Celebrating National Veterinary Receptionist Week by normalizing gratitude

April 23, 2021
Ethel Ava Pawlak

Hardworking veterinary receptionists and other team members should be celebrated all year long. Here are some easy strategies to help you do just that and more.

Veterinary receptionists play an integral role in your veterinary practice's success. They're often tasked with providing exceptional customer service, answering client questions, servicing incoming patients, screening, scheduling appointments, and handling all incoming and outgoing mail and email. As the interface of the veterinary profession, receptionists are responsible for upholding the practice’s integrity, core values, and mission.

Although this week we acknowledge the hard work receptionists do daily to ensure their practices run efficiently, here are some useful strategies to help you celebrate your team members all year long.

Make a plan

Start by announcing celebrations ahead of time to promote transparency and to avoid hurt feelings among your staff. Then, start small and keep it simple. For example, you can celebrate a team member becoming Fear Free certified or acquiring another veterinary technician license. Additionally, consider designating time to honor and spotlight each department. Veterinary Receptionist Week and Veterinary Technician Week are great times to recognize all of your team members' accomplishments.

Leave no one out

Many veterinary hospitals keep lay staff somewhat divided between reception and technician departments. Make sure to celebrate your room liaisons or kennel assistants as well as your reception and technician teams. Also, if you have a groomer or janitor on-site, acknowledge their efforts and contributions. For overnight facilities, incorporating fun goes a long way and often boosts team morale.

Bosses are people too

All too often, leaders receive the least amount of internal appreciation. It’s important to remember that your boss also deserves a “thank you.” One way to celebrate your leaders is by repurposing Veterinary Appreciation Day (which some celebrate on June 18) into Veterinary Leader Appreciation Day, carving time out to thank your doctors, managers, and supervisors.

Will there be food?

What's a celebration without food? When including food, be mindful of the various allergies and your team members' preferences (eg, vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free or nut-allergy, dairy intolerance etc.) Take the extra time to check labels and make sure restaurants take allergies very seriously. Your team’s safety and concerns should always be a top priority. When you take good care of your team, your practice's performance will skyrocket.

Show gratitude

Take time to thank your coworkers for teaching you something new or performing their role efficiently. When a special week of appreciation rolls around, you may decide to write a few kind words in a card for your teammates. The best thing about gratitude is it feels good to give and receive!

No article about employee appreciation would be complete without mentioning that all the thanks in the world won't replace an appropriate salary, good health benefits, and fair working conditions. But, if you've got the basic foundation in place, showing your team how valuable they are will likely help promote positivity and cohesiveness in the workplace.