Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians. The overall theme of the conference was The Human-Animal Bond, and my day-long track covered topics such as client communication, handling discontented and grieving clients, and compassion fatigue. In my other talks about compassion fatigue, I have learned that this is often a “quiet” lecture; there isn’t a lot of audience participation when it comes to discussing such a personal topic.
Yet the most gratifying part of my day occurs when the Power Point slides are over and the lecture is done, and veterinary professionals come up to me privately to thank me for the topic and the information. As one technician in Michigan said, “I needed this. I’ve attended medical CE often enough, but THIS is what I needed today.”
I applaud her and any of you who can realize what YOU need, and perhaps what you need is time to realize how to take care of yourself, less you fall victim to increasing compassion fatigue. It’s called the “cost of caring” for a reason; it costs our practices money, but it also costs our profession some really wonderful people who just couldn’t withstand the heart-strain that our work sometimes causes.
Make sure YOU know what you NEED, today and every day.