Top gifts for clients and patients

Top gifts for clients and patients

Stores don't carry presents that boost patient health, client relationships, or practice morale. But by giving freely of your time and skills, you'll fulfill the wish list of every pet and client all year.
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Dec 01, 2009

This holiday season is a perfect time to remind yourself why you're more important than Santa Claus to pets and their owners. To be a successful veterinary team member, give the following three gifts now—and all year long.

1. An attentive voice

Every client deserves the favor of a personal relationship with you. Clients need to know who you are, why you care about their pet, and what you'll do as a dependable member of the healthcare team. Imagine what it be would like to call your doctor's office and speak to a nurse who recognized you and showed personal interest in your needs. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you were on a first-name basis with her and could reach her anytime you had a concern about your health? You can be that person for your clients. Here's how:

Offer work contact information. Many practices print business cards for team members. When you offer clients your card, you gain credibility and they gain an inside track to excellent pet health care. The cards show that your practice is validating your ability to speak one-on-one and build professional relationships with clients.

Call before clients call you. Anticipate your clients' needs by letting them know lab results or reminding them of appointments before they feel the need to phone. Proactive communication gives them peace of mind.

Ease fears. It's never easy for clients to admit pets to the hospital or leave them for a day of treatment or diagnostics. Be sensitive to clients' emotions, and offer understanding and support throughout their pet's stay. Call clients with hospitalized pets to touch base and let them know their pets are doing well in your care.

2. A giving hand

Old-fashioned tender loving care rates highest in terms of offering excellent patient care. Treat each and every pet as if it were your own. Not only will pets respond to your gentle ways, but your clients also will appreciate them. You provide affection and nurturing when you:

Show patients you know them. Hearing their name comforts them and helps them trust you. Also speak in a calm, soothing tone whenever you interact with or approach pets.

Make their beds. Throw out those thinning towels and line kennels with fleece pads or blankets. They're just as easy to clean and they're more cozy. Check hospital cages and runs frequently for moisture and soiling, replacing bedding as soon as you see it's necessary.

Spend time with pets. When the practice is slow, do you find yourself catching up on your co-worker's love life? Use downtime more effectively by spending a few moments stroking a patient's fur. The human touch can help patients recover more quickly. Quality time with pets can also boost your morale during a tough or busy day.