Oct
7
2015

If you’ve noticed subtle changes in your practice lately—staff becoming increasingly inflexible or calling in sick more often—you may be observing compassion fatigue in action, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

And if you think your practice is immune to such fatigue, consider this: Michigan Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) recently surveyed its members and over 40% of the 227 respondents self-identified as having compassion fatigue. Translated, that is almost half of a practice's staff. 

But help is available.

Practices can assess the level of compassion fatigue in staff members with the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL), a self-administered assessment developed by Beth Hudnall Stamm, PhD. The tool was originally developed for human healthcare workers; that version is available free of charge on the ProQOL website. (Practices can customize it by replacing "helper" with "veterinary professional" with permission.)  

There is also a version of the ProQOL customized specifically for the veterinary profession on the AVMA site. That customized assessment is available free to AVMA members.

The AVMA also offers resources for practices to manage compassion fatigue, including by addressing specific issues such as stress management, financial wellness, and work-life balance.

Photo Credit: © iStock/Pamela Moore

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