The Cost of Caring
Veterinary medicine is often more than just a career—it is a calling. It attracts compassionate, caring individuals who want to help ill or injured animals. Because of the nature of companion animal medicine, we often find ourselves helping families through suffering and sorrow. However, we do this caring work for others who are in emotional and physical pain at a cost to ourselves, the “cost of caring,” also known as compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue can damage us and the work we do. Teams affected by compassion fatigue may contribute to a toxic work environment by becoming dispirited and cynical at work, making clinical errors, and losing a respectful tone toward clients and patients.