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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF110-0204 : Basic Receptionist/Front Office Skills

Phyllis Webster, AA, OM

February 4 - March 11, 2004
Real Time Sessions: Monday Evenings (February 9, 16, 23, and March 1) from 9:30pm - 11:00pm ET (USA)


The receptionist/front office staff plays the most critical role in the success or failure of a veterinary practice. It really does not matter how excellent the patient care is from the veterinarians or staff, the practice can be made or broken depending on the professionalism of the front office staff. A client will always remember his/her first few minutes at the clinic along with the last few. A receptionist's position includes creating a bond with the client and providing exceptional customer service. There is a required text for this course, see information below.

This course will consist of four (4) 1 & � hour real time sessions; library materials supplementing the chapters in the required text; multiple choice quizzes (after each real time session) designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention; a cumulative final online; and interactive message board discussions.

This course is designed for all receptionists, front office staff and also those assistants and technicians who fill in at the front desk. All veterinary staff involved in or wishing to learn more about the importance of providing exceptional customer care or training of future front office personnel are encouraged to register. This course covers the essential skills needed for the first several weeks on your job.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of creating an exceptional first impression with the client by representing the client.
  2. Be able to perform basic receptionist duties.
  3. Handle clients in a variety of situations at the front desk.
  4. Showing that you care with continuing client retention.
TEXTBOOK: Required Text is: The Veterinary Receptionist's Handbook. By M.T. McClister, DVM and Amy Midgley. Veterinary Medicine Publishing Group. This book can be purchased from the VIN bookstore by clicking on this link:
Recommended Text is: Client Satisfaction Pays by Carin A. Smith, DVM. AAHA. This book can be purchased from the VIN bookstore by clicking on this link:


Week 1: The First Impression
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook - Chapter 1
Client Satisfaction Pays - Chapter 2
Content: The first impression starts with the general appearance of the office and of the receptionist. Telephone etiquette is equally as important with extending a warm welcome. Pay attention to details.

Week 2: Receptionists Duties
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook - Chapters 2, 3, 5 & 6
Client Satisfaction Pays - Chapters 11 & 12
Content: Maintaining medical records with updating client/patient information; being able to schedule, confirm upcoming appointments, address no show appointments; handle invoicing clients and the client's departure. Provide an accurate estimate.

Week 3: Handling Clients
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook - Chapters 4, 8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 - 18 and glossary
Client Satisfaction Pays - Chapter 13
Content: Understanding basic medical terminology, knowledge of services and products, vaccination protocols, etc.; and being able to communicate with clients by really listening to what is said.

Week 4: Client Retention
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook - Chapters 8, 9, 17 & 18
Client Satisfaction Pays - Chapter 14
Content: Showing clients that you sincerely care through correspondence, newsletters, reminders, answering questions, callbacks and during euthanasia.

Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.

CE HOURS: 6 (applied for RACE and VHMA approval)

Note: "This course has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VIN/VSPN for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board.) This course has also been submitted for approval of continual education units toward CVPM requirements by the VHMA.

$96.00 ($86.00 early bird special if registered before January 26, 2004).
Full time students of an AVMA accredited Veterinary Technician Program will receive a reduced rate for this course of $48 (upon verification of student status)


  1. You must be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. VIN Member DVM's SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
*VT students, please include your program directors name, school, and school phone number in the comments section of the CE registration form. Your registration will be delayed if this information is not included.
*** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out
COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VSPN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VSPN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.

Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at
1-800-700-INFO (4636).

Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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