The veterinary receptionist becomes a crucial part of any veterinary clinic by interacting with clients, scheduling appointments, collecting payment for veterinary services and routing routine and emergency calls. Veterinary receptionist training may occur during the first few weeks of employment, or people interested in formal training can attend online programs focused on this occupation.
Regardless of previous experience or formal training, veterinary receptionists normally receive basic on-the-job training after accepting an employment offer. A senior veterinary receptionist or office manager will show the new team member filing procedures, telephone etiquette, electronic payment and scheduling procedures and how to interact professionally with veterinarians and technicians.
Additional duties for a veterinary receptionist may include stocking front-area consumer items like pet food, dental care kits or leashes and collars. Veterinary receptionists also keep the front area clean during inclement weather and when a patient has an accident in the waiting room. Receptionists may need to check on the vaccination status of patients who have been seen at other veterinary offices or provide boarding facilities with proof of current vaccination for current patients. Veterinary receptionists who work until the clinic closes may tally and record all money collected for the day and close out credit card machines.
Prospective or current veterinary receptionists seeking a formal education program can complete online courses that focus on the day-to-day tasks that happen in the front office in a veterinary clinic. Subjects covered in online programs may include patient record management, billing procedures, client education, the use of scheduling and accounting software used specifically in the veterinary industry and general animal care. Online veterinary receptionist training programs may also provide the chance to work in a veterinary clinic before graduating.
AAHA Training Manual
The American Animal Hospital Association publishes a training manual especially for veterinary receptionists. This manual contains flow charts in addition to information on telephone management, pet health insurance billing, scheduling protocol, common veterinary terms and guidance on dealing with upset clients.
Veterinary receptionists should understand basic veterinary terminology and procedures in order to correctly schedule appointments and interact with staff. Knowledge of specific diseases or conditions like parvovirus and kennel cough can help a veterinary receptionist follow proper protocol when disinfecting the waiting area after a sick animal leaves the clinic.