The worst experiences with clients at the Vet Clinic – As told by our Community

Published by I Love Veterinary

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When you chose your veterinary career, you decided to follow your passion and be a part of every animal’s well-being. However, when working in a vet clinic, you not only help and treat the patients, but you also advise and deal with their humans. 

You try to put yourself in the pet parent’s shoes. They may have gone through a tough situation with their pets and are worried about their furry friend. You know that most owners love and consider their pets as part of their family. Fortunately, most clients are understanding and a pleasure to deal with. Nonetheless, other owners can sometimes give you a hard time. 

German shepherd visiting the veterinary - I Love Veterinary

According to The Veterinary Information Network, the different types of clients include the authoritarian client who does not agree with a situation and starts to ask questions that will need an objective response. You can also find the explosive client who is likely upset or angry about their bill. The last two types of disruptive clients are the undecided client and the compulsive talker. 

At I Love Veterinary, we know that professionals working in the veterinary field are under a lot of stress, and we aim to have a community where everyone feels safe and can seek comfort.  

We asked our community the following question “What is your worst experience with a client?” in an intend for everyone to know that they are not alone and can find support on each other, there is someone who gets what they are going through.

 The infographic below has a compilation of some responses:

The worst experiences with clients infographic - I Love Veterinary

1) I had a client that was hesitant about everything I said and was always taking a lot of my time. He stopped coming to our vet clinic. A few months later, we got a letter from him saying why we never called him to ask the reason he never came back. 

2) One client said that her cat didn’t need a rabies vaccination because “her pet didn’t have rabies”. Then, I tried to explain, and she called my boss and accused me of yelling in front of other people. My boss saw the whole situation and talked with her. 

3) A client was pointing his finger at my face and yelling that the bill amount was wrong and that he was older than me, so he knew better. He said I was rude and wouldn’t listen to him. I had to call one of my co-workers and my boss to deal with him. 

The worst experience with a client - I Love Veterinary

4) A client came with her dog for a check-up. When I was taking the weight of the animal, I mentioned that the dog gained 10 lbs in less than a year and advised to a change in diet and exercise. The client said to the manager that I was unprofessional and rude. 

5) I was on the phone with a client, and he asked me if it was ok to give his dog a medication after vomiting. I told him that I was going to ask the veterinarian because I could put his pet at risk by giving him inaccurate information. The client started insulting me because I wasn’t able to answer his question. Then I said, “The longer you keep yelling at me, the longer you are going to have to wait to get an answer to your question” Later, the practice decided to fire him as a client because of a similar incident.

Veterinarian with sick dog - I Love Veterinary

If any client experience is tormenting you and affecting your mental help, please ask for help. Do not take anything the client said personally. Your mental health is important. YOU are important and are doing your best for the animals. Do not let any situation or anyone make you believe the opposite. 

If you want to find more information about organizations that can support you, check one of our interviews here. We interviewed a member of “NOT ONE MORE VET” an organization that supports veterinarians who are struggling.

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