Allergy testing: What's each veterinary team member's role?
After pet owners have tried medications, shampoos and food trials, allergy testing often becomes necessary to address chronic skin issues, says Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Ciera Miller, CVT. Here are suggestions to ensure you're playing a role in helping owners find the answer for their pet's skin condition.
Pet owners will often ask about the allergy testing process. Make sure you are able to provide information, such as cost, so that owners know what to expect. It's also helpful to have general knowledge of the products the veterinarian may recommend in case owners have any questions about their pet's treatment.PRACTICE MANAGER
Keep information on allergy testing, such as educational handouts, available for clients who are interested in allergy testing. You can also plan a team meeting to educate your whole team. For example, you can find free team training lesson plans and tools at http://dvm360.com/teammeeting about how to stop getting burned by ear infections.
It's very important you know how to correctly obtain and submit the samples to send for allergy testing. There are often special requirements for send-out tests, which can affect the accuracy of the results if not followed correctly. You will also assist the receptionists in answering any questions clients may have about the testing process. Make sure you can help the veterinarian talk about the importance of allergy testing to improve pet owner compliance.
Once you suggest allergy testing to a client, be prepared to explain why it may be necessary to treat their pet's skin issues. Ensure the technicians are properly obtaining and submitting the samples so you receive the most accurate results. Stay informed on any new medications and diets that could be of use in treating your patient's specific allergic condition.