Updated: Jan 4
There’s nothing better than seeing a patient happily bounding into the exam room, with tail wagging or motor purring. That said, we all know that not every patient is quite as comfortable going to the clinic. In fact, for many animals, visits to the vet are accompanied by intense feelings of stress, fear and anxiety. Yet, we also know the critical importance of routine wellness care. Becoming fear-free certified is one way for your practice to make all patients feel safe and welcome. Here are 5 compelling reasons to consider pursuing certification for your team.
Improve Client Satisfaction
When a pet owner no longer has to deal with the nightmare of transporting their stressed out, fearful or anxiety-ridden animal from their home to the vet clinic, they will breathe a huge sigh of relief. Fear-free training typically involves techniques that can be taught to the pet owner, showing them how to remove triggers and help their pets overcome feelings of fear and uneasiness at home as well as during transport. When clients are happier and more comfortable bringing the pets in, their retention rates will increase.
Boost Employee Satisfaction
Dealing with one stressed out pet can be difficult enough. Repeat this process with several clients multiple times each day, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout amongst your staff. By arming them with fear-free techniques and strategies, you’ll empower them to be able to calm anxious pets and create a more serene, safer practice environment. This is a better experience for everyone, including your employees, who will appreciate being able to work in a place that isn’t so high-intensity.
When a pet parent no longer has to dread dragging their reluctant companion into the clinic once a year, they’ll be far more likely to stick to a wellness care schedule. This means that more of your patients will receive the routine care they need to enjoy longer, happier lives. Greater compliance with wellness care means healthier patients, which is why you got into the veterinary field in the first place. Fear-free certification can help you maximize your compliance rates.
Enhance Quality of Care
Animals that are calm and relaxed are more receptive to medical care. Things like diagnostics and other procedures are also safer, easier and more effective on patients who are not stressed out. As such, by learning and mastering fear-free treatment techniques, you’ll be able to improve the quality of medical care that you’re delivering to your patients. The better your care, the healthier your patients will be, which is, again, the ultimate goal of veterinary medicine.
Grow Your Business
Many pet parents specifically look for vet clinics that offer fear-free care. By educating yourself and your team on fear-free practices, you will be able to instantly differentiate your clinic from others in the area. This is especially beneficial if you are located in a dense area with a lot of competition. Finding unique ways to stand out and attract more clients is always the goal. Likewise, when your current clients experience how calm and gentle your team is with their pets, they’ll gladly spread the word to other local pet owners, increasing your number of new client referrals.
If you’re looking for ways to give your practice a leg up while also improving life for your employees, clients and patients, becoming fear-free certified might be a good option for you. At the very least, training your staff on the basics of fear-free or reduced-stress handling techniques can help you improve your practice operations and create a safer, more positive environment for everyone involved.