We all know human hospitals have been slammed since the start of COVID-19. Talking with my father and sister, who are both human doctors, the anxiety and stress plaguing the practice of human medicine is tangible. I can feel it when I stand next to them. The anxiety vibes are real. They ripple through my airspace, penetrate my body, and remind me how nauseating the veterinary scene has been during this time as well.
I feel it’s a multifactorial problem with no clear answers and many obvious underlying causes. Fact: doctors, technicians, and support staff are getting sick. Fact: higher case load and fewer functioning staff is leading to burnout. There’s a plethora of research supporting the fiery reality of burnout in the medical field. Fact: veterinarians and other medical professionals are forced to stay longer after their shift ends to write records because it’s nonstop one case after another. C’mon artificial intelligence, write our records for us! Fact, although possibly an opinion: with owners working from home and spending more time at home, they are watching their pets more and bringing them in at first sign of illness, even if it is premature, leading to even longer wait times and more disgruntlement.
Regardless of the true underlying cause of the almost nonsensical amount of chaos in veterinary hospitals today, there is one surefire way to find brief respite: take a break.
Find a chair, hide in the bathroom, eat some food, scroll through Instagram. Take 10 minutes. Just do it. Who cares what management, or the higher-ups think? If there is nothing actively dying, or trying to die on the hospital floor, you can afford momentary down time. You’re the doctor, technician, or support staff calling the shots throughout the day. So, at some point, just call it. Break time!
We try to be superhumans, and it’s possible clients and their pets think we’re superhuman, which is for sure a nice feeling. But we’re not. We’re just humans.
Read more by Andrew,
or read more about self-care for veterinarians.