Compassion fatigue is not a new topic in veterinary medicine; it has been talked about before. Yet how many of us today would admit that we suffer from compassion fatigue, and/or that we see the effects on our team?

First, we must understand what it is.

It is likely that we are all familiar with the term “burnout”. It is important to determine whether you are looking at compassion fatigue or burnout in order to apply the correct treatment. When these two terms are compared in human medicine, we find that burnout results from the stresses that come from the work environment, whereas compassion fatigue evolves from the relationship between the health professional and the patient, and client, in our case.


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