As a trained veterinarian, veterinary technician, assistant veterinarian, or other trained medical professional in the veterinary field, you’re pretty well-versed in the terminology used in various animal conditions. After all, you went to school for many years, attended many classes, read many books, and listened to many well-seasoned veterinary professionals during your budding career’s infancy. It’s not far-reaching to assume you have a good amount of animal-related information implanted in your brain.
So, if I asked, “What is epistaxis,” you’d be able to quickly reply, “That means bleeding from the nose.” You might know what this means, but remember that many of the pet owners who come into your practice aren’t well-versed in veterinary terminology. When used without an explanation afterwards, those big, hard-to-pronounce words can lead to blank stares and confusion. This is why it’s important to speak – and in my case, write – in layman’s terms.
To communicate in any way with layman’s terms means to communicate in such a way that the average individual can understand. As a copywriter, I spend about 90% of my day creating copy that’s meant to be heard and/or seen by your clients, the pet owners. Veterinarians ask me to write about important topics they want their clients to know about, and I oblige. But why would your clients need to understand? As long as you, the vet, knows what you’re talking about, that’s what matters, right? Your clients should just trust you and let you do your job.
Any veterinarian worth their salt would disagree with that bit of flawed logic. The thing to remember is your target audience isn’t going to want to read or listen to something that is akin to a medical textbook. They will lose interest and probably look somewhere else for the answers to their questions, which, in turn, could mean lost business for your practice. Also, education is very important for your clients, and explaining things in ways they understand allows them to learn and work with you to make informed decisions regarding the health of their pets.
In short, make sure the content you share with your clients is interesting, understandable, and free of strange technical galimatias – or confusing language.