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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF111-0307 : Challenges Facing Front Office Staff Module 2

Phyllis Webster, AA, OM

March 19 - April 15, 2007
Real Time Sessions: Thursday evenings March 22 and 29, and April 5; 8:30pm-10pm ET (USA)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Building customer loyalty is an opportunity happening all day, every day. The front office staff member plays the most critical role in the success or failure of a veterinary practice. No matter how competent, capable or caring you are, at some point clients will be unhappy with you. How your front desk handles these situations may determine whether this client returns or whether you lose that client. A unified front desk staff will create a loyal clientele that will assure compliance with the doctor's recommendations. Your front desk staff will attract new clients and solidify the current clients while creating a positive experience. They generally improve productivity and efficiency in your veterinary practice along with handling the distressed client with ease. This intermediate level course is for all receptionists, front office staff and also those assistants and technicians who fill in at the front desk. There is a required text for this course, see information below.

The Challenges Facing the Receptionist/Front Office Staff course consists of three (3) ninety minute real time sessions; library materials supplementing the chapters in the required text; interactive message board discussions; multiple choice quizzes (after each real time session) designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention and a cumulative online final.

All veterinary staff members wishing to enhance their front desk skills are encouraged to register. This course covers those essential skills needed to improve productivity and efficiency in the veterinary practice.

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

Required Text: The Veterinary Receptionist's Handbook. 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: Client Satisfaction Pays. Carin A. Smith, DVM. AAHA. This book can be purchased from the VIN bookstore by clicking on this link:

Adjunct materials (Available from the VIN Bookstore):
Staff Training, Essentials of Client Service:
Staff Training, Perception of Value:
Staff Training, Telephone Skills:


Week 1: Maintaining the flow.
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook: Chapters 6 & 15
Client Satisfaction Pays: Chapters 2, 6, & 12
Content: Admitting patients for boarding, grooming, surgery, etc. is an important aspect as a front desk staff member. We will cover tips to maintain a smooth patient flow in and out of the exam room while staying on schedule. Customizing a schedule that minimizes the client's wait time will also be focused on in this week.

Week 2: Cleaning up.
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook: Chapters 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14
Client Satisfaction Pays: Chapters 3, 4, 11, 13 & 16
Content: Communication is an important aspect of interaction with clients. Accurate quotes are needed to turn price shoppers into appointments. The front desk staff must be able to market the doctor's recommendations since clients value their expertise. We will also discuss the importance of dispensing medications and discharging patients correctly.

Week 3: The Rough Stuff.
The Veterinary Receptionist Handbook: Chapters 5, 7, 8 & 17
Client Satisfaction Pays: Chapters 14 & 15
Content: Emergencies and unhappy clients happen daily. We will discuss those skills needed to take control of the emergency situation at the front desk including how to deal with those unhappy and demanding clients, and payment issues. We will cover how to address client's objections to recommended procedures by the veterinarians while building customer loyalty.

LIBRARY MATERIALS: 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: 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.


$83 ($75.00 early bird special if registered before March 5, 2007).
Enroll in both the Exceptional and Challenges courses before January 11, 2007 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price.
* Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Registration will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session.

** Minimal computer requirements for participating in VSPN and VPSNCE
** For More Information on how our online CE courses work please read the following:
How to's of online CE
Policies & Procedures


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  4. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
NOTE: Exceptional Client Skills for Front Desk Staff Module 1 is a precursor to Challenges Facing Front Office Staff, Module 2 course. It is highly recommended that Module 1 be taken first.

Note: "This program was submitted (but not yet approved) to the AAVSB's RACE program for continuing education. Please contact the AAVSB's RACE program at should you have any comments/suggestions regarding this program's validity or relevance to the veterinary profession." (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 for continual education units toward CVPM requirements by the VHMA.

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 or VIN 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 VIN 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 VIN 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).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950, ext 187

Ginger Sanders (, ext 183
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193 VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950


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