperature, and heart rate.
- Emergency supplies — Should an emergency arise, we have important supplies appropriately stocked, clearly labeled, and readily available. Time is critical during a potential health emergency, and this preparation and organization saves lives.
- Control the spread of infection — Our hospital has policies in place that help to prevent the spread of disease, including frequent and proper hand washing, the use of antibacterial agents, and thorough disinfection of patient areas.
- Humane handling — No matter how great your pet is, she may still despise getting her nails trimmed or her temperature checked. We want your pet to be comfortable during an exam, so our team members are trained in proper restraint techniques and treat all pets as if they were our own.
Seems like these should be standard practices in every veterinary hospital, right? We think so, too. That’s why we’re committed to practicing only the highest quality medicine and remaining AAHA accredited. Come in to feel the AAHA difference for yourself.