People love their pets and want them treated at a veterinary clinic where they, and their pet, feel safe and comfortable. While the quality of care will generally be the most important thing, having a veterinary office that compliments and allows for a comfortable experience is crucial.
In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at veterinary clinic remodel and construction features you can implement in your own office.
Clear Signage Outside
It may seem simple, but the first step towards creating a positive experience for pets and their parents in your veterinary clinic is to make sure your clinic is well marked. Your clients have to find you, after all.
Make sure your veterinary clinic has the name clearly visible. Beyond making sure people know that the office is yours, make sure it looks good and inviting. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression!
A Calming Environment in the Reception Area
Just like you, pets can sense anxious energy. Creating a reception area that is calming and inviting will keep you clients and your furry patients happy.
Start by creating a smooth process upon check in. If this process is easy for your patients, they will feel at ease and it will start the appointment off strong. This will in turn help keep pets relaxed, leading to an overall smoother process.
Some other aspects to think about when creating a good reception area:
- Low Distractions: While small, limiting distractions (and designing your office so distracting activity is kept out of the reception area) will keep pets and their parents relaxed.
- Limit Clutter: Similar to distractions, clutter creates negative energy in your reception area. It also reflects poorly on your clinic.
- Outdoor Play Area: Having a place to let loose outside could provide relief for some dogs. It also allows for a space for them to go to the bathroom.
- Keep Pets Separate: Many of your pet-patients will get along with one another fine. Others may not though, so providing ways for your clients to keep their pets isolated if they don’t play well will reduce stress and keep your waiting area calm.
When your clients bring their pets into the office, it can be a scary experience. They’ll want to know they can have access to them whenever they feel like they need to. Make sure your office has a policy – and the space – for them to be in the exam room.
Another way for you to make your clients feel comfortable is to have seating available to them in the exam room. While this seems small (and some won’t even want to use it), providing seating will be a welcoming gesture. This will double as a place to keep their belongings off the floor while their pets are examined. You can use individual chairs, or even bench seating.
High End Equipment
Pet parents always like to see shiny new equipment. While unnecessary items are not needed, making sure you currently have and are keeping up on the latest technology in pet care will help keep your patients healthy and their parent’s mind at ease.
The Right Number of Rooms
It’s always hard to fully know how much space to include when designing for any business. Deciding how big to make your space depends on a number of factors, including:
- How much you want to grow
- The economy
- Hiring decisions
- The development of your neighborhood
While this is hard, a good rule of thumb is to have two rooms for every practicing vet in the office. This allows for one room to be prepared while the other is actively being used.
Correctly Sized Tables
Vet tables come in all different sizes and in both fold-down and stationary styles. A common work surface of a veterinary table is 24” x 48” at about 36 inches off the ground. This allows enough space for a large dog, with any animal over that size examined on the ground.
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A Welcoming Environment
Creating an environment that’s welcoming should be a priority for all business, big and small. Everybody wants to feel like they are welcome when they go somewhere, particularly somewhere where they’ll be spending lots of money.
Some ways to cultivate a welcoming environment in your veterinary clinic:
A Compassionate Staff
For many patients, this is going to be a frightening time. Their pet is sick, and in the worst cases they may not make it through. Having a staff that is empathetic and understanding will make your clients feel comfortable. More than anything, it’s the right thing to do.
Equally, it’s important that your staff is approachable and helpful. Clients will likely have a lot of questions on the care you are providing and how they can support that care at home. You will want them to feel like they can ask the questions they feel like they need to ask.
An Office That’s Involved With The Community
Becoming involved with your community is more than just a marketing initiative; it will enrich your staff, help define your clinic’s values, and allow you to contribute to the health of your community.
Clients love seeing community involvement by their pet’s vets, as it shows you care about more than just the business element of your veterinary clinic. We recommend becoming involved with charities focused on animals and their well being.
A Bright Office Design
Natural Materials and Lighting
As stated, an environment that creates a sense of calm in your veterinary office will create a more pleasant experience for you clients. The best way to do this? The use of natural materials and natural light.
Consider using natural materials for accents throughout the clinic, and even for features inside the exam rooms. Some materials to consider for veterinary office interior design:
Match these with earth tones to create a relaxing space for everyone in your office (even your employees!)
Additionally, make sure that your clinic is getting plenty of light throughout. Big, open windows where possible will bring a brightness into your office that can help lift spirits and create positivity in your clinic.
Make Sure It Has Plenty of Space
It can be tempting to try to squeeze as many rooms as possible into your space. But should you?
Make sure the space you are using for your Portland veterinary clinic construction project is big enough to allow you the space you’ll need to be a successful practice. This means enough room for a large reception area where clients will not feel cramped, and enough space for the amount of exam room’s you’ll need.
A common issue we see with veterinary offices is that they don’t have enough storage space. Not only is this frustrating for your staff, it can look unprofessional to your clients.
Clients want to forget that they’re in a medical facility when at the vet. Not having enough space and having to store medical instruments and pharmaceuticals will remind them they’re pet is sick, and lessen their experience at your clinic.
Additionally, we don’t recommend using kitchen style cabinets in your clinic. Aim for a professional, functional look that adds credibility and ease to your practice.
Ready to Design The Veterinary Office For You and Your Clients?
At BnK Construction, our Portland veterinary construction and remodeling team has over 75 years of combined experience realizing our clients dreams. Contact us today with any questions on designing and building the perfect vet clinic, or with any questions on designing and building your space.