Someday, I’m going to own my own business. Because of that, I asked my mentor if I could sit in on management meetings to learn more about how management works from the top down. While in one of those meetings, I learned what compassion fatigue really is.
In school, some of our professors have talked about compassion fatigue. They’ve talked about how it can lead to burnout and is one of the major mental health strains on our profession. The only issue is that I had never seen or heard of compassion fatigue before. I didn’t know what it looked like and I couldn’t understand it from their explanations. This confusion stuck with me until, like I mentioned, I saw it in a management meeting.
One of the associate veterinarians at that practice was talking about how she felt when she had multiple sick patients in exam rooms at the same time. Not only did she stay late on those days to make sure that everyone had top quality care, but she also took her concerns home with her. She said that it had gotten to the point where she had trouble sleeping at night.
I didn’t even make the connection with compassion fatigue until later. My mentor and I were talking about how DVM Mentor could help with the mental health epidemic plaguing our profession. My mentor told me that the associate veterinarian had been suffering from compassion fatigue and that in that meeting, we had seen a solution.
When the associate veterinarian started talking to my mentor, he started to problem solve with her. Together, they made a connection between her worst feelings and a common scenario at the clinic. They then worked together to change clinic policy to make a start at solving her fatigue.
The enemy of compassion fatigue is communication, and DVM Mentor is designed to increase the amount of communication in our profession. We genuinely believe that DVM Mentor has the potential to do so much good within our community.