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CCOG for VT 103 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
VT 103
Course Title:
Veterinary Practice Management
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces medical records, admitting procedures, history taking, kennel records, and record maintenance for both in- and out-patients. Includes client communication, follow-up and discharge procedures, inventory control, and other maintenance files required by a veterinary hospital. Includes instruction on the use of veterinary hospital computer software. Prerequisites: Admission to Veterinary Technology program.

Addendum to Course Description

This course will cover the fundamentals of veterinary record systems, client interaction, basic bookkeeping skills, and the use of computer software specifically designed for use in a veterinary hospital.  

This is designed for first year veterinary technology students and is a graduation requirement for the Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Veterinary Technology.  Credits in this course are not transferable to a four year school towards a baccalaureate degree.  

The text required for this course is AAHA’s Basic Guide to Veterinary Hospital Management and the Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians by McCurnin. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the skills needed to communicate effectively with clients.
  • Explain the types and the organization of veterinary medical records.
  • Demonstrate proper and effective methods of scheduling appointments.
  • Maintain an inventory in a veterinary hospital with paper copies and the computer.
  • Maintain and balance a daily log, and perform basic bookkeeping tasks.
  • Use veterinary record-keeping software.
  • Locate various types of information in veterinary reference materials.
  • Analyze a situation using knowledge of the laws and ethics governing veterinary medicine.

Course Activities and Design

This course is designed to be a lecture course. It is a three-credit-hour course that meets for three-lecture hours per week.   The course is presented in a series of lectures, class discussions, and work sessions involving application of skills and materials shown in lectures. The course organized into the following areas of study: client communications (in-person, telephone, and electronic), veterinary medical records, scheduling, basic bookkeeping, inventory control, veterinary laws and ethics, reference materials, state and federal forms, and veterinary practice software. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Grades will be based on the student’s understanding of the course content as demonstrated by written and computer assignments, periodic examinations, a comprehensive final exam, and by attendance.  To receive a passing grade, the student must have attended a minimum of 80 percent of the lecture classes.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Items with an asterisk indicate tasks the student must be able to perform since they are listed as “essential tasks,” and tasks with two asterisks (**) indicate those tasks considered to be “recommended tasks” by the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Tasks with no asterisks are considered neither “essential” nor “recommended”, but are taught based on instructor, SAC, and/or advisory committee recommendations.  This course content guide specifies the tasks students are required to perform (as indicated in the task description) and the tasks on which they have been educated and have observed but individual performance is not required.
1.0  Communications
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the student the skills needed to communicate effectively with clients. 
    1.1  List the three reasons why telephone skills are important. 
    1.2  What are three elements of telephone etiquette needed to answer the telephone effectively? 
    1.3  What is the procedure to put a client “on hold?” 
    1.4  What information is gathered when taking a message? 
    1.5  What are effective methods in screening doctor’s calls?
    1.6  Define what constitutes an emergency call and what are the steps in handling this type of call? 
    1.7  What are some telephone communication practices that will increase client relationships in the veterinary hospital? 
    1.8  Write a business letter and memo. * 
    1.9  Discuss how to develop effective client communication skills. * 
    1.10  Explain tactics for dealing with the difficult or angry client. 
    1.11  Role-play methods of performing client education. * 
    1.12  Role-play communicating with clients, in person and on the telephone.  Simulate a variety of situations, emergencies, distraught clients,           clients bringing in animals for euthanasia, the angry or difficult client and the demanding client, and breeders. * 
    1.13  Discuss the concept of “professionalism” and what it means to the veterinary technician and the profession of veterinary technology. 
    1.14  Discuss stress and stress management within the veterinary hospital. 
    1.15  Discuss the appropriate client and public relations skills as admitting, discharge, and through client education.  
2.0  Veterinary medical records 
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the students the various types and organization of veterinary medical records. 
    2.1  List the purposes of a medical record. 
    2.2  Describe how to admit and take the history on patients.  * 
    2.3  List the contents of a patient’s chart.  * 
    2.4  List and explain the two methods of recording data. 
    2.5  Completely describe the POVMR method of recording data. 
    2.6  Describe the meanings of the “S,” “O,” “A,” “P,” and how to apply them. 
    2.7  List and describe the various types of filing systems.  * 
    2.8  Define active/inactive files and outguides.
    2.9  Describe the advantages to color-coding. 
    2.10  Describe how a computer system can increase efficiency of veterinary record keeping.  * 
    2.11  Describe and understand the legal implications of medical records.
3.0  Scheduling
Instructional goal:
The goal is to instruct the students in proper and effective methods of scheduling appointments.  Client interaction skills will be stressed, as will techniques to increase daily efficiency of the hospital. 
    3.1  Define the importance and parts of the appointment book. 
    3.2  Discuss the various techniques in producing an efficient and workable schedule via effective scheduling of appointments.  *  
4.0  Invetories and logs
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the students the techniques used in keeping inventory in a veterinary hospital by paper copies and computer methods.
    4.1  What is the purpose of keeping an inventory? 
    4.2  What are the various methods of keeping inventory records on file? 
    4.3  What is the information that is kept on inventory files? 
    4.4  How can a hospital computer increase efficiency and accuracy in keeping inventory? 
    4.5  Be able to maintain x-ray, surgery, anesthesia, laboratory, and controlled substances logs and perform each of these in the necessary          laboratories and during animal care.  *
    4.6  Be able to file medical records, radiographs, lab reports, etc. and perform each of these in the necessary laboratories and during animal          care.  *
5.0  Basic bookkeeping 
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the student the basic bookkeeping skills needed in the veterinary hospital.  The management and balancing of a daily log will be stressed, as will methods in collection procedures. 
    5.1  Define terms    
    5.2  Be able to accurately maintain a daily log and balance accounts at the end of the day, month, and year.
    5.3  Explain the differences between cash, charge, and statement payment.
    5.4  Outline the steps involved in collecting an overdue account.
    5.5  Explain how a computer can increase hospital bookkeeping and accuracy. **
6.0  Use of computer software in veterinary medicine
Instructional goal: 
The goal is to teach the student the application of hard copy record keeping methods on the computer.  The student will use a veterinary record-keeping program to increase computer skills.
    6.1  Understand the basic components of computers used in veterinary medicine.  *
    6.2  Be familiar with common veterinary software available and their advantages and limitations.  *
    6.3  Be able to generate and manipulate information in the following record keeping areas:
    6.4  Understand the application of posting and process daily, monthly, and yearly reports. *
    6.5  Be able to retrieve, fill out, and print the following forms.  *
    6.6  Maintain an accurate inventory of supplies and equipment, including:  *
    6.7  Understand the application of the use of the veterinary hospital computer to increase service to clients, increase efficiency, and promote          good animal health care.  *
    6.8  Introduce veterinary on-line services to students and discuss the information that can be obtained through these services.  *
    6.9  Student is to complete a computer assignment outside of class.  This assignment will include setting up a record keeping system with                client information.  The student will need to be able to input, manipulate, and print the data. 
7.0  Reference Material 
The goal is to introduce the student to the various reference materials available in veterinary medicine.  Emphasis will be placed on the student’s ability to indicate where various types of information would be found.
    7.1  What types of information would be found in each of the following reference books? 
8.0  State and federal forms
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the student how to fill out and file the various forms in the veterinary hospital and to accurately record lab data.
    8.1  Be able to fill out and file the following forms correctly:   
    8.2  Be able to find information on state and federal health regulations  
9.0  Veterinary ethic 
Instructional goal:
The goal is to teach the student the laws and ethics governing veterinary medicine.  Effective client interaction and handling the angry client will also be emphasized. 
    9.1  Define the following terms
    9.2  Read and discuss Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics.
    9.3  Define and explain professional ethics, jurisprudence, and professionalism.
    9.4  Discuss euthanasia, moral and ethical handling of remains,  alternatives to euthanasia, the term “convenience euthanasia”, and the          business concerns.
    9.5  Discuss pet loss grief and the client.  List various resources for counseling.
10.0  Veterinary technician associations
Instructional goal: 
The goal is to introduce the student to the various professional organizations involving veterinary technicians, and the importance of the veterinary technician in the veterinary medical field. 
    10.1  List the various professional organizations available for veterinary technicians. 
    10.2  Define “team concept” for the delivery of animal health care. 
    10.3  What is the technician’s role in generation of veterinary practice income? 
    10.4  Discuss problems and solutions of working as a veterinary technician.