How to support pregnant co-workers in veterinary practice
Well, I'm pregnant. Things are gonna change, but part of me will still think I'm superhuman. For instance, don't let me pick up an animal when I shouldn't. I might tell you I can do it, but be my mother and say, "No." I'll put up a good argument, but stay the course or get out the Kryptonite. Even better, if you could put the pet up on the table, I can still hold it for an IV catheter or exam.
Remember that holding animals can be hard work. So if you see me eating a little something to get through the day, don't comment on how I'm eating yet again. In return I promise not to drop the "eating for two" quip. In fact, if you're nice enough I might even share.
And who can forget that pregnancy is synonymous with dropping things? Be a dear and help me pick up the endless pens, syringes, cage cards, chart notes and everything else that I can't seem to hang onto. In this case, it would be fine to make a light-hearted comment. Lord knows I'll be complaining how many times I've had to bend over.As I get more pregnant, try to let me do some of the sit-down jobs that are easy for me to handle, like patient discharges and client phone recalls. That way I feel like I'm still contributing but taking it easy. Secretly I know there are some clients you don't want to call anyway.
When I'm close to my maternity leave, please be patient with me when I'm slow and awkward. If you think it's hard for you, let me tell you it's twice as hard for me, especially when I'm used to going Mach 2 down the hallway with my hair on fire.
And last but not least, if mommy brain kicks in and I don't tell you before I have the baby, please know I thank you all for your understanding and help. I couldn't have done it without you!
Rachael Simmons a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and head receptionist at Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Spokane, Wash.