Burnout results from chronic workplace stress that is not successfully managed. The syndrome is characterized by three dimensions including energy depletion, increased mental distance from one’s job, and negative feelings about one’s job. While working in veterinary medicine can be extremely rewarding, the career can also be extremely stressful. Veterinarians are at high risk for mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and depression.
Veterinarians can take several steps to address this issue, but pet owners can help, as well. Our team at Mountain Legacy Veterinary Center values our client’s regard, and we are grateful when you acknowledge your appreciation of our care for your pet. We also would like you to see our perspective on a few factors, so our interactions are less stressful.
Our veterinary team values communication
Effective and detailed communication helps our veterinary professionals provide the best possible care for your pet. Our role is not to judge you, but we need to know all the facts to diagnose and treat your pet effectively. Factors to consider include:
- Honesty — You may be embarrassed that you missed three doses of your pet’s medication, or that you have been slipping them table scraps after every meal, but we need to know these details, to fully understand your pet’s health status.
- Expectations — Let our veterinary professionals know if you have financial restrictions, or if you have strong feelings about certain medical approaches. We will work with you to ensure your expectations are met, as long as we are aware of them. If you are displeased about an incident, please let us know as soon as possible, so we can correct the issue.
- Understanding — If you don’t fully understand an explanation, ask questions so our veterinary professionals can clarify the topic. You need to completely understand your pet’s diagnosis and treatment plan. If you don’t feel you can follow the treatment plan, let us know, so we can devise a different plan.
Our veterinary team cares—sometimes too much
As veterinary professionals, we love animals, and enjoy caring for them. However, delivering a grave prognosis to a pet owner, witnessing severely abused pets, and euthanizing beloved pets can take a toll. Our hours are long, and we have to handle distraught clients, and offer comfort as best we can. Several conditions are difficult to definitively diagnose, and we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about the treatment course. This chronic stress can significantly impact our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Our veterinary team cannot work miracles
Practicing veterinary medicine is not an exact science. A pet’s disease process or injury does not always follow the textbook rules. In addition, pets cannot tell us where they are painful, or how they are feeling. A veterinary professional must use their knowledge, intuition, and sometimes an educated guess to diagnose and treat your pet. In some cases, we may need to refer your pet to a specialist, and other times, your pet’s condition may be incurable. We wish we could wave a magic wand and make your pet’s pain and suffering disappear, but we can’t, although we always work as hard as we can to ensure your pet receives the best care possible.
Our veterinary team is not out to get your money
When your pet is sick or injured, you don’t want money to be a factor, but the truth is that pets can be expensive. Before you assume you are being overcharged, consider these factors:
- Veterinary school is expensive, and after school, veterinarians make little, compared with physicians. If we wanted to make money in the medical field, we would have become human doctors.
- Veterinarians are professionals, and their services should be compensated as if you were employing a lawyer or physician.
- Veterinary medicine is a business, and requires income to cover expenses and keep the doors open. We care about you and your pets, and sympathize when you have financial constraints. However, we cannot give our services away for free.
If you have financial restrictions, let us know, so we can work with you to devise a payment plan that is acceptable to everyone.
Our veterinary team appreciates you taking our advice
When we offer advice about your pet’s treatment, we are basing this plan on numerous years of education and experience. If you discontinue your pet’s medication before the advised regimen is finished, or you allow your pet to jump on furniture too soon after surgery, you could be putting them in danger. Using information from online sources can be problematic, because they are not always accurate, and if you follow their advice, you could be putting your pet at risk. If you do not agree with our recommendations, let us know, so we can devise another plan that you can accept.
By helping us avoid burnout, and understanding why we do what we do, our veterinary team can continue to provide quality veterinary care for your pet. If you have questions or concerns about your pet, do not hesitate to contact our team at Mountain Legacy Veterinary Center.