How to: Enter an exam room

How to: Enter an exam room

Veterinary team—there's more to it than "open door, walk through." Learn the benefits of the nonverbal messages you could be sending.
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Jul 17, 2018

Everyone who works with patients in the veterinary clinic has loads of information to impart to clients. Facts, recommendations and opinions are dispensed all day long, all for the benefit of pets. But you could be saying more to your clients—and strengthening your bond with them—without uttering another word.

This is according to Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Dani McVety, DVM. In addition to educating veterinary professionals at Fetch and owning Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-Home Euthanasia, Dr. McVety is a certified body language instructor. And she says you can telegraph so much just by the way you walk into an exam room.

Here she has three tips for bolstering your body language and sending all the right messages.

Go hands-free

Though the tools of the trade can constitute a literal handful of items such as patient files, Dr. McVety says these articles can serve as a distraction, or worse, a shield.

"If you do walk in with a chart, put that down as quickly as possible so that your introduction is very engaging," she says.

Flash the right smile

Naturally you want to appear friendly and glad to see client and patient, but this doesn't mean pasting on a Cheshire grin. Dr. McVety recommends appearing pleasant and then genuinely happy after introductions.

"That purposeful and delayed smile lets the family feel like their name is the thing that had you smile," she says.

Get in the right spot

Again, keeping close to pet and owner displays your commitment to the current appointment, Dr. McVety says. This can be done by getting on the floor with the patient or staying on the same side of the exam table as the client.

"Try to minimize the amount of things between you and the family," she says. "That's how someone feels like they have your full and complete attention."

Dr. McVety says the effect of these practices is that your clients feel as though you've really listened to them and given them extra attention. "They feel the appointment lasts twice as long as it actually does," she says.

Watch the video for more.


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