Ireland’s veterinary professionals: an assessment of compassion fatigue, stress and self-care participation

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Smith, Aoife Mary
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study aims to highlight current trends surrounding compassion fatigue, stress and self-care participation among Ireland’s Veterinary professionals in order to ultimately preserve a high standard of patient care. 182 participants comprising of qualified Veterinary Surgeons, Veterinary Nurses, Animal Care Assistants and Veterinary students completed an anonymous online mixed methods questionnaire that assessed stress, compassion satisfaction, burnout, and self-care participation. The amount of stress experienced by participants increased as the number of years spent working within Ireland’s Veterinary industry increased, while compassion fatigue was not influenced by this. Self-care predicted compassion satisfaction, but questionably, had no impact on stress and burnout for this sample. Overall, results indicated the crucial requirement for future research and more mental wellbeing support for an animal caregiving population that has gone virtually unacknowledged in the conversation surrounding mental health, despite their valuable contribution to Irish society.