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Why we have to talk about money to our veterinary clients

Posted in Veterinary Nurse/Tech Blog @ Feb 4th 2021 - By Courtney Deamer, Veterinary Nurse & Blogger
Why We Have To Talk About Money To Our Veterinary Clients

One of the most emotionally triggering things we have to talk about in Veterinary practice is "the money".

We're verbally crucified on a daily basis about "the money".

What many people don't understand, is that it's just as hard for Veterinary professionals to advise the cost of treatments, as it is for clients to hear the price of required treatments.

Contrary to popular opinion, the money that is paid in Veterinary bills, does not line the pockets of the employee's or even the practice owners.

I'm yet to meet a rich veterinarian

I have worked in both country and city practices, with General Practice Veterinarians, with Veterinary Specialists, Surgeons and in Emergency Vet medicine and I am yet to meet a rich Veterinarian.

The reality is, that in a country such as ours, the medical system for humans is pretty amazing. We have Medicare and subsidies and we rarely see the true cost of procedures, particularly those of an emergency nature.

Also, despite what many think of Veterinary professionals, money is not in fact the first and only thing we want to talk about. However, it is incredibly important that we have these conversations, as financial limitations can change the approach that we take in a treatment plan. Although we wish it didn't! Unfortunately, we can't bear the cost of every patient in need, although we desperately wish that things could come for free, our doors wouldn't be open to practice if they did.

Open and honest conversations with clients are always important

We have open and honest conversations about treatment plans and options, so that our clients can understand their choices and the cost associated with each. Sometimes the options can be out of reach financially and just like our clients, we wish they weren't.

Often, I get asked "Why is it so expensive", and really the list of what goes into a patients treatment is more extensive than I could rattle off, particularly when round the clock care is provided. From consumables, to medication, monitoring and husbandry, to feeding and stimulative care, not to mention what advanced care patients can require when they're oxygen dependent, intubated or even ventilated.

Prevention can be key

In many cases, prevention is key and a lot less expensive than treatment. Pet insurance can also be helpful in situations where unexpected expenses come up, although in most instances, the bill still needs to be paid before the insurer reimburses the client directly.

To relieve the burden of financials, many Veterinary clinics now offer Vetpay and other after-pay type options too, and when concerned about a Veterinary bill, it doesn't hurt for clients to ask reception staff what options the practice might have available.

A plea to clients...

Please know that your Veterinary professionals, don't pull on the heart strings to trick you out of your money and just as much as our clients wish treatments could come cheaper, the staff and the industry as a whole do too.

Until our beloved pets can be recognised as dependents and provided with government subsidies and financial assistance (we wish) their health care comes at a cost, that should be seriously considered before adoption.

This post first appeared on Courtney's blog: From The Ground Up, and has been republished with full permission

About Courtney

I'm Courtney, a Veterinary Nurse and as far as jobs go, it's basically all I know. I've been Nursing since I left school and I've now been working in emergency for two years.

I'm a single Mum and to be completely honest, that's actually my favourite job (don't tell nursing). I never thought I could be as passionate about something other than animals, before I was blessed with the best kid in the whole world (not even kidding, he's the best one).

Writing is a creative outlet for me, something I've always enjoyed doing but never really thought to pursue. I absolutely love anything Australian and I like to spend my free time trekking our natural wonders or kayaking our beautiful river systems.

Visit Courtney's Blog HERE: From The Ground Up

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