MSMR Compassion Fatigue Workshop

The field of biomedical research attracts individuals who demonstrate a high level of compassion, empathy, and drive to care for others. Largely, veterinarians and animal care professionals experience satisfaction in their professions. Their caregiving work rewards them with compassion satisfaction: a sense of achievement. However, repeated exposure to traumatic events, such as illness and euthanasia can lead to compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is emotional, physical, psychological and/or spiritual exhaustion. It can result when we are repeatedly exposed to emotionally challenging and stressful situations that call for our empathy and compassion towards another person or animal. Lab animal professionals are at high risk for compassion fatigue due to the fact that those who care for the animals and their wellbeing ultimately may have to euthanize them. Symptoms of compassion fatigue range from depression, anxiety, cynicism and physical ailments to isolation, hopelessness, substance abuse and even suicide. Compassion fatigue can have a significant impact on a research facility as absenteeism, increased complaining and blaming, low morale, lack of teamwork and substandard quality of care can all become evident if compassion fatigue is not addressed and employees are not supported. While compassion fatigue is a normal consequence of caring, we can learn ways to become more resilient and avoid becoming overwhelmed, shutdown or leaving the work altogether.
Monday, December 2, 2019 (All day)
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