Wellness

Healing and preventing burnout by creating conditions for health

  |   Wellness

The daily, grinding stress so often experienced by people in the helping professions is what causes the psychological injury we know as burnout. Burnout is a state of depletion – mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion – that leaves us feeling drained and overwhelmed, unable to meet the constant demands that created the problem in the first place. Like any other injury, burnout is best prevented. The good self-care that helps us heal from psychological injury also helps us prevent it. Healing...

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Top Suicide Prevention and Veterinary Medical Organizations create post-suicide guide for veterinary workplaces 

  |   Wellness

A colleague’s suicide affects everyone. When someone you know or care about takes their life, it’s not uncommon to experience significant grief, and even physical and mental health impacts. In these circumstances, critical support is needed to help those left behind. A new guide offers that critical support for veterinary team members. This free resource, After a Suicide: A Guide for Veterinary Workplaces, was created by the AVMA and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and released in partnership with the...

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Washington Wildfires

  |   Wellness

The WSVMA has not yet received reports on losses within the veterinary community from the wildfires, but early reports indicate that the large Cold Spring Canyon Fire has been responsible for loss of livestock, feed and supplies. No numbers are available as yet. The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA) has been monitoring the situation across the state but the Veterinary Reserve Corp has not been deployed. The WSVMA has reached out to veterinarians in the affected areas and have offered...

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Requirements for workers with medical and disability issues that prevent the use of a cloth face covering or mask?

  |   Practice Management, Wellness

Face shields alone do not prevent the spread of COVID 19 and do not meet the face-covering requirement. Employees with a medical or disability issue, who are requesting accommodation, must provide their employer with an accommodation statement from their medical professional specifying that a face covering or mask should not be worn due to their present health condition. Employers cannot just allow the employee to work without a mask with no other mitigations or accommodations. Employers should assess any negative impacts...

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New Washington COVID-19 resources for wellbeing

  |   COVID-19, Wellness

The Washington State Department of Health's (DOH) COVID-19 Behavioral Health Group Impact Reference Guide describes normal mental and emotional impacts that may manifest in the workplace. Stress over risk of job loss, changes in the nature of work, or personal challenges may contribute to lost productivity. Employees grappling with increased anxiety or stress may be irritable or forgetful. The DOH guide offers information that can help employers recognize symptoms of mental or emotional distress and offer relevant support strategies. The pandemic...

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In other news, suicide prevention training bill signed into law

  |   Wellness

In ‘normal’ years, the Governor holds a bill signing ceremony where stakeholders and bill sponsors gather around him while he signs various bills passed by the Legislature into law. Photographs are taken and special pens are distributed among the guests. But not this year in the middle of a pandemic. At the end of March, Gov. Inslee sat at the same oblong conference table and signed numerous bills into law in front of a camera while he practiced social distancing. House...

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Banfield releases suicide-prevention training as a free resource

  |   Wellness

For most veterinary professionals, we know caring for pets is more than a job – it’s a calling. Because of the passion we have for helping pets and the lengths we go to do so, veterinary professionals are faced with rewarding opportunities but also unique challenges, including heartbreaking life-or-death decisions involving beloved companions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2015) one in six veterinarians considers suicide. Further, the CDC found rates of suicide are 2.1 times higher than...

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You Are a Skilled Professional…What’s Next?

  |   Wellness

INTRODUCTION I vividly remember the conclusion of my academic career. I was in a room, participating in a rounds discussion with nine classmates when we were dismissed. As my classmates jumped and hooted with glee, fleeing the room to meet other classmates exhibiting the same amount of enthusiasm, I stayed seated. I recall thinking that I was going to miss the academic rigor and structure in which I had been immersed for the past four years. I also recall being scared....

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Preventing Back Injuries

  |   Wellness

During the past five years, ergonomic injuries represented 27% of the total dollars spent by our insurance companies on workers’ compensation claims. The risk consultant at the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust (PLIT) has provided preventative measures for the common causes of back injuries, which are some of the most costly and debilitating employee injuries at veterinary practices. Ergonomic injuries are generally more expensive and debilitating than bites and scratches, especially if they involve the back, because they often involve damage...

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What do we do about suicide? It’s time to limit access to means

  |   Wellness

Want to do something about suicide in veterinary medicine? Make it so no one in your clinic can access lethal drugs alone. Do it now. WARNING This article contains detailed discussion of suicide and suicide methods. If you are having thoughts of suicide, text 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor right away or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) The topic of suicide is a potential trigger for those struggling with feelings of guilt after the loss of a...

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