Even though human health isn’t their primary focus, practices specializing in veterinary medicine still provide treatment to many “patients” every day. With that comes managing a lot of paperwork, scheduled appointments, and phone calls. Luckily, veterinary receptionists know precisely how to handle these tasks. However, there’s more to the job role than most people think. Practice managers and decision-makers need to understand the different facets of being a veterinary receptionist to maximize the role.
One of the many facets of veterinary receptionists is their work setup, which defines what type of veterinary receptionist they are; in-person or virtual. Traditionally, most practices, regardless of specialization, are more used to in-person receptionists because the position has existed for quite some time. However, that shouldn’t discredit what virtual veterinary receptionists, a relatively new job title, bring to the table.
While both job roles serve the same core purpose of helping the practice increase its productivity and profitability, some differences give both types an edge. So, the question is, which should veterinary practice managers and decision-makers go with?
In-person or virtual veterinary receptionists?
As the job title shows, in-person veterinary receptionists fulfill their tasks within the practice’s physical location, while their virtual counterpart functions remotely. This contrasting work setup also bleeds into how much practices should pay for either of their services.
On average, an in-person veterinary receptionist’s salary in the US makes $29,250 annually  – meaning veterinary practices must pay $2,437.50 monthly for their compensation. On top of that, there are costs related to maintaining the space they work in and the equipment they use. This is where the advantage of virtual veterinary receptionists comes in – practice managers and decision-makers only need to pay their salary, which can be up to 70% less.
When it comes to management, most people think it’s easier to manage in-person veterinary receptionists because they work in the same building as the rest of the practice’s team members. However, that’s not necessarily the case. As mentioned, not everyone is used to working with remote teams. Still, with the appropriate strategy and enough time, practice managers and decision-makers can find managing virtual veterinary receptionists as easy, if not more streamlined.
Because virtual veterinary receptionists are remote workers, independence comes easily to them. They are responsible for securing their equipment and workspace, which helps veterinary practices save even more money. Moreover, they require little supervision because they don’t clock in and out of work like their in-person counterparts. Their success is based on their work rather than simply looking busy. Also, because they are self-starters, virtual veterinary assistants are used to fast-paced learning and can be trained quickly.
While virtual veterinary receptionists have more flexibility than in-person staff members, they still need accountability as they have an industry manager who monitors, evaluates, and guides their performance. This lessens the need for veterinary practices to invest time, money, and effort into managing them.
Another thing that sets in-person and virtual veterinary receptionists apart is how they get paid. Should veterinary practices opt for the former, they would need someone within the practice to handle the payroll, which is time-consuming. In contrast, payroll can be the least of the practice’s concerns if they choose virtual veterinary receptionists because payroll is done by the outsourcing company they are affiliated with.
Ultimately, virtual veterinary receptionists can help practice managers and decision-makers have more time for other tasks that need their attention more without costing as much as in-person veterinary receptionists.
Veterinary receptionist job description
Practice managers and decision-makers need to ask, “what does a veterinary receptionist do” if they want to make the most out of the designation. It’s easy to think that being a veterinary receptionist is simply managing multiple appointments, taking and making phone calls, and handling various documents. However, there’s more to the job role than most people think.
Most pet owners have insurance for their valued animal companion, and as everyone knows, insurances have limitations in terms of what they cover and its validity. When coming in for a treatment, veterinary receptionists can perform the tedious task of verifying insurance to make sure that the services performed are covered. This task helps reduce the likelihood of pets receiving treatment, only for their owners to find out later that they have to pay out of pocket because their plan doesn’t pay for the service.
Like people, controlled medications can be prescribed to pets when the situation calls for them. That means pet owners can’t just refill these prescriptions themselves because federal laws prohibit such acts. Veterinary receptionists can take care of prescription refills so that pet owners can have their pet’s medications replenished when a refill is due.
Qualities of a good veterinary receptionist
To better understand what credentials, qualifications, and work ethics to look for, practice managers and decision-makers must understand how to become a veterinary receptionist. Like other job roles, the basic requirements include having relevant experience that will contribute to their success and a proven resume that meets the practice’s needs.
Because veterinary receptionists are at the forefront of the practice, they should be able to efficiently work with various equipment, such as computers and telephones. They should also have a decent typing speed, be able to maximize productivity software and EMRs, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and be familiar with the veterinary industry.
Because pet owners value their animals so much, they invest time, effort, and money into getting what their pets need: regular checkups, shots, treatments, and others. With that said, veterinary receptionists need to be empathetic to be more accommodating to pet owners with sensitive emotions. Even better, they should be animal lovers from the get-go so they can empathize better.
Where to post and find veterinary receptionist jobs
Finding the person who best fits the bill can be challenging when looking for a veterinary receptionist. Luckily, there are more than a few places where practice managers and decision-makers can look for experienced and capable talents so they can broaden their options.
Here are some of them:
Online Job Sites
The internet is where job hunters and recruiters can find each other. Recruiters can use platforms to post open positions where job hunters can send their applications in. LinkedIn is an example of a website that helps practice managers and decision-makers find their ideal team members. Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn focuses more on connecting recruiters and job hunters. It allows recruiters to do many things, including posting open positions, scouting for people within their industry, sending messages, and screening received resumes.
Other online job sites include Fiverr and UpWork, freelancing sites where people who work remotely can render various services for clients. Unlike LinkedIn, which can connect recruiters to talent willing to work in person or virtually, Fiverr and UpWork’s focus is more geared toward offshore staffing, making them a great place to recruit virtual veterinary receptionists.
What’s great about using online job sites to find team members is their flexibility. Mostly, they allow practice managers and decision-makers to do the recruitment on their terms – how many phases there will be, how many candidates they will screen, where the interview will take place, and more. However, because of their flexibility, they can also be risky due to having fewer restrictions in place.
Virtual Assistant Companies
Over the past few years, virtual assistant companies have seen increased demand due to technological advancements and digitalization that allow everything to be done remotely. Companies like My Mountain Mover connect veterinary practices and virtual talent without risking the safety and privacy of both parties.
Unlike online job sites where practice managers and decision-makers do most, if not all, of the recruitment legwork, virtual assistant companies handle most of the work for them. Enlisting their services means putting up job listings, receiving job applications, pre-screening numerous talents, and matching the practice with the most compatible talent. After this, practice managers and decision-makers get to interview the talent that matches them so they can judge whether the skill is a good fit.
Despite receiving thousands of applications regularly, My Mountain Mover only endorses the top 2% of their virtual assistants as a testament to their quality and care. To learn more, book a 10-minute intro call.