Training in Clinical Communication in the Veterinary Technology (VT) curriculum provides an essential skill for professional success of future Licensed Veterinary Technicians. We have developed and implemented this training over the last 4 years. We will report on feedback from students and facilitators.   Training in clinical communication can:
  • Increase efficiency
  • Increase employee work satisfaction and retention rates
  • Increase client compliance
  • Improve patient outcomes
    This training approach is based on the Calgary-Cambridge method used with veterinary students with an adapted guide for focused attention on most relevant VT skills.  The guide is used throughout the curriculum to provide an introduction to communication skills. At the end of the VT curriculum there is a 2-day training that uses trained Simulated Clients, veterinary medical cases, learner instructions, and “reason for visit”. Each learner group consists of 3 or more students and is facilitated by 2 trained communication coaches (a veterinarian and veterinary technician).  There is ample opportunity for each student to progress through an entire case scenario.   Learner assessment and feedback is immediate from 4 different sources: self-reflection, simulated client, peers, and coach. Using the VT Skills Guide adapted from the Calgary Cambridge guides: Communication Process Skills.*  

    Communication is a core team skill. Developing VT communication skills to a professional level of competence is key to a successful veterinary practice. As a result of this training we have found increased student confidence: approaching new situations, communication skills, and goal setting for their own education for this training and curriculum.   

    *WEDAM, Sue DVM, *JENSEN, Rachel B.S., LVT, *PAPAGEORGIOU, Nicole B.A., LVT Veterinary Technology Program. 
    Yakima Valley College, Yakima, WA, USA; Clinical Communication Program/College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA; Veterinary Technology Program, Yakima Valley College, Yakima, WA, USA