New Veterinary Compassion Fatigue Data Raises Concerns


2015/2016 Veterinary Compassion Fatigue Data

New data on Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction specifically in the veterinary medicine field was recently released and the information is a major concern with high responses of early burnout. Before we take a closer look at the data, we should first review Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction.

Compassion Fatigue: the negative feelings derived from work; it has been identified as burnout (exhaustion, frustration, anger, depression) and secondary traumatic stress (work-related trauma).

Compassion Satisfaction: the level of pleasure derived from work; it can be broken down even further by examining the feeling of pleasure from helping others, positivity toward colleagues contributing to the work setting, and the greater good of society through your work.

Factors That Contribute to Veterinary Compassion Fatigue

The three main factors that contributed to compassion fatigue in the 2015 and 2016 surveys were satisfaction with current employment, hours worked per week and educational preparedness for veterinary services. Basically, those surveyed who marked themselves as being less than satisfied with their current job, were also the employees who responded that they were working too many hours and felt less prepared for the job. It was also noted that there is a very strong relationship between compassion satisfaction and the level of employment compensation. Very few high income earners show signs of compassion fatigue, while a high number or low income earners indicated considerable dissatisfaction.

How Abbey Glen Combats Compassion Fatigue

These responses, in many ways, can be tied to the workplace culture created by employers, in the way they react and manage employee needs. That is why Abbey Glen offers our veterinary partners the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Through EAP, we are able to offer our partners services and resources that in turn enable them to extend valuable support resources to their employees – thereby increasing compassion satisfaction and reducing compassion fatigue.

The EAP sponsored by Abbey Glen provides confidential counseling services for employees to maintain a healthy and positive workplace culture. EAP has shown improvements in veterinary offices morale, productivity, efficiency and overall performance – while reducing absenteeism, turnover typically caused by burnout and workplace accidents which can lead to traumatic stress.

At Abbey Glen, our compassion extends beyond just pets. We recognize and appreciate the value of our veterinary partners and the wellbeing of their employees. For more information on Abbey Glen's EAP contact Judy at 732-522-9528.