The BVRA annual congress
The British Veterinary Receptionist Association (BVRA) held its first annual congress at the Lea Marston Hotel, Warwickshire on Wednesday 28th February 2018. The congress was a sell-out at 120 and despite the challenging weather conditions, over 100 delegates attended.
The first session was opened by the Association's co-founder, Brian Faulkner MRCVS. Brian emphasised the importance of the receptionist's role within veterinary practice and declared that ‘The BVRA's mission is to recognise and raise the status of veterinary receptionists within the UK veterinary profession. The BVRA will do this by acting as a professional body to focus on the interests of veterinary receptionists as well as evolving the receptionist role through affordable CPD and training leading to the attainment of the Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Award.’
Guest speakers included Steve Holman from Simply Health and Andrew Rastall from Connected Vet. Steve gave two informative talks covering ‘dealing with challenging customers’ and ‘handling confrontation’ whilst Andrew talked about how to successfully post, promote and boost your practice's profile on Facebook.
The afternoon session opened with an inspirational and humbling talk by Hounds for Heroes founder, Allen Parton, with his two assistance dogs, EJ and Rookie. There wasn't a dry eye in the room and Allen received a standing ovation.
Allen's speech was followed by a game of ‘heads and tails’ whereby one lucky winner won a new iPad compliments of BVRA. Brian Faulkner's afternoon session was on ‘Identifying stress at Reception’ which covered emotions and emotional intelligence as well and pin-pointing some of the common causes of tension at reception that can usually be alleviated by better team and communication between the vets and receptionists. After a short afternoon break, the day finished on an ‘Ask the Panel‘ session.
Some of the feedback from those who attended included:
"Thank you for creating the BVRA. It is time vet Receptionists are recognised as the professionals we are!!"
"Brill course, more please, about time Receptionists got recognition. "
"Hooray!! Finally something actually tailored and useful to vet Receptionists. Looking forward to the next one. Thank you."
"Lovely to have an event for Receptionists, it has made us feel really valued as members of the Veterinary community."