Little hands make mischief

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Aug 01, 2005

Q. Clients often ditch their kids in the reception room. What should we do?


Sally Hickey
"A lot of parents have to bring their children with them when they visit," says Sally Hickey, a receptionist at Short Pump Animal Hospital in Richmond, Va. "Watching over their kids is part of the job."

The key, Hickey says, is to grab kids' attention right away. "You can't wait until they're jumping up and down on the benches and running around. At that point, it's too hard to get things back under control," she says.

Hickey keeps some supplies on hand to help her grab kids' attention early, including washable magic markers and coloring books. She invites children to color pictures that she posts in the clinic. Hickey also keeps toys, books, and children's videos on hand to keep little minds occupied while their parents visit with the doctor.

Keeping kids busy is a huge service for clients when they're distracted by Bowser's achy joints—and Hickey says clients often thank her for her help. "Our kid-friendly approach really makes clients feel comfortable visiting our practice," she says.