Are you being- well?
The elephant in the room
Do we really need to talk about well-being?
One in four adults could be facing a problem with their mental health and we, as veterinary surgeons (but also veterinary technicians or receptionists) are not immune.
So yes, at VetCrew we want to discuss about well-being and organisational psychology in a practical way.
As a team, we believe in the importance of individual wellbeing and that of the entire staff.
Burnout: do you know the signs?
Burnout can affect all the members of the staff of a veterinary practice, from the small clinic to the bigger organisations
Burnout has been included by the WHO among occupational diseases and its prevention is part of the obligations of employers (Law on Safety at Work).
The symptoms of burnout can be summarised in three categories:
Depersonalisation (moral distance from the work environment and cynicism)
Sense of failure (or lack of professional effectiveness)
Lack of energy (especially emotionally)
In practical terms, burnout can cause "presenteeism" or absenteeism, sleep and immune system disorders, demotivation and isolation.
The Maslach Burnout Inventory is usually the most used questionnaire to evaluate symptoms related to burnout (you can find it with a simple google search).
We do not know exactly the consequences of burnout in the veterinary-patient relationship and the exact prevalence in our profession, but a study carried out at the University of Davis, California has highlighted high levels of burnout in internal residents and clinicians.
How can we prevent it?
Remove/diminish the specific cause of burnout (if known) - personal + organisational
Know the symptoms, to seek help as soon as possible
Know and define your boundaries and communicate them to the rest of the team
Chigerwe, M., Barter, L., Dechant, JE, Dear, JD and Boudreaux, KA, 2021. A preliminary study on assessment of wellbeing among veterinary medical house officers. PloS one, 16(6), p.e0253111.
Maslach C, Schaufeli W, Leiter M. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol 2001; 52:397–422
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