Clinic By Design

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First Impressions Last

Making a good first impression in any medical environment is important. You need your patients to feel like they are in a safe environment straight away in the hope it will ease some of their tension.


Understandably pet owners can get just as nervous about a trip to the vet as our furry (or winged or scaly) friends so as a veterinary practice owner it is definitely worth taking the time to make sure you are creating a warm and welcoming environment from the moment your patients and their owners walk through your doors.


Considering a ‘Fear Free’ environment when you take on a new veterinary practice construction can totally change the experience both pets and owners have when they visit your clinic.


The fear that people and pets feel can start as early as the front door. Whether is it the fear of the unknown or knowing what their pet could potentially have to go through during a visit can cause a lot of stress which is why it is important you make sure your waiting area is set out to accommodate everyone in the most comfortable manner possible.


If space permits it is advisable that you have separate waiting areas for cats and dogs. By doing this you are reducing the risk of anxiety between animals and therefore reducing the anxiety between owners as well.


These areas can be made clearly identifiable with the use of imagery and product placement so owners know exactly which space to head to while they wait therefore avoiding any confusion in someone that may already be feeling a bit out of sorts.

Artwork can also have a positive impact on people as a welcome visual distraction while they wait for their pet’s appointment.


When it comes to joinery it is definitely helpful to use materials that can be cleaned efficiently as well as thoroughly.

Vinyl is a great option when it comes to the patient side of your reception desk or other loose pieces of joinery placed around the waiting area (i.e. refresh stations) where certain spills are common.


The types of cleaning products you use can also help in a big way to create a fear free environment. As a vet you would know all about nose blindness in dogs and how important it is to use odour neutral cleaning products in order to reduce the risk of dogs becoming confused in their surrounds, in turn causing unnecessary anxiety.


With the use of odour free disinfectants you are building the stepping stones to create an environment that is a welcoming and pleasant place for dogs to visit.


Now, not only do you need to look after your patients and their pets but you also need to make sure your veterinary practice construction is suitable for your staff members. By creating an efficient environment as opposed to something that looks great but is not practical for their daily tasks you are showing care for their wellbeing too.


The best way to make sure you are including the items that are most important to your staff members within your veterinary practice construction is to speak to them.


Show them a rough floor plan and ask for input on joinery and accessibility to certain parts of the clinic. What might not seem like a big deal to you could make another staff member’s day much easier.


By building your new veterinary practice construction around the comfort and wellbeing of not only your patients (and their humans) but also your staff you are creating a place people want to be in and will be happy to come back to time and time again.


You would be surprised how much that first impression can impact someone’s first visit so it is imperative you take the steps into getting this right.