Hablamos Espanol aqui?

Hablamos Espanol aqui?

Oct 15, 2008

"Tactfully identify your clients' language needs at check-in or when they call to set up an appointment," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, president of The Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group that owns and operates hospitals in Michigan. "Once you determine the approximate percentage of your clientele that speaks Spanish, then you can implement a variety of communication strategies."

Dr. Rothstein says if 5 percent to 15 percent of your clients are Hispanic, it would be ideal to have one or two staff members that speak a moderate degree of Spanish. If the range is greater than 25 percent, you'll want to consider having a Spanish-speaking veterinarian on staff, too. "Accommodating Hispanic clients can also include Spanish-language magazines, handouts, and prescription labels," he says.

Dr. Jeff Rothstein
Dr. Victor Contreras-Rodríguez, Dr. Rothstein's colleague, says that appealing to a particular demographic involves making them feel their experience was worth coming back for. "When we answer the phone we ask for a last name, the pet's name, and species," he says. "When the client comes for the appointment, I help him or her fill out the new-client form. In the exam room, I speak Spanish constantly. Many Spanish-speaking clients speak English pretty well, but if you cater to them in Spanish, they'll bond more closely with your clinic. Hispanics are physical people and like to shake hands and make eye contact at all times. Finally, our word is our bond. Make sure you mean what you say."

Hot topics on dvm360

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.