Exam tables in the age of Fear Free veterinary care

Exam tables in the age of Fear Free veterinary care

Choice of materials—and the tables themselves—have changed for the betterment of patient care.
May 01, 2018

In days past, a discussion of veterinary exam tables would've considered materials, height and possibly positioning in the exam room. But the conversation is changing. In this recording made at HospitalDesign360 conference, veterinary architects Heather Lews, AIA, NCARB, and Wayne Usiak, AIA, explain how the concept of Fear Free medicine is influencing even choices of clinic outfitting.

Lewis says that stainless steel tables, while hygienic, are reflective and slick under patients' paws—characteristics that are not calming.

"Having the stainless steel table is not appropriate because it induces fear and anxiety in the pet," she says.

She says using a yoga mat or other grippable item atop an existing table is one Fear Free solution.

Usiak goes one step further, suggesting adding baskets stocked with warm towels or even custom, cat-sized window sills or shelves to feline exam rooms. Then the patient decides where the examination is going to happen.

"Let the animal go to where it's comfortable, and the doctor can then see it where it's relaxed," he says.

Listen to the audio clip for more.

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