When you run a small animal hospital, one of the most challenging events that you'll experience at work is when a pet owner has to visit the clinic to put his or her pet to sleep. You and your staff will obviously behave in a professional and sympathetic manner in all of your interactions with the owner and family, but you want to ensure that those in your waiting room are also respectful. The last thing any pet owner going through this challenge wants is to hear a boisterous crowd in the waiting room just down the hall. Here are three useful ways to ask your other clients to be respectful during this difficult time.
Hang A Sign On The Door
One of the simplest ways to convey the message that you'd like your clients to act in a quiet and respectful manner is to hang a sign on the door that reflects what is going on at the clinic. This way, people will read the sign as they enter and, ideally, immediately change their behavior. You can select appropriate wording that people will understand — just remember to also make it gentle, as the family of the pet being put to sleep will also likely see it. For example, the sign could read, "One of our clinic's families is saying a last farewell to its beloved pet today. We ask you to act in a respectful manner upon entering."
Light A Candle
A touching way to convey the message about what is going on is to have a candle lit near at the reception area of your veterinarian clinic. You can keep this candle in place all the time, but light it when a family is having its pet put to sleep. To ensure people understand what is going on, you should have a small sign beside the candle with wording similar to the above message. When you select a candle, choose an unscented one because of animals' strong sense of smell; if you're concerned about an open flame, select a battery-powered light that looks like a candle.
Have A Staff Member Meet Clients At The Door
If you don't want to have a visible sign of what is taking place, the logical solution is to delegate one staff member to meet clients at the door and explain the situation. Although your receptionist could also assume this role, clients may be loud between the door and the front desk. By meeting new arrivals at the door, it will ensure that people are quiet from the moment they enter the clinic.