With the continuous rise of pet ownership, veterinary services have also become increasingly in demand. For most pet owners, their furry – or feathery or scaly – friends are part of their family and deserve only the best possible care. For this reason, veterinary practices play a crucial role in the lives of animals and, surprisingly, their owners.
However, providing the best pet care isn’t a job for the veterinarian alone. While they are the backbone of the operation, veterinary practices require a team of diverse and dedicated professionals with various capabilities and know-how, all complementing the work of the veterinarian.
From the initial appointment scheduling all the way to billing, here are seven job roles that every veterinary practice needs:
The cornerstone of any veterinary practice, they are responsible for diagnosing animal illnesses and providing the appropriate treatment, rendering preventative care, performing surgeries, and offering nutritional advice for various dietary needs. Veterinarians are also responsible for helping pet owners be more educated about their pet’s overall well-being. Because of the scope of what they do, a veterinary practice would cease to exist without veterinarians.
How to Become a Veterinarian
People who want to be a veterinarian must be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or DVM, a degree that commonly takes four years to complete. In addition, they must successfully pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam or NAVLE  and other state-specific exams.
2. Veterinary Technician
Primarily in direct assistance for the veterinarian, a veterinary technician’s scope includes administering medications, taking radiographs, and monitoring anesthesia. They can also keep in touch with pet owners, handle pets’ medical records, and perform lab work. To successfully manage these tasks, veterinary technicians must be excellent communicators and lovers of animals of different sizes and temperaments.
How to Become a Veterinary Technician
To become a veterinary technician, one must be an associate in veterinary technology, a degree that takes two years to earn. Moreover, they must also pass the Veterinary National Exam (VTNE)  and any state-specific exams.
3. Practice Manager
Because many things are happening in a veterinary practice, practice managers oversee the day-to-day operation. People with this job title mostly perform administrative tasks such as performing human resource duties, ordering equipment and supplies, and developing strategies to improve the practice’s efficiency. Most importantly, practice managers ensure the practice complies with legal and regulatory requirements.
How to Become a Practice Manager
While practice managers aren’t necessarily required to hold a specific college degree, they must have excellent organizational and leadership skills to take the veterinary practice and its team members under their wing. Furthermore, they should be able to balance the practice’s needs with that of pet owners.
4. Pet Groomer
For veterinary practices to grow, they should go beyond providing just health-related services. An example is having a groomer perform services such as animal bathing and styling, fur brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Groomers can also check for skin or coat issues and report them to the veterinarian for prompt treatment.
How to Become a Pet Groomer
Similar to practice managers, pet groomers don’t need to have any specific college degree. However, they should have experience working with different types of pets and be comfortable handling animals of varying attitudes.
5. Veterinary Receptionist
More often than not, veterinary receptionists are pet owners’ first point of contact when they step into a veterinary practice. Because of this, they make and take phone calls, schedule and reschedule appointments, and greet pet owners. Veterinary receptionists can also help perform administrative tasks such as handling documents and encoding pet information. Because they are the first and last people to greet pet owners during their time in a veterinary practice, a friendly and efficient receptionist can make a big difference.
How to Become a Veterinary Receptionist
Veterinary receptionists are at the front line of the practice, so they need to be empathetic communicators to connect with pet owners and identify their needs better. In addition, they must have previous work experience or have a certification from a veterinary receptionist course. It’s also worth noting that the role of a veterinary receptionist can be done remotely by a virtual veterinary assistant with the same skills and qualifications as an in-person receptionist, albeit more independent and flexible.
6. Veterinary Biller
Finances not only maintain a veterinary practice but can also help it grow. Veterinary billers help the practice maximize finances by processing invoices and payments for services, such as diagnostic exams, medical procedures, and medications. They also verify insurance coverage to help ensure that the practice’s veterinarian gets the appropriate reimbursement for the care they provide. Most importantly, veterinary billers identify billing discrepancies to stabilize the practice financially.
How to Become a Veterinary Biller
The job of a veterinary biller involves a lot of crunching numbers and data interpretation, so the best person for the job should be mathematically inclined. For this reason, veterinary billers must have a college degree in any accounting field or at least relevant work experience. Practices can also opt to fill this position by onboarding a virtual veterinary assistant proficient in billing procedures and with strong communication skills.
7. Veterinary Scribe
Veterinary scribes join pet appointments, listen intently to the information exchange, and accurately note everything down to the last detail. By doing so, veterinary scribes give veterinarians access to reference materials that will help them perform better, ultimately promoting their and the practice’s credibility. Additionally, veterinary scribes also work with other staff members of the veterinary practice to ensure that every piece of information reflected in an EHR system, invoice, or medical record is correct.
How to Become a Veterinary Scribe
Maintaining information accuracy is at the heart of what veterinary scribes do, so they must have great attention to detail and excellent listening skills to keep up with fast-paced conversations and quickly identify errors. Considering the job role needs to be “invisible” during patient encounters, virtual veterinary assistants are perfect because they are technologically competent, work fast, and can fulfill their tasks without being seen.
Building a diverse team of professionals can help veterinary practices drive growth in the industry. However, expanding one can be a significant investment, with costs for compensation and maintenance that may not be feasible for all practices.
To keep expenses to a minimum, opting for a virtual veterinary assistant instead of an in-person staff is an excellent strategy because these remote professionals are qualified but only cost a fraction of the amount needed to expand an in-office team. Furthermore, they also reduce infrastructure costs because they don’t rely on the veterinary practice to provide them with resources for work.
To learn more about the different veterinary job roles that virtual veterinary assistants can efficiently fill, schedule a 10-minute discovery call with My Mountain Mover today!