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Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian: An Evidence-Based Solution to Increase Wellbeing

 Author: Nadine Hamilton  Category: Pet Loss & Bereavement, Professionals  Publisher: Australian Academic Press  : February 25, 2019  Language: English

The suicide rate for veterinarians is almost four times higher than the general population across the UK, Australia, US, New Zealand and Canada. The act of suicide is most usually at the end of a long road of distress. And it’s that distress ― the everyday difficulties, anxieties, and emotional burden ― that a caring vet, nurse, technician or assistant can suffer, all too quietly. This book examines the unique factors that produce high rates of stress and burnout in the veterinary profession and the practical steps all vet workers can take to cope better. It features four main sections. The first two sections focus on knowledge of the shared experience of vet workers, providing an understanding and an acknowledgement of the uniqueness of veterinary work and the mental health issues that come with it. The next section provides information on psychological concepts around self-awareness and self-change through readings on mindfulness, positive psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy, and resiliency training. The final section includes specially selected self-help strategies based on the previous sections that form a ‘toolkit’ of practical tasks and tips on how to cope with everyday pressures and increase mental wellbeing. The book was developed out of a program that has been tested with statistically significant results showing reduced stress, depression and anxiety. It is appropriate for all types of vet workers, particularly those in small animal practice. It is a cost-effective, highly accessible way to empower vet workers to use psychological knowledge and skills for better work and home lives. It is an easy read and a vital weapon for any current industry or professional wellbeing and mental health program. The author, Dr Nadine Hamilton, is a psychologist who has worked with thousands of vet workers and consulted with vet industry associations, practice managers and owners for more than 15 years. In 2018 she founded Love Your Pet Love Your Vet, a not-for-profit charity raising awareness about the issues within the veterinary industry and reducing stigma in veterinary professionals seeking help.


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