CVC Washington DC: How to be an indispensable veterinary team member


Tip 1: Do the tough work.

When you’re a veterinary practice team member jostling for a raise and paths to advancement, success can come in “doing the things nobody wants to do,” said Rick Schulkey, practice manager at Madison Veterinary Hospital in Madison Heights, Mich., at CVC Washington DC May 9. And what do so many of us like to avid? Difficult conversations with clients.

In a session titled “Difficult clients and you: What makes them tick—and get ticked off?” Schulkey focused not on mending clients’ ways but how doctors and staff can be more understanding, calmer and patient. And how the team members who do that, even thought handling conflict is difficult, can really stand out.

“These clients expect medical excellence but can’t judge it,” Schulkey said. “So they rate you and your practice on how you make them feel.” Make clients feel good, and you’ll be indispensable.

Schulkey’s suggested coping skills are to keep your goals for the exchange in mind, guard your words and actions, remain calm and logical and be patient with the fact that the client may not feel calm or be acting very logically.

“You are selling an experience and a memory,” he said. “Remember how you make them feel.”

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