Being a veterinarian can be a rewarding career requiring a passion for animals, excellent interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic. It can also be stressful. So stressful, that the suicide rate for veterinarians is almost four times higher than the general population across the UK, Australia, US, New Zealand and Canada. The effects of working long hours, performing euthanasia on animals, emotional pressure, financial issues, unrealistic expectations, and dealing with distressed clients place considerable stress on both the vet themselves and their families at home. Failure to cope with such stress upsets mental wellbeing and can lead to serious emotional, physical, and behavioural issues, including self-harm. Nadine Hamilton, veterinary-friendly psychologist and founder of the charity Love Your Pet Love Your Vet, spent 10 years developing a workshop support program for the veterinary profession around this issue. Her workshop helps vets build protective attitudes, enhanced wellbeing, and increased coping skills. However, the stubbornly high global vet suicide rate demands immediate professional intervention on a much broader scale -- workshops, no matter how effective, can only help a small number of people at a time. That's why Nadine's work became this book. Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian is designed to empower vets in their everyday work lives to use psychological knowledge and skills to combat stress, burnout, anxiety, depression and suicide. The book presents an examination of the problem, the ways vet mental health is influenced by their daily work, and the science we can use to tackle it head-on. Drawing from the fields of positive psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy, career construction theory, and resiliency studies, it outlines an evidence-based psycho-educational approach to help veterinary staff develop protective attitudes, enhance wellbeing, and increase their coping skills. This book not only strikes a chord with individual vets, it is also an essential resource for vet practices and hospitals. Being evidence-based and reader-friendly, employers can keep several copies on hand as a general staff resource or in support of EAP, CPD, or wellbeing programs. Such organisational support can make a substantial and immediate contribution to the profession's fight against stress, depression and suicide. Coping with Stress and Burnout as a Veterinarian is written for vets, nurses and technicians and helpful in a variety of ways. For some, it will simply be a confirmation that they or a colleague are not alone in experiencing stress, for others they will find some practical tips helpful in their working day, or it might be the impetus that leads someone to seek professional help. The book has received interest from groups such as the World Veterinary Association, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, the Australian Veterinary Association, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. As animal emergency specialist and former 'Bondi Vet' Gerardo Poli describes it - "It is almost an unspoken rule that stress and burnout are just a fact of life if you are a veterinarian. It doesn't have to be that way. This book will make a difference, help veterinarians have successful and fulfilling careers and also most importantly save the lives of our dear colleagues."
"Finally a practical self-help book aimed specifically at the veterinary profession. Easy to read and with lots of practical advice and the tools to traverse the corrugated road of professional life." - Dr Brian Mc Erlean, Trustee, AVA Benevolent Fund and Veterinary Suicide Prevention Advocate "Provides valuable insight into a sadly under-appreciated issue within our profession. I'd recommend it wholeheartedly for all veterinarians and those that care for them." - Dr Scott Campbell, Partner, Ipswich Vet Group "Thank you Nadine, for recognising and building awareness around such an important issue. I highly recommend this book, it may just save a life one day." - Dr Andy Pieris, Owner, Casuarina Seaside Vet "As a clinical psychotherapist with over 30 years working with high performer medical professionals, I can say that Dr Nadine Hamilton has a deep understanding of the stresses, conflicts, and unique challenges facing veterinarians today. I highly recommend this book to veterinarians and to the educators and mental health professionals who work with them." - Dr. Fern Kazlow, Clinical Psychotherapist, New York, Founder of The No Doubt Zone