FOR 15 years Sam Haggett has been the reassuring voice on the phone and the smiling face at the front desk for clients who bring in their poorly pets to a Somerset veterinary practice.

During her time at Quantock Veterinary Hospital she has welcomed thousands of people through the doors, now she is proud to be among the first in the country to achieve a trio of qualifications in a prestigious receptionists’ awards scheme.

The dedication of Sam has seen her gain bronze, silver and gold in the Companion Animal Accredited Veterinary Receptionist Awards, after demonstrating competence in all aspects of her role from greeting clients to dealing with emergency cases and showing clinical awareness.

She is among just nine per cent of receptionists enrolled on the scheme to have completed all three levels and earn fully accredited status with organisers, the British Veterinary Receptionist Association (BVRA).

The achievement is not only a major accomplishment for Sam but is also proving to be a boon for her colleagues and the Bridgwater hospital as a whole.

Sam, who lives near Bridgwater with her husband, two children and two Jack Russells, said: “The scheme has given me the tools to expand my knowledge which means I can better help the team.

“I can ask the right questions of clients to provide better information to the vets and nurses and ensure the appointments are booked for the correct length of time – it just makes everything much more smoothly.”

“I’m very proud to have gained the full accreditation. It’s hugely satisfying and, of course, it’s always nice to receive recognition. A veterinary receptionist is the first person the client sees and interacts with at a practice, so it is an important role.”

Helun Jones, practice manager at Quantock Veterinary Hospital, said: “Congratulations to Sam who has worked so hard using her extensive knowledge and skills to achieve her bronze, silver and gold BVRA awards. We are so proud of her achievement.”