The Reception Area in a Veterinary Office

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  • 0:02 The Reception Area
  • 1:30 Basic Outline
  • 2:40 Goings On
  • 4:01 Medical Scenarios
  • 5:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will outline the basic design of a reception area in a veterinary office and what goes on here, from the mundane to the more critical aspects, and lots of stuff in-between.

The Reception Area

'Yes, can you hold just a moment?'

'Where is Dr. Owidhertz?'

'Can someone get a bag of food up here?'

'Here is your receipt, sir.'

'Clean up on aisle four! Puppy clam chowder on the floor!'

'Where is Dr. Owidhertz!?'

'Thank you for holding. Yes, things are going just great here. Thanks for asking.'

You can't judge a book by its cover, but a veterinary client will judge a veterinary hospital by its reception area, which, along with the waiting area, is the first area clients see when entering into a veterinary clinic or hospital. The reception area is where you'll find receptionists, individuals responsible for the upkeep of the front office of a veterinary facility, proper communication with clients, and patient admissions.

Receptionists do a lot of other things, like answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, and reviewing and collecting payment. Most importantly, they should be experts at listening to clients, answering all questions in a warm manner, and greeting all customers on the phone and those walking into the clinic in a professional and amicable manner.

If the receptionists do not do their job well, clients will judge the veterinary clinic by its cover. A messy reception area, coupled with curt receptionists, can drive a veterinary clinic's business into the ground, no matter how spectacular the medical care may be. Let's see what else goes on in the reception area and what they often look like.

The Basic Outline of a Reception Area

Without a doubt, reception areas will differ in size and design from clinic to clinic; some are very small and simple, while others are clad in marble and have gigantic aquariums in them to entertain clients and cats as they wait to be seen. But the basics are still the same. There's an entryway and chairs or benches for clients and patients to sit on as they wait to be seen in the waiting area. A reception desk with computers, telephones, and office equipment is often near the entrance to the hall leading to the exam rooms. Medical files are often seen in or near the reception area.

There may be brochures and reading material for pets. Well, not for them, but important information about them their owners can take note of. There may also be prescription clinical food stacked on shelves for clients to take home for their dog or cat, and even trinkets people can buy for their pets. There's often a scale right in the reception area where someone will weigh a dog prior to bringing them into an exam room - that's the basics of it all.

The Goings On of the Reception Area

In this reception area, receptionists are often seen taking messages, prioritizing calls, and documenting conversations, while others are finding medical records for clients and veterinarians to examine. Some can be seen providing important medical forms for clients to sign and health certificates for them to take home. You may even find the occasional veterinary technician or assistant doing some similar tasks or working on the computer. But there's plenty more that goes on in the reception area.

There may be dogs barking and cats understandably being afraid of the dogs - that's why some reception areas have special areas designed for cats only! There may be one or two not-so-happy clients waiting a bit longer than they expected for the veterinarian. A receptionist, technician, or assistant will eventually come get them and bring them into a room as soon as the doctor is ready, apologizing for the delay on the way to the exam room. Receptionists are also tasked with:

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