3 Pointers for parasite prevention education
An emphasis on parasite prevention and tips for informing clients on the topic.
According to Beckie Mossor, RVT, program director at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts, it’s critical to view parasites as lifelong preventable diseases. At the 2021 New York Vet show in New York, New York, she highlighted the importance of having a passion for parasite prevention and control and shared the pointers below for promoting client compliance.
Change the client’s mindset
It’s a veterinarian’s responsibility to advocate for their patients, provide the best patient care, and strive for the best patient outcomes. Ensure clients understand this when you are suggesting parasite prevention, Mossor said. Though you may feel like a salesperson when recommending parasite preventions and clients are resistant, you can change their mindset by informing them that you are simply looking out for their pet’s best interest.
“When I start to feel salesy and feel [a client] pushing back at me I can say, ‘I totally understand your resistance, I just want to make sure you’re educated on the risks [of parasites] because I don’t want you to come back and feel like I didn’t give you the education you needed,” Mossor told attendees.
Find client empathy points and values
Mossor also recommended knowing your client’s empathy points when addressing parasite prevention. Ask yourself: What does this client already know? What do they really care about? She used the example if your client values organic and holistic medicine, you can relate to them and let them enlighten you on any information they are aware of before educating them with your knowledge of the topic.
“I respect [the client’s] point and then I find a way to basically enrich that point and say, ‘I know you believe in organic medicine and holistic medicine, but we will not be able to follow through with your plan long term if we do this, so I know I can give [your pet] this and we can prevent [parasites],'” Mossor said.
Once you discover the empathy points, you can then make the proper treatment recommendation which goes a long way in ensuring the client uses it. According to Mossor, for instance, if you have a client that shares that their dog "eats, sleeps, and breathes" with them, they likely don’t want a topical as that can be “gross” when laying in bed with their pet. Rather, tailor their recommendation to an oral, collar, or injectable treatment method.
“If our [treatment] recommendation is not going to work for [our clients], what are they going to do? Not use it,” she shared.
“If we know what’s important [to clients], what they already know or what they care about and what they believe, we can have a conversation that is effective and time managed and that they’re going to do,” Mossor concluded.