Course Has Ended

This course is no longer open for enrollment.


Course Overview

Veterinary practice owners and managers invest in the medical and technical components of the practice but often skip one of the most important areas of client interaction - the front desk. Every team member makes an impression on clients. The receptionist, however, often makes the first and last impression on each client. For many clients, the voice on the phone and the face on the other side of the front desk can be the most influential person in the practice. Each and every client will evaluate your practice. Most clients will not be able to grasp in detail the level of training and experience of the doctors and technicians, nor the cost and usefulness of the latest piece of cutting edge equipment, nor the well developed medical protocols.

It is at the front desk that the client forms the majority of his or her opinion of the practice. What message is your front desk team sending to clients? In today’s difficult economic times, can your veterinary practice can afford to NOT have front desk superstars? Yet, front desk superstars are not born but trained. Unfortunately, receptionist training is often neglected, with new receptionists being "thrown to the wolves" with "trial by fire" the only training provided. Can your practice afford to lose clients to poor customer service? Can your practice afford the turnover costs associated with untrained, burned-out front desk team members?

This 8-week course provides a thorough and very informative introduction to the role of the veterinary receptionist. It is important for every team member, regardless of position, to understand the crucial role of front desk customer interaction. The skills and knowledge that makes a great receptionist are skills and knowledge every team member must have. It is not limited to those who work “up front” but these skills are needed at every point in the client’s experience at the practice.

While this course directly relates to the role of the veterinary receptionist, it contains information and training applicable to all roles within the team. It will enhance the skills that many individuals’ possess, while teaching skills that new team members will need in order to contribute to the success of the team.


Participation Access Parameters

VetMedTeam courses are asynchronous - they do not contain real time components.

The design of this course allows each student to proceed based on individual schedule, as long as all assignments are submitted by the assignment submission deadline. Participants may enroll in this course at any time. Each student's 8 weeks of access will begin upon enrollment.


Course Content

This 8-week course provides an introduction to the many roles, duties and tasks receptionists must complete on a daily basis. It will enhance the skills that many individuals possess, while teaching skills that new team members will need in order to contribute to the success of the team.

Modules include receptionist job traits and skills, professional appearance, offering superior customer service, the basics of communication, the veterinary medical record, making appointments and basic veterinary medicine.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is appropriate for all front desk veterinary practice team members as well as anyone who desires to learn how to better surpass client expectations.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the desired traits and skills of a receptionist
  • Explain how the receptionist's role and behaviors impact client service
  • Discuss why the client is so important and how to “WOW” them
  • Define and implement verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills
  • Explain medical record keeping practices including the different components that make up the patient record
  • Interpret abbreviations and basic medical terminology
  • List the different types of appointments and explain how to best schedule appointments
  • Describe the most common components of veterinary medicine including vaccines, fecals, dewormers, dentistry, spays and neuters, heartworm and flea preventatives and indicate why they are important


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course Survey


Participant Feedback

...Most of the aspects of the course were very beneficial to me but I think the best was the verbal and non-verbal communication section. Because I did not realize that so much communication was done through body language. I feel like it helped portrait a message with just a look or body language and I think that is very important especially when I cannot use works. (For example when I am other the phone with a client and I have to communicate to another client that I will be right with them.)

...The most beneficial aspects of these course were learning about marketing and customer service.

...I really liked the terminology course. Even though I have been a receptionist for 6 years, there is always more for me to learn.

...The presentations were very well organized and very easy to follow and understand.

I liked all aspects. Every subject was interesting and I gained knowledge from it and I have a better understanding about the role a receptionist plays in a veterinary practice.

...I very much enjoyed how the module assignments were separated into sections of how the course material was broken down. This made it very easy to focus on the material and complete the module assignments without feeling overwhelmed. I also thought that the short exams and case studies had unlimited attempts, which allowed me to focus on questions that I did not understand.

...I enjoyed learning about more of the medical aspects that usually only technicians handle in my hospital.

...The aspects in WOWing the client were beneficial to me, however, I liked the section on veterinary medicine and found that to be the most interesting.

...I liked learning the medical terminology as well as the basic medical practices.


Course Instructor

Erin Macdonald, CVT, CVPMErin Macdonald, CVT, CVPM

Erin Macdonald is currently employed at Haines Road Animal Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida and holds the position of Hospital Administrator. She has worked in the veterinary field since 1999, her first position as a receptionist.

In 2006, she received an Associate in Arts Degree in General Studies and an Associate's in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College. That year, she became a Certified Veterinary Technician. After receiving a Certificate in Hospital Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Technology Management, she achieved the designation of Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in 2009.

Erin is a member of both the Florida Veterinary Technician Association and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Erin lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with her fiance and their three sons, Kingston, Isaac, and Jordan. They also share their home with their dog, Gemma; two cats, Gia and Roxanne; and lovebird, Nash.



Price: $179.00 USD

Practices may enroll individual team members. To learn how to assign a specific team member to a course, please visit the Assigning Students page.