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Researches Push Back Against ‘Negative’ Veterinary Journals And Media

Veterinary researchers are pushing back against overly negative portrayals of the veterinary profession by journals and the media. 

In foundational work, Dr. Martin Cake, an associate professor in veterinary anatomy at Murdoch University, and Dr. Susan Matthew, a professor and associate chair of veterinary medical education at Washington State University, analyzed the terminology used in veterinary publications. 

After analyzing 59 papers on veterinary mental health, they found that ‘problem-oriented words’ such as ‘stress’, ‘suicide’, or ‘depression’ appeared almost at twice the rate that ‘positive’ terms appeared.

Some papers conveyed almost a war-like setting, one comparing vets to soldiers in Iraq. 

They urge practitioners to remind themselves why they became vets in the first place to maximize ‘eudaimonic’ happiness, which is achieved through finding purpose and meaning. 

‘Happiness and enjoyment in their own right aren’t enough’ said Dr. Cake. 

‘You need to find a sense of deeper purpose to what you’re achieving in life.’

For more on this story, click here.

Reopening Of Veterinary Hospitals Cause Confusion Around Safety protocols

With many practices cautiously reopening amid covid relaxations, many are puzzled as to how they should be protecting themselves against the virus. 

Although the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorsement of the CDC’s interim advice for safe clinic protocols gave some direction for practices, there are still a plethora of uncertainties that have not been addressed. 

J. Scott Weese, an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph observed that much of the confusion is due to the varying infection rates across the US. Patchy vaccination uptake, rising transmission, and Covid strains have put the future of veterinary regulations in a precarious position. 

‘There’s a good chance some places are going to have issues this summer and fall’ he said.

‘There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. [Many] factors are involved in deciding when and how to relax measures such as allowing clients into clinics.’

If this is something that is affecting your practice, you can read the article in full here.

Inspiring Veterinarian And Explorer Embarks On SUP Voyage Around The Scottish Coast

An inspiring vet has taken up her paddleboard in the name of ocean conservation. Cal Major, a veterinarian, ocean explorer, and activist is currently embarking on a journey around the rugged Scottish coastline to raise awareness around ocean biodiversity and the effects humans are having on it. 

She and her partner (James Appleton), will be traveling 30-100km a day on a paddleboard and a kayak, journeying between Glasgow and Edinburgh. 

‘2021 is Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters, and in November, Glasgow hosts the UN climate talks – COP26. There’s never been a more pressing time to explore our human connection to the water, and how that drives us to care for and protect it. During this expedition, I’ll be exploring the vital importance of the ocean in the climate and biodiversity crises – diving and snorkeling amongst the incredible underwater ecosystems, understanding the threats they face, and meeting the people trying to protect them’ said Cal on her website. 

‘I’ll be linking in with the Our Seas campaign calling on protection of the inshore sea bed – the fragile area around the coast that is so important for creating a healthy and thriving ocean – from destructive practices such as bottom trawling and scallop dredging. I’ll be looking at how and why we need to properly protect our ocean and restore our connection to it as the first step.’

To follow Cal on her journey, click here. 

RCVS Mind Matters Initiatives Funds Autism Research 

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative has awarded £20,000 to a research project investigating the various workplace stressors autistic vets experience. 

This funding has come from the Sarah Brown Mental health Research Grant, which is given once a year to a project focussing on veterinary mental health. 

Researchers looking at the barriers autistic vets face in the workplace hope that this study will prove highly beneficial. It will involve an ‘in-depth’ look at 20 autistic vets’ day-to-day work lives, exploring factors that make a ‘good day’ and factors that make a ‘bad day’.

Lead researcher Kirstie Pickles and Brad Hill said:

‘We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this year’s Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant. We are passionate about raising awareness of autism spectrum condition in the veterinary profession.’

‘Having both received a diagnosis of autism, we acknowledge that we bring many strengths to the veterinary workplace, but also experience specific challenges. We hope that this project will identify common challenges for autistic vets so that more focused workplace guidance can be recommended.’

To read more about this, click here.

Aussie Researchers Find What Aspects Of Work Vets Enjoy The Most

A study from researchers at Adelaide University has found being able to spend time with peers, being appreciated at work, and developing expertise are all key drivers of veterinary satisfaction. 

The research published by Vet Record investigated the positive side of veterinary work, specifically looking at what parts of the job vets enjoy. 

Madeleine Clise, lead author of the study said that:

‘At a time in Australia when there are national shortages of vets, particularly in regional areas, and increased publicity about the risks and challenges in the profession, it’s important to focus on what can be done to retain those in the profession and attract more people to the field.’

‘By focusing on what contributes to vets experiencing positive emotions, we can better understand how to improve the wellbeing of those who care for our beloved pets, livestock, and wildlife.’

‘The results highlight that there is an abundance of factors related to pleasure at work for veterinarians, above and beyond working with and helping animals.’

‘In fact, positive relationships between clients and vets, and vets and their colleagues, was a more frequent response than positive relationships with animals.’

‘Vets, just like all of us, feel good when they are shown trust and respect. And a simple thank you goes a long way.’

For more on this story, click here. 

How To Improve Worker Wellbeing On A Budget

Whilst many bigger companies have the luxury of being able to afford extensive worker wellbeing programs, many smaller businesses don’t have the same privileges. 

This begs the question of how business owners and managers can promote worker without breaking the bank. 

Here are some ways you can do so. 

Create A Wellbeing Hub 

Having space where staff can decompress and re-charge is important. Perhaps assign a room or an office for wellbeing, providing resources (such as a mental health toolkit) and reading materials that staff can use to stay in a good headspace. 

Bring Fun Into Work

Whether you decide to institute more activities outside of work, or bring some fun into the office, either will do. Perhaps set up competitions between teammates or set up a cycle to work scheme which rewards teammates for exercising in their free time. 

Train Some Mental Health First Aiders 

Although This suggestion is a little more intensive, it is nonetheless a cost-effective way to create a safe psychological space at work. Enrolling workers into mental health trainee schemes (such as Mental Health First Aid England) can ensure workers feel cared for and supported. 

For more tips, click here.

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