World Veterinary Day 2022 : Strengthening veterinary resilience
Dr K Rashbehari Singh
Contd from previous issue
They are also more likely to set personal and professional goals and devise ways of meeting such goals.
Staying positive : When undertaking challenging work, the ability to manage strong feelings and impulses is a key coping skill. Also, it is thought that the ability to find humour and joy in everyday situations can act as a protective factor, and to some extent, ‘inoculate’ people against the stress of difficult situations.
Supportive social networks : A resilient person rarely exists in isolation and normally has a network of positive personal and professional relationships that acts as a ‘safety net’ when stressful circumstances occur. Strengthening existing relationships and developing new ones are proven ways of boosting resilience to workplace stress. Work out ways of spending more time with people, who are supportive, positive and more reliable.
New veterinary graduates should be encouraged to take ownership of their career progression by supporting them in setting goals and building peer networks. Allow new employees to meet challenges incrementally. Develop a culture of support by allowing team members to ‘debrief’ after stressful work situations and events. New graduates should be mentored in managing emotionally challenging aspects of veterinary work, such as clinical uncertainty, client complaints, and compassion fatigue. They should be taught about the path of emotional resilience in practice. They should also be encouraged to find their own rhythm of work that is consistent with their personality, values and priorities.
Training: Appropriate training in resilience-building strategies can help veterinary students build greater awareness of resilience, and potentially support the development of a more resilient approach in their personal and professional lives.
Make connections: Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. It is important to accept help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you as it will strengthen your resilience. Being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit you.
Crisis management : Interpretation and respond when highly stressful events happen in our lives are important. Look beyond the present for a little better in future circumstances. Use somewhat better techniques of past experiences when dealing with difficult situations.
Modern veterinary practice creates high-stress scenarios, as people drive themselves to meet external demands and objectives. Therefore, it is essential to retain a healthy resilient workforce. This requires leaders and managers to develop expertise in building resilience among staff members. Despite challenging times, this can enhance staff members’ ability to move beyond surviving and towards actually thriving.
There is need of more research on how to improve resilience in the veterinary profession. Interviewing veterinarians and persons, working in the veterinary profession for several years, to share their personal journeys and how resilience has played a factor in career longevity, may further increase awareness of occupational stress. Inclusion of topics such as occupational stress, self-care and resilience building into veterinary training pogrammes will be helpful in strengthening veterinary resilience.