Phone fun: Nightmare on line 1


Sometimes veterinary client conversations take a horrifying turn. Heres help to take control of these discussions.

Many of the calls you take are routine. But every once in a while, you're confronted with a situation that just plain takes your breath away. Just remember, the appropriate response can help protect and preserve pets' heath. Below you'll find real calls from pet owners. Take a minute at your next team meeting to review these scenarios-and brainstorm your own-and answer these questions for each situation: 

What's the client's primary concern, regardless of how it's presented?

How can you help the client and the pet?

What's your primary goal for this conversation? For example, do you want to correct a client's misinformation or to schedule an appointment for the doctor to examine the pet? 

What are the steps you need to take to educate these clients without offending them? 




One final thought: Stay positive and professional. How you manage these challenging conversations can help protect and preserve pets' wellbeing-and remind clients to always check with the veterinarian to guide their pets' medical care. 

Oriana Scislowicz, BS, LVT, VDT, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a technician in Richmond, Virginia.


You tell us! 

Have you taken some wild client calls? Send them to us at and we might feature them in the next issue of “phone fun.” Then check out more scary but true phone calls at

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