After six years in UK practice, Caroline Hewson did a PhD and was Research Chair in Animal Welfare at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Canada from 2000 to 2006. Her work there included teaching client communication and she created a related teaching video that five other vet schools bought. Returning to UK practice, Caroline created The Loss of Your Pet client-support packs and The Loss of Their Pet team training to help practices bridge the bereavement support gap without needing more time or personnel. In 2014, she has written eight papers (published or in press) on the academic and practical aspects of client-care during animals’ end-of-life, and written the relevant section of the BSAVA PetSavers Senior Dog Guide. In addition to providing full-day conference-style CPD for the practice team, Caroline is an invited speaker at veterinary and veterinary nursing meetings across the UK.
Praise for Caroline Hewson
"I have found this a very interesting, thought-provoking and useful course and I will certainly make use of what I’ve learned. "
"I have found it highly informative and really helps you think about what you are saying and doing: especially after such a long time in practice it can be easy to become quite dismissive and at times, judgemental."
"I have really enjoyed this course […and] have come away with more insight and the tools I need to continue to improve my empathy with "pet parents"
"I have found this course very enlightening and will look at euthanasia and client grief in a different way from now on"
"This course has taught me some valuable lessons in client empathy and the way we effectively communicate during the difficult end of life episodes; Thank you."
In the first webinar Caroline introduces the basic background to grief, what affects it, and the different ways it’s expressed.
We then cover the basics of empathic communication—a core transferable skill for any emotional client encounter.
The hour wraps up by introducing Reflective Practice—a very simple way by which anyone in your practice team can apply new learning and learn from how it goes.
This webinar builds on the background knowledge from our first webinar by adding the tools to enable students to confidently take phone enquiries about euthanasia, and guide that discussion in a sympathetic but professional way.
We start by covering another core communication skill that is really important when giving information to distressed clients—collaboration. Again, there’ll be suggested wording you can try for yourself.
After that, we focus on the step-by-step details of handling phone enquiries about euthanasia.
The phone enquiry is an overlooked but very demanding & crucial client touchpoint, which can frame the client’s feelings and concerns for everything that follows in the clinic. Because each call is unique, there is no script, just detailed step-by-step examples of wording.
The last part of the webinar introduces Front Of House’s role during the euthanasia visit, which we pick up in the final webinar.
Our final webinar delves into the rest of the details from the Euthanasia visit including:
What can you say when you’re taking payment?
How should we handle silence?
After that we cover the nitty-gritty of ashes collection—the phone call, and the collection itself.
The hour concludes with some tips on what not to say to grieving clients, and some ideas around the awkward business of “chasing” payment for euthanasias.
Front of House personnel who complete the series will come away:
Knowing they are not alone in aspects of client-care they may find hard and
With new knowledge, confidence, and transferable communication skills that will enable them to approach their crucial client touchpoints with professionalism and ease.
With that core foundation, practices will be better set up to support clients through the other touch-points at animals' end of life, and will reduce the chances of clients saying they "Just cant face going back" when they get their next animal companion.