Today's Veterinary Practice

TVP_JUL-AUG2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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PEER REVIEWED 18 JULY/AUGUST 2018 todaysveterinarypractice.com The health and wellbeing of veterinary professionals have increasingly become a focus for the industry in recent years. Historically, our profession has enabled a culture of "shame and blame" that's affected veterinarians and paraprofessionals throughout their entire careers. I'm sure many of you reading this remember a time when the phrase "compassion fatigue" was used as a label for what many of us experience while practicing, but meat on the bones of those discussions was lacking—and the resources we needed to help us. Fortunately, we are seeing new programs introduced at veterinary medical colleges and professional organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to ensure wellbeing is incorporated into curriculum and resources. Some universities and practices are also involving veterinary social workers as a support system for their students and associates. And major organizations, from American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to Mars, Inc., are focusing on the wellbeing of their members and associates by providing unique solutions to the stressors that veterinary professionals face every day. What we are witnessing is a promising cultural shift within our profession; however, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue this important conversation. We must be willing to reach out when we need help and lean on each other. By sharing our stories, we make our profession stronger, and we destigmatize much of what has plagued us over the decades. I have personally suffered through compassion fatigue—and still struggle with anxiety and depression on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis. Thanks to sustained conversations and the normalizing of an issue and topic once thought taboo in our profession, I have had the opportunity to dig into the root causes of compassion fatigue, providing perspective on how I can best manage my stressors. By understanding how rumination, emotional labor and moral and ethical stress impact each of us, we can better understand how to self-manage, whether through tools like journaling or just sharing an experience with a close colleague. I'm extremely proud to be part of Banfield Pet Hospital's commitment to helping bring Compassion Fatigue and the Veterinarian Seth Vredenburg, DVM, CCFP Senior Program Manager, Learning and Development, Banfield Pet Hospital FROM THE FIELD shutterstock.com/Syda Productions From the Field shares insights from Banfield Pet Hospital veterinary team members. Drawing from the nationwide practice's extensive research, as well as findings from its electronic veterinary medical records database and more than 8 million annual pet visits, this column is intended to explore topics and spark conversations relevant to veterinary practices that ultimately help create a better world for pets. HEALTH + WELLBEING Taking care of ourselves and showing support to our colleagues sets the tone for providing optimal patient care.

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