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Even the most routine vet visits can be stressful for both the pet and the owner. No matter how skilled you are as a veterinarian professional, trips to the vet can be scary for our four-legged friends and their anxiety can make their caretakers unhappy. The reality of being a vet or a vet tech is that, no matter how exceptional the care, most pet owners report that their pets hate going to the vet. A good way to decrease the tension of having to bring in pets for check-ups and medical hiccups is to craft a welcoming and comforting lobby. The waiting room for your clinic is the first real-life impression that your client will see, so you want to make sure that you get it right by ensuring that the environment is both relaxing and friendly. The more peaceful and diverting your waiting space is, the easier the visit will be for everyone. Create a bond with the patrons and critters that pass through your practice from the lobby to the exam room with these tips. A friendly first impression from your staff The importance of hiring quality professionals shouldn’t stop at hiring veterinarians and vet techs; the role of the receptionist (or receptionists) is essential to creating a warm and empathetic environment.  Your receptionist helps to set the tone of the visit. The skills involved in being a great receptionist go beyond administrative tasks and answering the phone. A great receptionist will be friendly, detailed, and considerate. But they will also have the ability to pay close attention to the waiting area and prioritize needs, noting which pets will need immediate attention. And a great receptionist will also be able to offer guidance and direction when it comes to providing accurate wait times, detailed instructions on filling out paperwork, and the ability to quickly access client files.    But, the most welcoming aspect is showcased by providing the hospitality you’d like to receive: opening the door for clients with children and cat carriers, greeting everyone who arrives or making eye contact with every new person if on the phone, and offering to hold a leash if necessary. By acknowledging a client and extending additional courtesies it will make them feel seen and valued, decreasing tension in the client and making for an easier overall visit.  Providing privacy for sensitive pets and emotional clients Not all veterinarian spaces are created equally, and for some animals, the waiting room is not an appropriate spot for them. While some lobbies might be able to account for private areas to separate pets from one another, often that isn’t the case. And while all pet owners appreciate being taken directly into the exam room that realistically won’t be a regular occurrence. However, there are some instances where privacy is paramount. Even while you are working on making your lobby as welcoming and inviting to both the pets and the pet-parents, there are some animals that can’t handle the hullabaloo of a lobby--no matter how calming and relaxing.  It’s important to carefully assess how your waiting area will affect sensitive pets. A way to provide ease and relaxation to both nervous pet and owner is to ensure that you have one clean open room separated from the lobby to eliminate or decrease the stress for sensitive pets such as cats or skittish dogs. They will benefit from this kind of privacy and it will also help reduce the stress for other pets and people in the waiting room.    It’s also important to be mindful of vet visits that will be emotional for the owner. It is essential to keep your receptionist aware of the appointment schedule and for everyone to be cognizant of when to expect a potentially emotional client. We all love our furry friends, and it is necessary to prioritize privacy when anticipating a visit that will include a quality of life conversation or euthanasia. By giving the client a safe and quiet space to grieve and process, such as a closed exam room, it will help them through a difficult time. Eye on design The physical space of your veterinarian's office waiting room is just as important as providing hospitality, professionalism, and empathy to your clients and their pets. Even the smallest space can be maximized to provide an entertaining, enjoyable, comfortable, and safe waiting room. While it’s essential to ensure that your clinic looks clean and professional, it’s also important to implement design and decorating elements that make your location easy-to-access, welcoming, and calming.    There are simple ways to include elements of design in your lobby that will establish an environment that will be appreciated by both pets and pet parents. No matter the size of the space, you should limit clutter, whether that is being judicious about the number of retail items you have on display or keeping additional leashes and other items behind the counter, reducing clutter will reduce anxious energy in pets. You can create a more welcoming space by carefully curating the design, this can be executed by utilizing branded, if applicable, and/or muted paint options. Hanging photos and paintings of pets is also a nice touch. Make sure to limit use of clashing colors or chaotic and hectic art. The same energy should be considered when it comes to noise level within the waiting room, relaxing music or a TV set to Animal Planet , or something similarly informational, is a nice touch--but make sure that the volume is reasonable, waiting rooms are often already a noisy space. Make sure that your design includes informational aspects, including informational posters with helpful health advice and a very carefully maintained bulletin board. It is important to be able to balance the information posted within the lobby while ensuring that it doesn’t become cluttered and outdated.  And, finally, ensure that you provide comfortable furniture for all clients. You never know how long a wait might run and you want to ensure that all clients are able to wait in a comfy chair in a clean and carefully decorated space.    Decreasing fear for our furry friends Lastly, it is important to attempt to reduce fear for our furry friends by being proactive, and that starts in the waiting room. It is important to be mindful that even the most silent or seemingly relaxed pets are likely experiencing some degree of anxiety. By employing stress-reducing initiatives as soon as pets arrive it can make for a much more relaxed and easy vet visit overall.    Some of these fear decreasing practices can include implementing Fear Free practices, which is a transformative initiative created by Dr. Marty Becker that provides programs, courses, and certifications that will assist all vets and staff in skills to reduce the trauma a pet experiences when they go to the vet, and is something to be considered when hiring new staff for vet and vet tech positions.    Decreasing fear for pets can also take the form of utilizing stress-reducing products to pets when they first arrive in the waiting room, such as Ceva-brand products including the pheromone Feliway for our feline friends and Adaptil for the canines.    No matter what programs or initiatives you decide to implement for your practice, reducing stress starts upon entry and within the lobby. All of your staff should be skilled in fear reduction to ensure that repeat visits are more comfortable and less scary for all pets and people involved Questions and answers to consider when it comes to your veterinarian office lobby What are the benefits of creating a more welcoming waiting room for your veterinary hospital? Providing a more comfortable, welcoming, and stress-free waiting room ensures that the pets experience less trauma which results in more accurate exams, blood tests, and vital readings; as well as ensuring less sedation and injury. A welcoming waiting room also makes pet parents feel confident with their provider choice and more interested in returning to your practice. It establishes a trusting relationship between the pet owner and the provider, and a welcoming waiting room ensures an easier exam for the owner as much as it does the pet.  What are some additional aspects that can be implemented that will make for a better veterinary hospital waiting room?  Additional supplementary considerations are providing refreshments for both pet and owner, having a play space for pets to let off steam, and providing free WiFi.  How do we bypass the frustration with wait times at a veterinary hospital?  Some ways to reduce wait times at the vet is to provide online forms for pet owners that they can fill out ahead of time and at their convenience. Another way is to ensure that your staff is trained on how to shift teams to assist when another team is falling behind. Sometimes, no matter how much a practice is striving to run exactly on time, the reality is that it can’t always be the case. The best way to ease the irritation of longer wait times is for the receptionist and staff to give updates about when the client will be seen--and to be direct and honest about the length of wait. And in the absolute worst-case scenario, it might be beneficial to offer a new appointment time to a client if they are going to be experiencing an unusually long wait. //
The veterinary industry is home to a wide range of different careers and opportunities, including vet tech jobs. People that venture into this industry have at least one thing in common -- their love of animals. There are plenty of different ways to help these animals and each one will require certain specialties.   With that being said, finding the right career path can be difficult with so many options to choose from. Knowing what would be required under the different types of vet tech jobs will help you narrow your focus down.   Let’s take a look at some of the major career paths for veterinary technicians.   Zoo Vet Tech   As a zoo vet tech, you can expect to work alongside exotic animals assisting zoo veterinarians. Certification requirements will include 10,000 hours of experience in the field. If you’ve always been a lover of the zoo, this is the perfect career for you.   Veterinary Nutrition Tech   These veterinary technicians are responsible for managing animal nutrition. Certification requires 4,000 hours of experience in nutrition for animals. Many people believe proper nutrition is only for humans, but animals need it too!   Veterinary Dental Tech   If you like teeth and love animals, then you would enjoy being a veterinary dental tech. In order to be certified as one, you will need 6,000 hours of vet tech experience and at least 3,000 of those hours in dentistry. Veterinary dental techs perform dental care and cleanings for animals.   Vet Tech Anesthetist   Vet tech anesthetists assist with monitoring ventilation and sedation during surgeries and procedures requiring anesthetics. If you are looking to be certified, you will need 6,000 hours as a vet tech, with at least 4,500 of those hours in anesthesia.   Veterinary Surgical Tech   As a veterinary surgical tech, you will be responsible for overseeing pre- and post-operative care during surgical procedures. 6,000 hours of vet tech experience will be required for certification, with 4,500 of those hours in surgical work.   Veterinary Behavior Tech   Veterinary behavior techs work with all different types of animals, monitoring their behaviors and training them to behave a certain way. They also relay important information to the pet owner as direction for moving forward. You will need 4,000 hours as a vet tech to be considered for certification.   Internal Medicine Vet Tech   Internal medicine vet techs will deal with a wide variety of animals, both large and small, performing advanced diagnostic services. They will also curate a treatment plan to get these animals back to health. 6,000 hours of vet tech experience will be needed for certification.   Equine Vet Tech   Much like the title describes, these veterinary technicians will be working with horses. They will be responsible for providing all types of different services on these animals, including routine and emergency procedures. For certification, you will need to go through the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians.   Emergency/Critical Care Vet Tech   If a pet has undergone massive trauma and requires emergency help, they call on the critical care vet tech to assist the veterinarian in performing emergency procedures. You will need 5,760 hours as a vet tech to be certified as an emergency and critical care vet tech.   Clinical Pathology Vet Tech   Clinical pathology vet techs examine an animal’s bodily fluids in order to diagnose them with a disease. These vet techs will perform on a variety of different animals, including both large and small animals.   Becoming a vet tech is only half the battle, figuring out what to specialize in is the other half. Doing so, however, can ensure you get stuck doing something you love to do.
A resume is a key component to applying for jobs, but they are not always easy to write. What all should you include in it, and how do you emphasize your skills and strengths can be difficult to determine. This is the first thing a prospective employer will see about you, so it is important to make your resume stand out. Here are some tips for putting together a great resume. Contact Information Your name, phone number, and email should all be at the top of your resume, in a clear, easy to read font. Make sure you have a professional voice mail greeting too, as calling a prospective employee and getting an odd greeting, like a fake answer greeting, can give them the wrong impression of you. To make your resume stand out, try making your name and phone number a different color than the standard black ink used in resumes. This will help you stand out as someone different from everyone else applying. Employment Objective The next section of a resume usually displays your employment objective, which can be one of the more tricky sections in a resume. If you know exactly what you are looking for in your job opportunities, including might help you gain the position. However, this may also be detrimental if you are looking for a specific niche position and the clinic you are applying to does not have that available. Try not to make your objective sound too broad but leave enough room in it that a prospective employer can get an idea of what you are wanting. Summary Some choose to include a summary next, to give a basic overview of their qualifications, experience, and skills, so the employer does not have to read the entire resume to gain this knowledge. If you choose to include this, do not go over three sentences. This information is highly detailed later in your resume, so you can be brief in this section. Experience This section covers your employment history for at least the last 10 years. Begin with your most recent job and work backward from there. For each job, list your job title, the employer's name, the dates of your employment, and your job duties. If there are any specific accomplishments from the job, include those as well. Education For listing your degrees, do what you did for the experience section and begin with your most recent degree, moving backward from there. List your major and any minors you obtained, along with any certifications or licenses, and special training. If you took any specialized classes that are relevant to the position, include those as well. For example, if you are applying at a clinic that only treats dogs and cats, you may not need to include your studies into livestock medicine, since it may not be likely to come up in that job. If you had any honors or won scholarships, include those in this section too. Special Skills If you have any special skills, like you studied a specific field, or mastered a specific surgical technique, those should be included here. This is also where you can list your technical skills. Additional Information Create a section for any memberships in professional associations, community service groups, and scientific organizations. If you have specific research interests, that should have a section too, along with grants you have received, published journal articles you wrote or contributed to, and any presentations you have given at conferences.   If you have any experience volunteering, include that information too, it can help show your prospective employer that you care about helping animals. Additional Tips Try to keep your page to one to two pages. It can be hard to rein it in sometimes but giving a prospective employer a six-page resume is excessive, and it is unlikely to be read in full. Make sure everything is written clearly, yet briefly. Try to avoid using statements like "excelled at," because they can be seen as too over the top. Make sure you are always completely honest about your background in your resume. If you lie about experience or give your credentials a little "padding," and the employer finds out, it can cost you the job, even if it is years after you were hired. This can hurt your chances of working in the industry in general later on.
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