AAHA offices are closed due to a special staff function from 1-5pm MDT on June 24. We will resume regular business hours on Monday, June 27.

Roles and responsibilities of the healthcare team

It is important that the healthcare team speak with a unified voice and sense of purpose under any circumstances, but particularly so where EOL care is concerned. Each member of the healthcare team should have defined caregiving and client-support responsibilities, preferably ones that utilize individual skills, strengths, and experience. All team members should be trained to identify signs of compassion fatigue in themselves, staff, and family caregivers.


  • Develops medical and educational protocols for staff
  • Designs specialized training for medical caregivers (technicians and family members)
  • Advises and enrolls patients in EOL program
  • Develops specific care plan for patient
  • Designs communication plan among all caregivers
  • Oversees implementation of care administered to patient
  • Provides options and support for determining the final stage (euthanasia vs. hospice-supported natural death) and afterlife resources

Practice Manager

  • Implements the educational and training programs for healthcare providers
  • Creates a network of hospice professionals to support the staff and caregivers, including social workers, grief/bereavement counselors, psychologists, spiritual counselors, and community volunteers
  • Markets EOL care to clients and the community
  • Works with the veterinarian to alert staff to an EOL case being initiated
  • Monitors for signs of compassion fatigue of self, staff, and family caregivers


  • Provides supportive care for EOL patients and their families
  • Participates in or leads home visits, provides quality of life and environmental assessments, manages clinical signs in home setting under the supervision of the veterinarian
  • Bathes, grooms, provides stimulation and massage of the patient
  • May provide time off for the primary caregiver
  • Maintains supplies/inventory within the home and veterinary hospital for EOL care

Reception and other client-service personnel

  • Schedules and coordinates care among patient/family and veterinary team members
  • Alerts staff when an in-hospital euthanasia has been scheduled
  • Creates a compassionate environment for the client and pet upon arrival to the hospital
  • Ensures all follow-up communication (sympathy card, memorial donation, phone call, changing pet’s status to deceased in the medical record, etc.) after the EOL event has been completed