Communication Between Staff Members at a Veterinary Hospital

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  • 0:01 Interpersonal Communication
  • 0:33 Working with Veterinarians
  • 2:00 Working with All Team Members
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, you'll learn about the five key traits of positive interpersonal communication at the veterinary clinic, why they're important, and what two important rules you must follow when working with veterinarians.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication, the way one person communicates with another, is an important part of a veterinary practice, including the interactions between staff members. Proper communication between veterinary staff is important for maintaining and improving quality patient care and to foster a friendly and stress-free working environment.

This lesson will go over some key points regarding the way team members must interact in a veterinary hospital and why.

Working with Veterinarians

The very first thing that must be recognized is that your veterinary team leader is most often a veterinarian. You should always address him or her as Dr. (insert last name here) unless specifically told otherwise by the veterinarian themselves. This is done not only out of respect but also because clients need to know who is in charge. If everyone is on a first name basis and dressed in similar scrubs, clients may get confused as to what the hierarchy is and whom to listen to.

On that note, the veterinarians you work with are entitled to be listened to and have their instructions followed exactly as directed. You may not agree with a particular diagnosis, treatment, or plan the veterinarian has put forth, but you must remember that they went through the proper training to make those decisions, and it is their license and reputation at stake. By not following their directions because you think you know better, you not only jeopardize your working relationship with staff, but you might potentially cause deadly harm to a patient.

Nevertheless, if you feel extremely strongly that the veterinarian has done something wrong, do not express it to clients or coworkers, as you may be very wrong about your judgment. Instead, talk about it with the veterinarian directly. By doing so, you avoid creating a very negative backstabbing culture in the workplace that will ultimately negatively affect patient care.

Working with All Team Members

Everyone you will wind up working with will have a different personality, and it's important that you be able to get along with all sorts of different people, as it will be crucial for your employer to see that you can be a team player.

To help you strike a good chord with fellow employees, try to:

  • Show interest in what they do and appreciate their work
  • Be courteous and sensitive to the needs and limitations of certain team members
  • Be open to accepting new ideas and take constructive criticism with grace
  • Be honest about yourself, your skills, and your inevitable mistakes
  • Avoid bringing personal problems into the workplace and never spread rumors or gossip about anyone, including clients, vets, and other staff. This can create an extremely hostile work environment for everyone in no time at all.

There are five key traits that, once mastered, can really improve your interpersonal relations. They are:

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