This won't hurt a bit: dvm360's best vax hacks
We're giving this our best shot (sorry, had to)here's our collection of tips and hacks to help you jump vaccination hurdles with your clients.
Hey, how'd you get that hack?
We asked you! No, really-in a survey, dvm360 Clinical Updates: Practice Hacks. Over a hundred veterinarians, practice managers and team members chimed in with ways to make life easier for you, your patients and your clients, which we've organized into categories (get the full list here). It's a hack jackpot (a hackpot?)! But we didn't stop there-we've also spliced in a number of Idea Exchanges from one of Vetted's parent pubs, Veterinary Medicine.
Preventive medicine is a critical component in any pet's healthcare plan-and vaccinations are at the top of the list in terms of importance. But like any preventive treatment, you'll often hear all kinds of crazy excuses from your clients. Which is why we're here with some fascinating, useful hacks from your veterinary peers to help polish your communication skills-and help clients see things your way.
Calming techniques for better veterinary visits
> "For puppies especially we use Gerber's baby food, chicken or beef work the best. Most puppies and even some kittens are busy eating."
> "We feed canned cheese to those that like it and do not have food restrictions, gently wave a toy to redirect their focus, rub acupressure points to calm and distract, have their owners talk to them (at a safe distance)."
> "We use abundant amounts of Kong paste."
> "I gently pull/roll the skin at the location I will inject the needle-works like a charm, like dentists do to your gums."
> "I fill 3cc syringes with Nutical and feed it to kittens during vaccination."
> "Treats treats treats. Allow the nervous pets to pretend they are leaving and inject at the door."
> "After drawing up a vaccine for a cat or small dog I always change the needle to a new one. Surprising how dull the needle is after puncturing a couple vials."
> "Pill pockets as a distraction … sadly, cats are too smart for this."
Client communication for a better patient experience
> "Inform as I perform. Give them a 'massage pad' designed by a friend of mine, as a gift. Massage pad can be used on their pets or themselves."
> "I talk with the family while vaccinating. Cats don't even notice."
> "Each new puppy or kitten gets a personal 'baby book' to bring back each visit. Clients smile every time."
Favorite tools, tips and tricks to educate clients
> "CAPC; we live in a high rabies epidemic area."
> "I've had clients ask me what a vaccination is, which stuns me that some people still don't know about vaccines, so I try to give the simplest answer I can think of which is 'they help protect your pet from getting sick.'"
> "Acknowledge the shortcomings of vaccines. Recognize that there is no one size fits all vaccination protocol. Allows clients to see that I'm not just blindly following some predetermined vaccination routine but am selecting a protocol according to their pet's best interest."
> "We tie the benefit to our geographic location and further stress the dangers of Parvo in our area (it's really bad here)."
> "Vaccination of pets creates a 'wall of immunity' for all pets. When a pet isn't vaccinated it can create a “crack in the wall” putting animals at risk."
> "I remind clients that in my practice I still see two or three cases of distemper and parvovirus each year. Distemper is mostly incurable-better to vaccinate."
> "I like to ask them if they are familiar with what the diseases are that we are planning to protect them from. Most clients are familiar with the names of the diseases but have no idea what it causes. Once they know what the animal experiences with the disease, they are more concerned about preventing their pet from experiencing said disease."
> "I'll say, 'You are a good pet parent to protect your pet from disease.'"
> "We have a video library online as well as playing in the exam room to explain vaccinations. Also I will do a graph showing decline of maternal antibodies while vaccination antibodies are increasing."
> "Asking what THEIR pet is at risk for. Clients like to see that we make their pet seem 'special' and that we care what they are at risk for. Rather than 'over-vaccinating' we tell them what WE see in our area-that parvo and rabies really do exist!"
> "We say: 'Pets give us so much love-let's protect them so they don't give us anything else but love in return.'"