Common Veterinary Medical Forms & Their Importance

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  • 0:01 Forms at the Doctor's Office
  • 0:55 Information and History
  • 2:16 Consent Forms
  • 3:50 Certificates
  • 4:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over some of the more common and important forms and certificates clients will receive or have to sign when visiting a veterinary clinic.

Forms at the Doctor's Office

Surely, you've gone to a new doctor in the recent past. They tell you to arrive about 15-20 minutes prior to your appointment on purpose. It's so you can read over about 20 pages worth of forms and sign on the dotted line in about 100 different places, plus put your initials in about 1,000 different spots as well.

Some of these pieces of paper are consent forms; others are purely liability forms or privacy forms. They're all boring. And you may have even gotten additional paperwork on your way out, too!

Well, veterinary medicine is not too far off from these kinds of forms. In fact, if you've taken your favorite pet to a new veterinary clinic, I bet you had to sign basically the same stuff, but ones pertaining to you and your pet.

This lesson will cover some of the commonly used and important forms and paperwork clients will need to sign or will receive when visiting a veterinary hospital.

Information and History

One of the first pieces of paperwork a client will need to fill out is known as the information sheet, which is a form where the client's name, address, phone number, and driver's license are filled out. Additionally, it is commonly this sheet where the client signs a statement where they affirm they will be financially responsible for any services rendered.

This form is very important as it allows a veterinarian to get in touch with the client regarding their pet if the need should arise, and the driver's license is important in cases where clients do not pay for the care their pet has received.

Medically, the most important initial form a client will be filling out is called the patient history form. This is a form where a patient's name, signalment, medical history, and any medications they are currently receiving are filled out.

Signalment is a word that describes a patient's species, breed and color, age (or date of birth), gender (that is to say, sex), and whether or not the patient has been spayed or neutered (their reproductive status).

The patient history form is an incredibly important aspect of medicine as its components are sometimes key deciding factors in how best to diagnose and treat an animal, as each patient is unique in their medical history and their signalment, factors which can greatly influence a veterinarian's medical decisions.

Consent Forms

After the information sheet and patient history forms are filled out, in addition to any other forms specific to a clinic, the veterinarian will be able to see the patient and client for consultation.

Once the veterinarian decides what the best medical course of action is based on the consultation, then:

  • A diagnostic and treatment plan is outlined for the client as to what is best for the patient in their specific scenario. Alternative procedures, if available, should be outlined as well.
  • The client is told of any and all potential risks and benefits involved in the procedures.
  • The client is then encouraged to ask any questions they want regarding these procedures to ensure they understand what is going on.
  • The costs of the procedures are outlined for the client.
  • And the client verbally authorizes the veterinarian to proceed with an agreed upon course of action.

Once this occurs, the client then needs to sign an informed consent form, which is a form that is signed by a client agreeing to a medical procedure based upon the premise that the client was given all the necessary facts to make an intelligent decision and an opportunity to ask any questions about it. Informed consent forms are better than blanket consent forms, which do not include many or all of the points we just discussed.

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