Fight veterinary team member burnout with compassion

Fight veterinary team member burnout with compassion

Q: We've recently had a string of traumatic cases at my hospital, and I'm worried my staff might be suffering from compassion fatigue. What can I do to help?
Feb 01, 2014
By staff

"If you have members of your team with compassion fatigue, it will ultimately affect the efficiency, effectiveness and even the profitability of the practice," says Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR, owner of interFace Veterinary HR Systems in Appleton, Wis. That's why it's so important for practice owners or managers to step in and take appropriate measures to handle stressful situations.

Dobbs recommends taking a look at the following: Are you providing continuing education for your staff to stimulate new knowledge? Are you giving them adequate reprieve from the daily grind in the form of breaks and time away from work? Are you providing benefits, such as health insurance, so staff can seek out professional care?

Dobbs also recommends appointing someone on the team who directly oversees the workload each person is carrying and makes sure each person has the tools she needs to do her job well.

Finally, keep the lines of communication open—even when it comes to difficult topics. "When there's trauma in the practice, there should always be discussion about it," says Dobbs.