During Brownsburg Animal Clinic’s more than 50 years of operation, the team members who work at the front desk have been called “receptionists.” While they do indeed receive clients and patients visiting the clinic, they do so very much more!
To recognize and reflect the role played by our front desk staff more accurately, we have created a more fitting job title: Client/Patient Service Representative—CPSR for short.
“The new title suggests a much more accurate and complete description of the role our front desk team members play in our relationships with clients and patients,” said Brownsburg Animal Clinic owner Timea Brady, DVM. “Most often, they are the first team members our clients interact with when they call or visit the clinic and the last ones they see when they check out. But there’s a lot more to the job than that.
“They have always been much more than receptionists,” added Dr. Brady. “They are also listeners, educators, advocates, scheduling gurus, decision-makers and liaisons between clients and the rest of the team. The Customer/Patient Service Representative title does a better job of conveying that.”
The Job Description
Receiving human, canine and feline visitors to the clinic is only one of many duties of a CPSR. Here’s a more complete list:
- Greet clients and patients on arrival at the clinic and let technicians know they have arrived
- Check out clients after appointments, prescription and food pick-ups
- Answer phones, check voicemail messages and return phone calls
- Monitor and respond to email messages to the main clinic account, email@example.com
- Monitor the fax machine and send faxes as needed
- Answer and assess the urgency of clients’ questions in person, by phone and by email, conferring with technicians and veterinarians as needed to see that the patient receives timely, appropriate care
- Log clients’ questions and concerns into the medical records and bring the information to the attention of the veterinarians as needed
- Log prescription refill requests and forward them for approval by the prescribing veterinarian
- Schedule appointments, dental procedures and surgeries
- Manage the clinic’s prescription diet orders to make sure the foods our patients need are always in stock
- File charts and loose paperwork from the previous day
- Print appointment check-in sheets for the next day and retrieve the patients’ charts
- Keep the front lobby and reception area clean and organized
- Unlock the building in the morning and lock up at the end of the day
A Focus on Patients as Well as Clients
While many veterinary clinics have adopted the Customer Service Representative or CSR title for their front desk staffs, the new, more complete title includes patients as well as clients, an idea Dr. Brady approved.
“When we began considering the title change, I suggested making us not just client service reps but client and patient service reps—CPSRs—because we don’t just advocate and act as liaisons with the rest of the team for the client. We are always advocating for the best possible care for the pets—our patients—as well.”
The CPSR Team
“I think one of the most challenging parts of the job for me is the constant need to switch between tasks,” said Katherine, who joined the clinic team in late 2017. “It can certainly make the day go by quickly, but toggling between the variety of tasks we have, such as checking clients in, checking clients out, scheduling appointments, entering prescription refill requests and passing patient updates and concerns on to the doctors—just to name a few—all while answering sometimes non-stop phone calls—certainly keeps us on our toes!
“We love helping all our patients, but I think one of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing a sick patient regain their health with the help of our team. Nothing beats seeing a happy wagging tail or hearing a happy purr from a patient who was really feeling under the weather.”
For Stephanie, who came to work at the clinic in September 2021, the primary challenges are in learning a new field. “Fortunately, I love having the opportunity to learn new things every day and I find it very rewarding to use my growing knowledge to help people and their pets.”
CPSR Kelly, who joined the team in December 2021, finds it challenging to be thought of as “just a receptionist.” She said, “I have been in this field for more than 25 years, and I work hard every day to learn and provide the best care to all—pets and people.” For her, the greatest satisfaction comes with “knowing that at the end of the day, I have provided the best quality of care that I possibly could to clients, pets and co-workers.”