A friendly, efficient veterinary receptionist provides pet owners with a favorable first impression of a veterinary practice. She welcomes clients arriving for appointments, handles billing and records maintenance, and works to build relationships with clients and their beloved pets. The veterinary receptionist also functions as a one-woman public relations bureau, educating callers about the practice's services. Her well-coordinated training program prepares her to be an excellent hospital ambassador.
Your knowledge of the practice's operating policies provides a solid foundation for learning job-related tasks. Your veterinary hospital's practice manager, or the front desk supervisor, can review the practice's mission, history and achievements. She can also explain policies relative to very sick or critically injured animals, owners with payment issues and stray or abandoned animal treatment guidelines. A senior veterinary technician might be able to provide additional insight on animal-related dilemmas.
Your familiarity with the hospital's operations structure, including work schedule guidelines and filing systems, provides a framework for mastering tasks such as appointment setting and payment processing. Once you're comfortable with these routine responsibilities, you'll find it easier to absorb instructions for opening and closing procedures, bank deposit requirements and computer system maintenance rules. Of course, a busy veterinary receptionist may not have sufficient time to train you in this logical fashion. In that case, you'll learn to perform specific tasks when the need arises.
Pet Health Education
Your veterinarian or vet technician might ask you to provide clients with pet health educational materials. Thoroughly read these brochures and information sheets, and view relevant DVDs and videos before you speak to clients about pet health guidelines. When you're adequately informed, provide a dentally-challenged dog's owner with a canine dental care benefits brochure, for example. Illustrate your points by showcasing a canine dental kit filled with doggie toothpaste, an appropriately sized toothbrush and a soft gum-massaging finger toothbrush.
Prepare yourself to provide optimum front desk service by observing a seasoned receptionist at work. Watch her greet established clients and pets, and listen as she becomes familiar with new canine and feline patients. Note how she handles challenging payment or logistics issues. Finally, be sensitive to her demeanor as she speaks with owners of critically ill pets, or those who have been brought there for euthanization. Feel her compassion as she provides a quiet room where they can collect their thoughts and wait for the vet to arrive.
Based in North Carolina, Felicia Greene has written professionally since 1986. Greene edited sailing-related newsletters and designed marketing programs for the New Bern, N.C. "Sun Journal" and New Bern Habitat ReStore. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.