When you walk into Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center of Willis, you’ll be greeted by the smiling faces of Brenda, Lacey, and Maggie, our dedicated front-desk team. These ladies are superstars at their tasks, and while they may remember your pet’s name more frequently than yours, they’re your go-to source for all your pet problems and questions. In honor of National Veterinary Receptionist Week from April 18 to 24, we want to celebrate our client service representatives (CSRs) by sharing some of their daily duties, and explaining how essential they are to running a veterinary hospital. Take a look at the following common scenarios in our hospital, and how our CSRs handle them.
Brenda opens the doors at 7:30 a.m. sharp, only to be met by a frantic pet owner cradling a tiny kitten in her arms. Concerned about the kitten’s limp appearance, Brenda immediately asks the pet owner if she can rush the kitten to our veterinary team. She obtains consent for medical treatment, hurries the kitten to our veterinarian, and then returns to the front desk to soothe the pet owner, and ensure her that her kitten is in excellent hands. Once the kitten’s owner is less distressed, Brenda takes down her pertinent information and discusses the kitten’s accident. She checks on the kitten’s status, and then heads back to the kitten’s owner, and spends more time comforting her, and helping her laugh by telling funny stories of the kitten’s crazy antics. Throughout this scenario, Brenda acts as the liaison between our veterinarian and the pet owner, always acting with compassion, level-headedness, and skill.
Lacey answers the phone, which has been busily ringing off the hook all day. She greets the pet owner, and realizes she has already spoken to the lady twice today. This particular pet owner is thinking of adopting a rescue puppy, who would be her first pup, so she is full of questions on how to best care for them. Although she could easily become frustrated with this pet owner, Lacey understands the importance of client education, especially for a new puppy owner. Lacey is delighted to share all her knowledge about raising a new puppy, from vaccinations and parasite prevention, to house training and socialization. A knowledgeable veterinary receptionist, Lacey is perfectly positioned to help new pet owners learn how to best take care of their pets, including before they’re seen in our hospital.
After Leo the Labrador’s appointment, his owner heads to the front desk to check out. Maggie is ready and waiting to assist. She tells the owner the total cost of Leo’s care, and gives him an explanation of the invoice. Leo has come to our hospital because he has difficulty rising and stiffness in his hind end, and he had undergone several diagnostic tests before being diagnosed with osteoarthritis. After explaining the reason for and the cost of each item, Maggie also spends time explaining the medications Leo would now need for his joint disease, and how to best administer them. She knows Leo’s owner had a lot to take in at this appointment, and repeating what our veterinarian had said in the exam room helps reinforce important information. Before Leo and his owner leave, Maggie packs up Leo’s prescriptions, schedules his progress appointment, and instructs his owner to call with any concerns or questions. By understanding disease processes and the function of common medications, Maggie is well-equipped to handle most pet owner questions.
What does a veterinary receptionist do?
Some of a veterinary receptionist’s daily tasks include:
- Greeting pet owners who enter the hospital
- Assessing pets who arrive and ensuring they do not need immediate care
- Answering a pet owner’s questions about their pet, their visit, or general information
- Checking in incoming patients
- Alerting the veterinary technician to a patient’s arrival
- Updating and filing patient charts
- Answering phone calls, which may include answering questions, scheduling appointments, or triaging a pet’s condition over the phone
- Handling incoming and outgoing emails
- Retrieving prescriptions
- Processing payments
- Assisting with purchases related to pet care, including parasite prevention products, food, and other health-care items
- Maintaining the cleanliness of assigned areas
A veterinary receptionist is the first face you’ll see when you enter our hospital, and the last one you talk to when you leave. We’re proud of the compassionate, knowledgeable receptionists who care for our pet owners and patients, from start to finish.
Although we think our veterinary receptionists deserve to be celebrated all year long, the week of April 18 belongs solely to them. Cherish our receptionists as much as we do—thank them for their devotion to your pet’s care the next time you call to schedule an appointment at Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center of Willis.