A Vet Tech’s Role in Client Education

Becoming a vet tech is a great career path for those who want to play an essential role in the health of animals big and small. The American Veterinary Medical Association lists the duties of a vet tech as assisting veterinarians, taking care of patients, preparing for surgeries, filling prescriptions, and educating animal owners. While all the responsibilities of a vet tech are vital, their role in client education is one of the most valuable.

Often, a large portion of a client’s visit to their veterinarian’s office is spent interacting with the vet tech. Of the many responsibilities of a vet tech, communicating with clients about the status of their pet’s health and giving them instructions for home care is one of the most important. This is where vet techs can really shine. Taking this time spent with the client to educate them on animal health will not only make them a better pet owner, it will increase the likelihood of a healthy pet.

In order to improve patient care, vet techs must strive to improve client understanding. There are many ways to improve client understanding, from giving them educational information about their pet’s health by speaking with them, writing things down, or printing them out. Using both verbal and written communication is better than relying on either method alone. Speaking with clients will give them the opportunity to ask questions right then and there, but written material is great for instructions and medication information. Giving clear and easy to understand instructions is key in helping clients retain the information they need to keep their pet healthy.

Communication isn’t exactly a skill taught in veterinary school and talking with clients is often not a veterinarian’s strong suit. Fortunately, vet techs must possess excellent communication skills to act as a liaison between the vet and their client. Vet techs can take their professional education and knowledge of disease processes, treatments, procedures, and medications and combine that with learned or possessed interpersonal skills and really educate clients about their pets. This can really help a practice by not only making the client happy but also the veterinarian.

Teamwork is key! A vet tech certainly can’t just start their job in practice and start going into detail with clients. While they will possess the knowledge needed, it needs to be a team effort. The veterinarian, vet tech, and other support staff all need to be on the same page about what their mission is for their clients, what the focus should be on in their patient care and how they want to communicate the different aspects of pet health. Communication between the veterinarian and vet tech is most important as well. Talking about the cases and needs to be stressed during the conversations is the best way to provide exceptional care.