Compassion Fatigue First Aid – Techniques to Recharge and Regenerate your Compassion Battery  

Kathleen Keil, M.A., D.V.M.

Compassion Fatigue is an occupational hazard of your work with animals. Your work requires you to care for the animals and their well-being yet ultimately you have to euthanize them. Compassion fatigue is a state of stress and tension leading to secondary traumatic stress disorder or STSD. Compassion fatigue can lead to low staff morale, attendance issues, disability leave, mistakes and even depression and suicide.   This lecture will explain the basics of compassion fatigue, the signs and symptoms to watch out for in yourself and co-workers, and provide proven techniques to recharge your battery pack of compassion and empathy while reducing the risk of compassion fatigue.

To get more hands on practice with the techniques and learn more techniques, please attend Dr. Keil’s workshop, “Working on empty: What to do when compassion fatigue replaces compassion satisfaction in your work.” taking place Sunday, June 11th during Symposium.


About the Speaker…

Kathy Keil has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College, and a M.A. and B.A. in Experimental Psychology from University of Western Ontario. Most recently, she was the research lead on a University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine project to explore communication patterns between veterinary staff and pet owners during nutritional consultations of their overweight and obese pets. Kathy has experience in equine, bovine and companion animal practice.  She has 14 years of business experience in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry in technical services, management and organizational development. She is a yoga instructor and teaches awareness of mental health and ways of dealing with bullying, stress, and compassion fatigue in veterinary practice. Kathy has a wonderful non-veterinary minded husband who dearly loves their three cats and somewhat tolerates her dressage horse. Kathy spends a lot of time outside in nature with her horse Remi and with her husband, Tom on mountain biking excursions.

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