Workshops for Veterinarians and Staff


What is the hardest part of your job?


Delivering a terminal diagnosis?          

Not knowing what to say when a client is overcome with emotion?

                                    Dealing with an angry or difficult client?


Many veterinary professionals are surprised to realize that it’s the interactions with their human clients that can be the most difficult or stressful. 

For example:


Have you ever… 


     wondered if you know the best things to say and do

when strong emotions surface in your office?


     been surprised by a client’s unexpected or intense

emotions over a seemingly routine situation?


     ‘gone the extra mile’ with a client who ends up

dissatisfied or even angry with your efforts?


     been frustrated when a client refuses to follow

important  treatment recommendations?


Would you like to learn some effective strategies and solutions

     to better deal with each of these scenarios?


If so, I invite you to read on to find out more about the

Advanced Communication Skills in Veterinary Practice Seminar Series,

or call me for a free consultation to discuss what I can do for you.



Advanced Communication Skills in Veterinary Practice


2006 Continuing Education Seminars



1. When emotions run high: Crisis intervention strategies for the veterinary office


What are some crisis strategies for working with a client whose animal is facing a medical emergency?  What should you say (and do) when a client breaks down crying in your office?  This interactive workshop will address these questions and: describe specific things that you can do to support and work effectively with an emotional client;  review what resources are available to you and your clients (and how to access them);  provide opportunities for you to ask questions about how to handle difficult clients or cases;  and,  provide you with an extensive handout package.  BCVMA accredited. 


Here is what past participants have said about this workshop: “This workshop was great! All vet clinic staff should attend one. I especially liked how everything related to my daily workday and experiences.” “I am so glad to have been able to experience this and learn so much information on grief.” “I really appreciated the open atmosphere and the ability to ‘throw around’ opinions, ideas, and questions…we need more of this.” “These types of workshops are very important.”



2. Delivering Difficult Information


How you deliver difficult information makes a real difference to what your clients hear, understand and feel after leaving your office. Whether it is a negative diagnosis, treatment that has failed, or an unexpectedly expensive bill, there are many situations in the veterinary office where strong emotions can surface. There are specific strategies you can use when delivering difficult information that will make this important part of your job easier on you, and your clients. This interactive workshop will focus on: the trauma response and how clients process difficult information; better ways to deliver "bad news";  supportive,  effective ways to communicate when strong emotions surface;  common mistakes;  and an opportunity to practice skills in small groups. BCVMA accredited.


Here is what past participants have said about this workshop: “This seminar gave me a lot to think about- excellent information- very useful for day to day practice.” “I especially liked that you let us bring our own cases into the seminar.” “Working in small groups and on case scenarios was very helpful.”



3. Talking about Euthanasia: How clients decide and what veterinary staff can do to help


(New in 2006)  Deciding about euthanasia can be one of the most difficult things that a pet owner is ever faced with. For some, the decision to euthanize can be an agonizing one. How do owners make life and death decisions for their pets?  What is the best way to introduce the possibility of euthanasia to clients? How can veterinarians and veterinary staff be most effective in helping with difficult treatment decisions?  Are there ways to make euthanasia less stressful for staff and clients? These are several of the questions that are addressed in this seminar.



4. Advanced crisis intervention strategies       (New in 2006)

          (prerequisite- When emotions run high: Crisis intervention strategies for the veterinary office)


Case scenarios are always popular and effective learning tools.  Participants will be asked to bring challenging cases to discuss and we will take an in-depth look at the most effective crisis and communication strategies.  There will be some opportunities to practice these skills in small groups and you will also learn ways to do your own case consultations at staff meetings that include a specific look at how things went for your human clients, and your fellow staff members.



Advanced Communication Skills in Veterinary Practice


Continuing Education Seminars


Spring 2006 




Instructor:      Laurel Horn, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor,

Veterinary Communications Consultant


Locations:        Daybreak Seminar Room (in Surrey) or at your Veterinary Clinic*

Upcoming Dates: (at the Daybreak Seminar Room)
1. When emotions run high: Crisis intervention strategies for the veterinary office

                (3 hour seminar, $30.00)                  Tuesday, May 9th, from 7:00-10:00pm             

       BCVMA accredited                    Or, Sunday, May 7th, from 10:00am-1:00pm 
2. Delivering Difficult Information   
    (2 hour seminar, $20.00)                  Monday, May 15th, from 7:30-9:30pm                                

       BCVMA accredited                    Or, Sunday, May 7th, from 2:00-4:00pm


3.  Talking about Euthanasia: …what veterinary staff can do to help

    (2 hours, $20.00)                             Tuesday, May 23rd, from 7:30-9:30pm                                

       New in 2006                                 Or, Sunday, May 28th, from 10:00am-12:00pm


4.  Advanced crisis intervention strategies

    (2 hours, $20.00)                             Tuesday, May 30th, from 7:30-9:30pm                                

       New in 2006                                 Or, Sunday, May 28th, from 1:00-3:00pm


To Register:      Call Laurel at 604-802-6959 or email


Space is limited so sign up early to avoid disappointment!


* If you have at least 6 people interested, and a suitable meeting space, I am happy to come to your veterinary clinic to teach the seminars on a different date and time that works best for you.


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