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Big Place, Many People; Getting to know your veterinarian office staff

“Welcome, how can we help you?” This is a greeting you’ll hear from behind the front desk of your veterinary office. That voice could belong to any of the veterinary hospital staff. An average veterinary facility will have at least one person in the following roles: Receptionist, Veterinary Assistant/ Veterinary Technician, Kennel Staff, Office Manager, and Doctors.

A receptionist is normally that happy smiling face you see when you first walk in. They’re that “first impression” you feel. A veterinary receptionist has a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders. Doctors and assistants rely on them to schedule appointments, treatments, and surgeries for a smooth and even work flow. Taking payments, answering phones, setting up charts, and making sure the retail area is clean and tidy is part of their daily tasks. A receptionist will often ask a veterinary assistant for help.
A veterinary assistant is that animal lover who accompanies the doctor in an exam, assists in treatments, and lends a helping hand throughout the entire hospital. They are similar to a veterinary technician. A technician will have a state license and hold an associates of applied
science. Both positions, under discretion and supervision of a licensed veterinarian, can perform the same duties.

However, a technician in the state of Oregon can administer a rabies vaccination and sign the certificate, per the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA). These roles carry a lot of weight between patients and paper work. During the daily grind, both assistants and technicians will rely heavily on kennel staff before the day starts, and as the
day ends.

Kennel staff are the unsung heros of a veterinary facility. They wake up early, come to work,
feed hospitalized patients, take them on walks, administer perscribed medications, and set up the hospital for appointments, treatments, and procedures. They come back in the late afternoon to feed, walk, and clean the hospital from ceiling to floor. A kennel assistant is an entry level position. This job is back busting, but worth it. It’s a starting block for a career in
the veterinary field, kind of like training wheels.

An office manager is someone to look up to, someone to trust, someone to learn from. They carry the most responsibility. When in this position, an office manager hires and fires, as well as trains all staff members. They know all roles of the hospital by heart and can double as a missing member when needed. As a manager, they manage the money for bills, supplies, and payroll. This position is typically filled by a licensed technician chosen by the owner of the hospital.

In most cases, the owner is the doctor. They are the heart and soul of a veterinary hospital. They spend years learning just about everything a brain can hold. Vet school is long and covers general information regarding domestic animals, such as our furry felines and courageous canines. Upon graduation, they can choose a specialty or stay with general medicine. Like a technician, a doctor is required to have a state license. This license allows them to practise in a specific state.


Article submitted by Anastasia Hamilton. Read her bio on the author page