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De-escalation and Effective Communication

Want to learn how to identify an irate client or employee before the situation escalates? Effective communication using verbal de-escalation is a type of intervention that can be used by anyone at-risk for aggressive or emotional behaviors to diffuse, re-direct, or de-escalate a conflict situation. It is important for staff to have good communication skills and a strong sense of self-awareness to manage the personal provocations, emotional challenges, and professional deprecation that often accompany emotionally charged encounters in the veterinary practice.


  • Discuss and define the concept of verbal de-escalation
  • Learn strategies to reduce the risk of situations becoming dangerous
  • Apply verbal de-escalation techniques and resolution strategies using effective communication skills

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KimberlyAnn Mackey, MS, CVPM

Kimberly Ann Mackey

Kim Mackey is a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM) with more than 15 years’ experience in the veterinary field, as she has worked her way up from receptionist to practice manager. Additionally, she has a background in criminal justice that has helped her succeed by bringing an interesting perspective to veterinary practice. She has more than 25 years of experience in criminal justice and 17 years as a state parole supervisor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She continues to work in criminal justice and gain useful information that she translates into the veterinary world.