In our last post, Maureen and I talked about what the job of a veterinary receptionist entails. Now we will tell you how we each got our positions and how we feel about working at Oakview.
Maureen: I came to Oakview with years of customer service experience. I have worked in the corporate travel industry and at HSN (Home Shopping Network). Dealing with people is right up my alley. At a veterinary clinic, however, I had to learn about medical terms and conditions. This has been challenging yet fascinating!
Karen: When I came to Oakview, I had been a veterinary assistant for many years. I thought I knew what I was getting into, though I had never worked in reception. There were a few challenging surprises! I understood the medical aspects, but handling multiple phone lines and scheduling were much harder than I thought. It has been very rewarding to develop those skills.
Maureen: My favorite part of my job is puppy love!! We deal with a lot of sick pets and heartbreaking situations, but a cute puppy brings wags and kisses to chase any sadness away.
Karen: One of my favorite parts of my job is unusual questions! At first, I was nervous answering the phone, because I didn’t know what questions might come up. The longer I did it, the more I enjoyed being challenged by odd questions. One of my pet peeves (no pun intended!) in customer service is an answer of “I don’t know” unless it is followed by “But I will find out!” So I get pretty determined to help people.
Is our job easy?
Most of the time it is not! Although there are slow days occasionally, most days we are running hard. We see a large variety of healthy and sick pets on any given day. We don’t work directly with them, but we still worry! And we tend to think of our clients as family, so it hurts us to see them worried and sad. We do everything possible to help our clients through these tough times. When we offer snacks or a drink, that is our way of trying to help. We wish we could do more.
Sometimes we feel pressure from the doctors and support staff to do things correctly. We feel that same pressure from clients. This pressure helps keep us on top of it all. It is vital that our job is done well, or no one else can perform theirs. We take pride in being the liaisons between the rest of the staff and our clients.
One of the hard parts is when our appointments are not running on time. We don’t like to make our clients wait, but that is the unpredictable nature of a vet clinic. As a full service clinic, we perform several services for the community: well pet visits, urgent care visits, and emergency care. It can be hard to juggle the vast array of problems we see in any given day. The sick pets who comes in may just need an exam and medication, or they may need a full work up with sedation, x-rays, and labs. The more a pet needs, the longer it takes. We do understand that we are impinging on our client’s time, but most of you would want your sick pet taken care of just as conscientiously. In fact, we are one of the few area clinics who try to take care of every single pet who needs us, regardless of our schedule. We want all our clients who so patiently wait for their appointments to know that if your pet needs us in an urgent situation, we will be there for you, too.
Karen: I have lived in a lot of areas around the country, but there is something special about this community. I think our clients are an amazing group of pet owners! I am continuously impressed by their dedication to their pets and their community in general. Our reception team is great, too. We all help each other to have positive attitudes.
Maureen: One of the things I appreciate the most about my job is the people I work with. Our reception team is a positive, friendly group who works hard. They help me stay in good spirits! The doctors, techs, assistants, and kennel attendants all help me do my job well. The whole team at Oakview is a special one!
written by Karen Russell and Maureen Shewmake
Karen moved into our area in 2012, and we are so happy she chose to work at Oakview! She brings with her experience gained at other clinics and a fresh perspective.
Karen shares her life with her fiance Tim.
Maureen joined us in 2016. She was born and raised in Illinois, and after some time in Florida, she moved here in 2011.
Maureen shares her home with her husband, three children, and dog “Buddy.”
In her free time, Maureen enjoys camping, watching sports, and spending time with her family.