With Atlanta traffic it would take me about 45 minutes to get to work which is normally 20 minutes away. I would start my days at 6:45 to get to work at 7:45am. If I am working the call center, I go to my desk and start checking voicemails and emails from after we closed the previous night at 8pm. Once I have gotten back to those clients, I turn my phone on. Because we were such a low-cost vet, we became a high-volume clinic, servicing around 30,000 clients, receiving around 300 calls each day. These are divided to two call center representatives and the surgery wing receptionist. In the call center, we answer questions about our practice and financially-qualified pricing program, create new accounts, and schedule patients through Cornerstone which requires taking a $25 non-refundable deposit. We would take their card number over the phone and process it through Virtual Merchant, always making sure the price matched up with what we had in Cornerstone. Scheduling also required making sure you schedule the correct doctor, depending on which days they work and in which part of the clinic. When scheduling surgeries, you have to check the time estimate the doctor gave on the patients' file and schedule accordingly.
When working reception in the Wellness clinic and the Treatment clinic, we check patients in and update the schedule as we go. We are always in contact with medical staff to be aware of how long patients are taking, seeing how many more patients we can take, and letting them know of any medical emergencies.
When working reception in the surgery wing, we arrive at 7:20 to set up and start checking everyone in at 7:30. After that, we spend the rest of the day making post-operative calls from the previous day and updating the system about the call. We also would make reminder calls for surgeries the next morning, while keeping up with incoming calls and emails. When we have a spare moment, we catch up on scanning documents and attaching them to the patients' files.
I learned a lot of administrative tasks, like scheduling and operating patient files through Cornerstone, taking payments in Virtual merchant, and operating the phones.
My manager received me very well, she would accommodate me when needed and she gave me good feedback when needed. The overall management needed some work with scheduling the staff- a lot of us were overworked.
My co-workers were great- the other customer representatives always happily showed me everything I needed to know. I did have a few mistakes that meant them having to stay later to fix the problem or help me and they always assured me that it was fine because I was just learning.
The medical staff was a little different- they were generally nice, but anytime I needed to come to them about something (owner on the phone needing something) they were usually overwhelmed and would sometimes shrug me off. The doctors only had time for me if it was a medical emergency. Everything else- like calls they were supposed to make from the previous day- was put in their "boxes" for them to get to later. This caused a lot of friction between myself and clients because they would be calling for medical results they were told they would get the next day, but the doctors would always be too busy with current patients to get back to them.
The hardest part of the job was dealing with this friction. The lack of someone on the medical staff making calls to clients updating them on the status of the pet. Since I was not medical, I was not authorized to give any results, so the most that I could do was to notify the staff, and for them to ultimately put it on the back-burner. It was also difficult working with low-income clients. We already offered the lowest costs in Atlanta, as well as offering discounted services for those who qualify. I would have some patients at the end of the visit complaining that it was over $100 when anywhere else it would have been around $300, saying "I thought you were a low-cost vet".
The most enjoyable part of my job was seeing the healthy pets. I also did develop some comradeship with my co-workers that I enjoyed.