Communicate clearly in the exam room to encourage compliance


Send a clear message to your clients about the importance of parasite prevention.

Remember the Telephone game? It's the one where you whisper a phrase into someone's ear, and he whispers it to the next person, and she whispers it to the next person, and so on. The goal is to make it through a line of people with the phrase intact. But due to jumbled miscommunication, something like "Jim needs a ride to the airport" might become "peanut butter and jelly."

If you're not careful, the same thing could be happening when you talk to clients about parasite prevention, says Julie Legred, CVT, a member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) board and president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. That's because the topic is complicated, and many clients enter your practice with a limited knowledge base. In addition to monitoring parasite infestations among your patients, you may have attended CE courses, read research studies, or grilled your practice owner to learn more. But your clients have probably done none of these things. That's why "We recommend using parasite preventives year-round" can become "Don't worry about parasite prevention in the colder months."

Therefore, it's important to send a clear, concise, and consistent message to your clients, Legred says. Talk to fellow team members about how they convey their message to clients. Create a unified front and follow up with clients two or three days after their appointments to answer any questions and clear up any confusion.

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Angela Elia, BS, LVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
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