What's your role? How you can protect pets and people from parasites


Everyone in practice has a part to play in protecting pets?and people?from parasite-related diseases.

When it comes to providing consistent parasite control for your patients, Dr. Jay Stewart, owner of Aumsville Animal Clinic in Aumsville, Ore., suggests doing a little detective work to uncover your clients' primary motivations. "Some clients will be more concerned about their pets' health, while others will be more focused on a new baby in the household who's susceptible to zoonotic transmission," he says. If you find the right way to present the message, clients are much more likely to take action. Here's a look at each team member's role in educating clients about parasite control.

If you're a receptionist

When the client calls, your on-hold message can promote parasite protection. Once you're scheduling the appointment, remind the client to bring a fecal sample to the clinic. Explain that you'll use the sample to test for parasites. Or, if the pet is on a prevention program, explain that you'll do the test to make sure the program is effective. When clients arrive for their appointments, tell them the doctor may want to talk to them today about parasite control. Offer literature to prepare them for the conversations they'll have with the technician and doctor in the exam room. During checkout, ask clients if they have the parasite prevention products the doctor recommended and reinforce the importance of giving it according to schedule.

If you're a technician or assistant

When you're taking a patient's history, ask whether the client is concerned about parasites. Then mention parasite control using your practice's prevention guidelines to prepare them for the doctor's recommendations.

If you're a practice manager

While you may not have direct contact with clients, you do interact with each team member, so you can help ensure that everyone's presenting a consistent message to clients. Schedule team training sessions and set up the process for testing team members' knowledge. You may also help choose products the practice recommends, depending on your practice structure and your role.

If you're a veterinarian

You'll share the same message the technician introduced, following your practice's prevention guidelines. Then introduce your personalized prevention plan for this particular pet and family. If you don't yet have prevention guidelines in place, meet with the other doctors in the practice to develop them. Consider inviting representatives from your entire veterinary team to help create these protocols.

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