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Love Your Vet Nurse

Posted in Our Community @ Oct 7th 2021 - By The Zoetis Team
Love Your Vet Nurse

Vet nurses have one thing in common - they love helping animals by providing care and support when they need it most

From Geelong to Grafton, Australia’s vet nurses all have one thing in common, and it comes as no surprise – they love helping animals by providing care and support when they need it most. They also love coming to work every day, the variety that their role brings, the rewards and challenges, and being part of a team.

Celebrating the unsung heroes

Vet Nurse Day on the 8th October, is a day to recognise and appreciate our vet nurses and the important role they have in a veterinary clinic, contributing significantly to their field, providing responsible pet care and supporting animal health providers Australia-wide. They are one of the unsung heroes of veterinary care.

This year, leading animal health company Zoetis, is commending all vet nurses with a celebratory video sharing what vet nurses love about their job. 

Click HERE to watch the awesome 3 minute video from Zoetis - Celebrating Vet Nurse Day

A typical day could be spent collecting and testing laboratory samples, taking X-rays, medicating patients in the hospital ward, monitoring anaesthetics, dressing wounds, assisting with surgical procedures, performing minor procedures or doing administrative duties. The day-to-day activity is very much a hands-on, in-depth role in the care of all patients, and is physically and mentally demanding.  

No one is immune to burnout & compassion fatigue

As a member of the vet clinic team, it’s important to remember that vet nurses are not immune to burnout and compassion fatigue and prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of all employees is important in veterinary practice. There are many things that can be done to support a team’s mental health. The aim is to start having the conversations. 

Since 2016, global animal health company Zoetis has partnered with mental health not-for-profit Beyond Blue to raise awareness of mental health challenges faced by the veterinarian industry.

“Zoetis is proud to be supporting Beyond Blue and the important work they do. Together we have made strong progress in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of veterinarians, practice staff and nurses. To date, Zoetis’ donations of $500,000, across veterinary and rural farming initiatives have allowed over 8,000 people, including vet nurses, to get the help they need through the Beyond Blue Support Service and we are hoping to help more people this year,” said Lance Williams, Zoetis Senior Vice President and Cluster Lead, Australia and New Zealand.

High levels of wellbeing = higher performance, productivity, engagement & satisfaction

High levels of wellbeing in the workplace contribute to higher performance and productivity, increased engagement and satisfaction, less absenteeism and workplace accidents and reduced staff turnover. Knowing the impact that the mental health and wellbeing of employees has on a practice, it needs to be a priority, however, it’s not a one size fits all approach. The first step is providing education to the team so everyone understands the components of wellbeing and finding the strategies that work for them individually to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. 

6 Practical tips to help manage wellbeing

Here are six practical tips on how vet nurses can help manage their mental wellbeing:

1. Start with you

Everyone is different, so it’s important to understand what is challenging you and why. Where possible, try to identify issues or instances that you find stressful and question what core values of yours they are at odds with.

2. Understand what works for you

There are definitely some basics that everyone should work on to help with their mental health, the key five - physical activity, healthy nutrition, sleep, taking breaks and holidays.

3. Change your perspective

We need to live with the unexpected, so we have to be realistic and kind to ourselves to grow from adversity. There is so much outside of your control at the moment. Focus on what you can control, which is your response to various situations. Don’t waste your energy on what you can’t control.

4. Moments of joy

It’s so easy to focus on everything that is going wrong. However, change your focus to notice what is going well during the workday. Begin to notice those small moments that bring you joy, whether it’s a case gone well, a client saying thank you or something as simple as puppy cuddles. Having a positive expectation for the future is an important component of resilience. The pandemic will end and you can get through this. 

5. Find empowerment

Clinical Leaders and Practice Managers should provide a clear process for dealing with customers and guidance on when to escalate problems. Knowing that you have their support and what you can say in tough situations will give you the confidence to engage and disengage as needed. Part of dealing with difficult conversations is also understanding that customers are going through some of the same challenges we are.

6. Speak out and get help

Reach out to organisations that specialise in supporting mental health. On an on-going basis, the Beyond Blue Support Service offers free and immediate counselling, advice and referrals via phone, webchat or email. For more information about depression and anxiety, visit www.beyondblue.org.au. To talk to a mental health professional for free, contact the 24/7 Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 46 36. 

For more information on Zoetis and its partnership with Beyond Blue visit www.zoetis.com.au 

About Zoetis

As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide - from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. In 2020, Zoetis generated revenue of $6.7 billion with ~11,300 employees. For more, visit www.zoetis.com.

About Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and suicide in Australia. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health, regardless of age, background and wherever they live. Beyond Blue works to give everyone in Australia the confidence to speak openly about anxiety, depression and suicide – both to seek support when they need it and to check in with those close to them – and tackle prejudice and discrimination wherever they exist. Beyond Blue’s tools, resources and services create mentally healthy environments. Through dedicated programs, Beyond Blue supports schools, universities, workplaces and community organisations to protect and promote good mental health. 

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