Last week was Receptionist Appreciation Week, and to celebrate we've been using our social media channels to share our teams' stories and photos as well as to learn more about their varying roles and diverse responsibilities. To help us understand more about what a typical day involves as a receptionist in our Small Animal Practice, our colleague Hannah has written an article talking about what they get up to behind-the-scenes! Read the full article below.
A Day in The Life of Our Small Animal Practice Receptionists
As receptionists, we are effectively the secret backbone of the practice – we have our fingers in so many pies throughout the daily running of clinics, from patient and client paperwork to customer care, bereavement counselling, medication/food orders and above all friendly faces for advice over the counter and on the phone!
There are five of us that work in SAP and we rotate the daily duties around between us depending on our shift patterns. Our more regular clients will notice that we are usually sat separately, splitting ourselves between sitting on the front desk and beavering away in our back office. Our roles vary depending on where we are sitting. The back office is used predominantly for our paperwork duties and phone answering (as it’s quieter away from sometimes noisy waiting room), and quite often there will be some tasty snacks hidden away to keep our energy up throughout the day! On the front desk, our responsibilities tend to consist more of the customer facing tasks, we are responsible for dispensing medication, greeting any arriving clients, booking appointments and dishing out treats and cuddles for our much-loved furry patients!
Every day there are tasks for us to juggle to ensure the smooth and effective running of the practice (and of course to keep our nurses and vets happy). For example, did you know that we are the first point of veterinary triage for every patient? We are the first to hear from you and see you on arrival into the practice. We help in classifying your appointment needs, whether the problem is urgent or not, who you need to see and when, whilst also fielding daily unexpected emergencies, coordinating between our vets nurses and our clients; there are always animals in desperate and urgent need of veterinary assistance from accidents. We are also ‘secret directors’ when it comes to laboratory results – it is our responsibility to make sure that they have been ordered correctly, and then that the right results get reported to the right vets as soon as possible once they return.
Aside from all of the above mentioned extras plus many more behind-the-scenes, our main visible responsibility is of course to support our vets, nurses and clients throughout the day – we are excellent listeners, advisers and agony aunts, the neutral diplomatic bodies that keep the practice ticking over with heads level and always being available to offer a smile, cuddle and gravy bone!
The next time you are in the practice with your furry, scaly, or feathery friend, do bear with us if we look a tad rushed as we juggle our tasks, we're always aiming for a personal service so feel free to chat as we pass you your medications, and even give us a high five whilst we take your payment if you fancy it! Just always remember that at the end of the day, behind every great veterinary practice there is a great team of veterinary receptionists!
Hannah - Small Animal Practice Receptionist
Check out Langford Vets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see the rest of our #ReceptionistAppreciationWeek content!