Kansas Veterinarians – Providing Accurate Instructions to Pet Owners is Key

Veterinarians are very busy professionals in Kansas.  Many Kansas citizens own at least one pet, and there are hundreds of veterinarians across this state.  Therefore, this means that most veterinarians will have a large workload each day.  Because veterinarians are often so busy, many general tasks are left to support staff.  While support staff may have the requisite knowledge to accurately communicate instructions to pet owners, if that staff member provides the wrong information, or fails to provide sufficient information, a veterinarian may be held responsible if a support staff member’s mistake causes the pet any harm.

For example, if a pet has recently had a procedure (such as being spayed or neutered), the veterinarian him or herself should be the person providing specific instructions for post-operative care to the pet owner.  Allowing a staff member to communicate specific instructions leaves room for error that, as mentioned, could fall squarely on the veterinarian.  If the pet becomes ill, and the pet owner did not have instructions for how to help the pet (such as cleaning the wound and administering antibiotics, for example), a veterinarian may be forced to face a disciplinary action by the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners, if the pet owner files a complaint.

What You Should Do to Avoid Disciplinary Action

 In order to ensure your patients/pet owners are receiving accurate instructions following a procedure or other care, you should be the person to provide those instructions, no matter how busy your office may get.  While you may have very competent staff members, it is simply too risky to allow others to communicate your instructions.

For example, if you have just performed a spay or neuter operation, and the pet owner has arrived to pick his or her pet up, you should clearly explain post-operative instructions both verbally and in writing, and if there is any medication the pet needs to take, information about such medication must be clearly communicated.  Oftentimes, pet owners come to pick up their pets and leave without any instructions at all.  When this happens, the pet owner may not know what to do if something goes wrong and the pet’s condition worsens after going home.  The pet owner may be back at your clinic the following day, asking for advice, and this could cost you time and money.

To avoid potential communication errors with a pet owner, and to avoid resulting disciplinary action (or even a lawsuit), you, as the veterinarian, should always be the person to consult with a pet owner regarding post-operative care.  While some support staff members (such as high level veterinary technicians) may be allowed to offer post-operative instructions, it is still in your best interest as a Kansas veterinarian, to handle all communications with pet owners regarding post-operative care and instructions.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are a Kansas veterinarian and you are facing disciplinary action, or believe you may be facing such an action in the future, it is extremely important that you contact a Kansas Professional License Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  You have spent time and money reaching your goal of caring for animals, and you should not lose your professional license because of one mistake a support staff member made while in your veterinary clinic.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office helps a variety of Kansas professionals fight to keep their licenses when they are facing disciplinary action.  With her prior experience as Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, Danielle Sanger has a unique perspective from the disciplinary side that many other attorneys do not possess.  To speak with Danielle Sanger, contact the Sanger Law Office today at (785) 979-4353 to schedule your free consultation.