If you need to relax, just watch this:
And some photos, of course.
We’re proud to be the founding sponsor of LoveAnimals.org, the crowdfunding site for animal projects. And now, we’re even prouder to announce some exciting news!
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This report, the 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution, is well-known for the quality of its research. As industry website crowdsourcing.org explains: “Massolution’s annual crowdfunding industry reports have become recognized as the gold standard for annual reporting on the size, composition and outlook for the worldwide crowdfunding industry.”
Thank you to the Halo family for supporting our partner LoveAnimals.org!
This month’s JAVMA features confirmation of what those of us in the profession for more than a year or two already suspected: veterinarians are a sad bunch, compared to the general population. Consider these stats from the CDC’s first-ever survey of the veterinary population:
That last stat is the only one where vets figure in below the national mean, but before you cheer consider this: it’s because more veterinarians successfully complete suicide.
This preliminary data doesn’t delve into the causes or the proposed solutions, though those are currently hotly debated. Nonetheless, it’s good to see on paper what so many who are struggling have needed to hear: You’re not alone.
After watching my Ignite talk on being a Death Fairy, a veterinarian asked me how I avoided compassion fatigue in my work. I told her I would answer that, but first I have to admit this:
For a long time, I didn’t avoid it at all. I didn’t just float out of vet school and find an amazing job and love every second and plan to be a hospice vet because I knew that was the right thing for me to be. I wish I could tell you I was that organized and thoughtful, but the truth be told I did what most people I know in this field do when they’re stressed: power through bad situations until they became untenable, taking on more responsibility every other second.
So no, I didn’t avoid compassion fatigue. In fact, I burned out and quit. But then I reincarnated, I guess you could say, with a lot more perspective and a healthy understanding of what I’m really supposed to be doing here. But not until after I got really sick, like going to specialists and talking about scary tests sick, did I decide to get my priorities in order. Once that got sorted out, life got really good!
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of your co-workers
I think there is no greater indicator of how happy you will be at work than how well your team works together. They will prop you up when you’re down, have your back when things get nuts, and inspire you to do better every day. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. The saying “turd in the punchbowl” exists for a reason.
2. Don’t settle for a toxic environment.
Sometimes you think you’re starting in at the best place on the earth, but something happens. The office manager is stealing. Your mentor turns out to be Voldemort. You get pregnant and can’t work overnights anymore. So many people stick it out in a bad situation because 1) we’re taught not to whine and 2) we’re scared there’s nothing better out there.
There’s always something better out there, but you won’t find it if you don’t look. If you are in an office that is causing you physical symptoms of anxiety, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Living in modern day American comes with certain advantages, like the whole “no indentured servitude” thing.
3. Don’t be afraid to explore.
I had no intention of being a veterinary writer. Blogs didn’t exist when I started vet school, nor did hospice veterinarians. Sometimes you just have to strike out in a direction that looks good and see what’s out there. Because guess what? I don’t care what anyone else has told you, you’re allowed to come back and be a vet if you leave. Taking time off to explore another career, take care of family, get another degree, none of it is a one way valve- unless you want it to be.
4. Set boundaries. Mean it.
Out of every rule I laid out, this is seriously the number one important one. With the exception of the rare shining star who really does want this to be their life, most of us want a life of which veterinary medicine is only a part. This is a profession where it is very easy for it to take over your life, because there will always be more asked of you than you are able to give. Always. It is not a failing to recognize that.
Set boundaries with your clients, your co-workers, and yourself. Take vacations. Exercise. Enjoy your family. Do not let work intrude on this or else you will begin to resent it, and that is the seed of burnout. You can (and should) work your butt off, then go home and play your butt off.
Set those boundaries, and enforce them like your life depends on it.
It was an ironic realization to figure out that point of diminishing returns in terms of giving of yourself. You cannot truly understand compassion unless you’re willing to extend it to everyone, including yourself.
A place to talk to other vets- I am aware of several online and Facebook groups for vets to talk and support one another. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information.
Perimeter Sprays and Granules: The single most effective way to reduce blacklegged (deer) ticks in your yard is by insecticide applications that are applied mainly to the yard perimeter ,…
Video Rating: 4 / 5
I always assumed my experience as a veterinarian would serve me at some point when I needed to navigate the human healthcare system. The similarities between veterinary training and medical training, after all, lend themselves to a good number of similarities: how to read scientific articles critically. How to read an MRI. When to call the office and say, this prescription doesn’t seem quite right, is this what you wanted?
The similarities are all well and good, but I never understood, in the marrow of my bones, until recently that what would serve me best was our differences.
We MDs and DVMs are both given an ethical mandate to ‘do no harm’, which we as communities hold dear. Our duties to our patients are guided by this overarching principle; we look to it for direction in complicated cases, fall back on it when we feel conflicted about a request, and hold it like a flashlight when we shine a light into the cave of an uncertain future, looking for direction.
But oh, do those lights shine in very different spectrums.
Recently, a man in Russia volunteered to become the subject of the very first head transplant, an idea that leaves most of the world recoiling in horror. “There are some things worse than death,” said many of the neurosurgeons commenting on the piece.
As a veterinarian, I agree. We veterinarians occupy a strange place in the medical field in that most of us view it as not only an option but often a moral imperative to ease the pain of a traumatic death process through pharmacologic means. We are precise in our process, with the goal of minimizing stress and pain. We view it not as causing death, but as easing an uncurable pain. In this, we view our fulfillment to do no harm.
But in the human medical field, the prevailing attitude is by and large that hastening death is, indeed, harm, and anything we do to prolong a life is conversely fulfilling their requirement to do no harm, no matter what it does to a person or family in the process.
Even if it is multiple craniotomies.
Months of chemotherapy.
Daily radiation therapy with a bevy of ill effects. And you have to get screwed down to the table wearing one of these while they shoot brain shrivelling radiation beams at your head:
Not to cure a disease, but to make a patient breathe one more day, for better or for worse. It is the second most common utterance to me in my hospice work: we do better with our pets than we do our people when it comes to end-of-life decisions, and truly, friends, we really do.
I was recently-by invitation- listening to a doctor outline just such a series of events and possibilities to a patient who didn’t want to partake in them, who has been looking- without success- for someone to say, it’s ok to say no to months of hospital visits and yes to fewer days filled with this:
Plenty of people do want everything we have to throw at disease, and more power to them all. Thank God for modern medicine. But when did it become not only an unthinkable mistake, but an outright affront to the medical community to say, “thanks but no thanks”?
Searching for information on hospice and palliative care has been as challenging as getting bootleg rum during prohibition, furtive conversations in hallways and whispered hints at such necessary things as family support and respite care, secondary concerns far down the to-do list after scheduling yet another CT. I never knew how much of an afterthought the emotional wellbeing of the patient truly is in many medical decision making processes.
“So what if they don’t want to do this?” I asked.
“Well, this is the standard of care,” the resident responded.
“And if they choose not to do this?” I asked again.
“Why wouldn’t you?” he said, dumbfounded. He never did give me an answer.
Do no harm.
Event: South Jersey’s 2nd Annual Pet Wellness Symposium
Date: April 18, 2015
Location: Palmyra Community Center; 30 W. Broad St., Palmyra, NJ 08065
Organizer / Host: Lori Genstein, I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC
Number of Attendees: 100 (Approximate)
Purpose: Fundraiser & Educational Pet Wellness Symposium – Annual Community Event
Goal: Veterinarians and pet experts present lectures and spend the afternoon with pet parents, professionals and animal lovers, raising awareness to the benefits of wellness and holistic care, natural therapeutic options, appropriate nutrition and less-invasive methods of treatment to enhance animals’ health and well-being.
Lectures Topics: Animal CPR, Food is the Foundation for Life – Treating Illness with Food not Medicine, Vaccination Protocols, Early Disease Recognition, Regenerative Medicine – Stem Cell Therapy, Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, Cat Behavior and Myths, Bond with your Dog, Blood Bank for Animals, All About Furry Angel Therapy Dogs, and more! For a list of Presenters and Lecture Descriptions visit: www.ivegotthescoop.net/PRESENTERS.html Learn techniques to restore harmony and balance to an animal’s energy system while providing physical, emotional, mental and instinctual stability. Tri-Boro CERT will explain how to become a volunteer trained in Emergency Mgt.
Children’s Activities: Community service project – Toy Workshops, Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter! Great fun making environmentally-friendly dog and cat toys benefitting FOBCAS.
Paws to Read Program – Interacting with and Reading to the Furry Angels Therapy Dogs
Bite Prevention Class – How to Greet Dogs and Act Appropriately Around Dogs.
Recipient of Donations:
Boo Tiki Fund – a 501 (C) (3) non-profit charity providing veterinary care for pets at risk of euthanasia or being relinquished to a shelter due to a family’s inability to pay for their care; striving to keep pets in their forever homes. www.housepawsmobilevet.com/foundation
Meet Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter – learn all they do for the animals at BCAS!
We’ll be collecting most-needed items from the Burlington County Animal Shelter’s kitty wish list.
Swag bags full of giveaways from our generous sponsors and presenters. Complimentary lunch, Raffles, 50/50 & More! See our Sponsors at: www.ivegotthescoop.net/sponsors.html
Visit our Symposium web page: www.ivegotthescoop.net/2015-symposium.html
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SJPetWellnessSymposium2015
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments by Rose Chandler Johnson My rating: 5 of 5 stars The goal of a good devotional should be one that causes you to pause, to reflect, to focus on God and His word. This isn’t to say that many don’t, but…
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Videoto ne e snimeno od strana na Vega produkcija i e prikaceno po naracka na gazdite na veselbata. This video is not recorded by Vega production and it`s attached by order of the owners of…
Video Rating: 4 / 5
“La grosse mite” LES SALES BLAGUES DE L’ECHO.
Video Rating: 4 / 5
I always wondered why after risking our lives on the Pacific Coast Highway for 7 months and 1,700 miles the media really didn’t give a shit and now I know.
A couple in Kansas learned a painful and dramatic lesson about Dachshunds and their genetic proclivity to dig when their dog Lucy suddenly disappeared from their backyard. Lucy’s owner, Rebecca Felix, left her husband in change of their two dogs, Lucy, a miniature Dachshund, and Thor, a Chihuahua-Jack Russell Terrier mix, when she left town to care for a family member. He left the dogs in a fenced-in yard while he was at work and…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog