Working in health care requires a person to practice compassion and empathy round the clock at a higher level than most people, because such a profession deals with sick patients as well as caring family members and friends. Doctors and nurses know this, and it is no different for people who are working in the veterinary field. People who handle animals for a living certainly do so because of their unconditional love for animals and a passion for their job. The job of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, nurses and veterinary assistants often weigh them down because of their overt compassion for any helpless animal that comes into a clinic. You can read more on many of the risks and difficulties of vet techs here.
Most people do not recognize that they are over committing themselves to the act of caring and feeling for animals, and fail to care for themselves along the way. Vets, vet techs, nurses and assistants are prone to feeling that they need to do everything in their hands to allow their patients to be comfortable and happy once again. They usually also feel guilt and fatigue when they fail to treat a case, or when they overwork themselves. Working in a veterinary hospital is demanding both physically and emotionally. Employees in a veterinary hospital usually work beyond normal hours and need to deal with both their patients’ and clients’ welfare. If one is not careful enough, he or she could suffer from compassion fatigue. The tagline from organizations such as the Compassion Fatigue Project increases awareness in the fact that caring too much can hurt. You can also find information on how to relieve stress from a working as a veterinary technician here.
Anybody who handles animals could suffer from compassion fatigue, as some cases are helpless and will only lead to further suffering of the animal. At the animal hospital, there is a also constant need to face the reality of euthanasia. Dealing with death is something that not a lot of people are willing to face. Such procedures are performed by veterinarians with the aid of vet techs who should both be prepared to participate in such procedures.
It is, therefore, important to raise awareness in compassion fatigue for people who are in the veterinary field, such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians, nurses and assistants. It is also very important encourage practices to nurture their employees’ wellness in order to prevent compassion fatigue. Most people who suffer from compassion fatigue often run out of energy and become unaware of their condition until they feel depression and other destructive behaviors. There are many signs of compassion fatigue in employees that co-workers and bosses should be able to recognize, such as tiredness, bottled up emotions, blaming other people, poor self-care (appearance and hygiene), depression and apathy, substance abuse, difficulty in concentrating, as well as a myriad of other problems presenting as mental and physical exhaustion.
What can employers do to decrease the risk of compassion fatigue in a veterinary clinic or hospital? Animal caregivers such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians, nurses and assistants should be given their usual benefits, but other than that, employers can encourage wellness by teaching employees to take care of themselves. Educating veterinarians, nurses, assistants and vet techs to quit smoking, engage in physical activity, and providing a space for relaxation and enjoying meals could do your employees a great deal of stress relief and assist them in creating a healthy environment in the workplace. Any form of support for individuals who are working in healthcare will likely be taken advantage of. How the boss interacts and supports his or her employees also has a great effect in managing a veterinary hospital. If you are a vet, assistant, nurse or vet tech, information is available to you throughout this site to increase your awareness of various hurdles vet techs must be aware to succeed in this career.