Our friendly patient services coordinators like Chelsea Jacobs are often the first people you interact with at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. They manage check-ins and appointments and can answer many of your appointment questions.
Chelsea has been with the Small Animal Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Surgery team for nearly two years. Originally from Kent, Washington, she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from WSU and lives in Pullman with her husband and their 15-year-old flame point Siamese cat named Phinneas.
“He’s the love of my life. Obviously, my husband is wonderful, too. He’s who got me into cats,” Chelsea said.
She recently took the time to discuss her experiences at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and other thoughts.
What is your typical day like at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?
I usually get in at 8 a.m. and start going through my emails, checking voicemail and making sure everything is set up for the day. I make sure we have radiographs and records for all the patients coming in and triple-check to make sure the doctors have what they need.
Sometimes I feel like Mickey Mouse in “Fantasia” when all the brooms are dancing – it is like chaos but organized. It is like a different set of magic brooms every day.
What made you want to work in veterinary medicine and at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital?
I was an EMT when I lived in western Washington. I love the medical field and I really love being around people who are smarter than me. I kind of feel like if I am the smartest person in the room I am not in the right room, and I am never the smartest person in the room here.
I really like the teaching hospital because everybody who is here really wants to be here. In human medicine, understandably, there are a lot of people who can be jaded, but here it is special because everyone is so motivated and so engaged and they truly love what they do – and it is infectious.
What are your favorite things about your job?
The people I work with really make the job great. It is fun working with a team that is really engaged and that cares about what they are doing and their patients.
It is also nice that when I have a really bad day, I can go for a puppy hunt. I will grab a co-worker and say we are going for a puppy hunt. Puppies always make things better.
What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
I sew a lot in my free time and eventually I would like to do that in my career, but I can’t imagine not having a job like this in addition. Having that balance between something using the more analytical side of my brain and being able to use the creative side, I feel like I always have to have both.
I would also like to become independently wealthy and have a senior cat ranch! That is the main goal – I want to adopt all the senior cats that nobody wants, and it would be like a hospice ranch for kitties.
What advice would you give to pet owners?
Get insurance! It is just such a bummer, especially with orthopedic surgeries, fractures, and stuff like that, things that people don’t think will happen to their pet, and then all of a sudden you have to come up with all of this money. It is just heartbreaking. Having insurance could mitigate so many of those heartaches.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Sewing. I primarily use vintage sewing patterns – I have hundreds. I use all vintage fabrics, too. I’ve done that since I was a kid. I absolutely love it.
I also collect weird ceramic birds and other stuff from estate sales. I always go to those to try to get materials, but then I end up with all this other stuff. My house is like a grandma thrift store.