Stress at the Vet’s

In most cases, a visit to the to the Veterinary doctor is a stressful experience. In numerous events, our beloved friend is giving a survival struggle not to enter the clinic while the pet owner is trying to clam the animal and communicate with the Doctor at the same time.

On the other hand, the Veterinary doctor is under stress for his/her own reasons. Among the most common issues which cause stress is workload, possible lack of support or inadequacy of resources and staff. More than that, a Veterinary doctor has to decide on moral and ethical issues.

Based on Dr Josephine GWS Wong report, published on the Hong-Kong Medical Dairy, another potential stress factor for a Veterinary doctor, is a potential burnout due to emotional exhaustion, depersonalization / cynicism or even a reduced personal accomplishment.

As anyone can realize, being a Veterinary doctor is not as stress-free as it one might think yet there are techniques that are specialized for Veterinary doctors to manage stress.

Stress as a warning mechanism

Most people believe that stress is an emotional situation which ends up blocking a person. However, stress is one of the numerous warning mechanisms that our body uses in order to alarm us. Its intention is to warn us about a forthcoming situation that will be difficult to handle or of one that we haven’t experience yet and we are not fully prepared.

How does stress work

How does the brain work and analysis a situation that might be stressful? How does it decode the information received by the receptors and constantly evaluates in order to warn us and keeps us alert? The brain is one of the most multifunctional organs of our body, with mechanisms that never stop operating.

Somatic syntax of stress

As we have said, stress is an emotional situation which is climaxing. In all events, stress starts from a short or small feeling and evolves. It might start with a tickling in the stomach and result in increased heart rate or short in breathing. Every person has a different somatic syntax, different signals. The challenge is to find out the strategy that stress has. How it starts and evolves. Which are the first signals that can be used to warn us about a challenging situation, and help us prepare.

Managing Stress

Breathing in and out they say that is help reducing the stress. However, being a Veterinary doctor with a pet under anaesthesia or performing an operation cannot stop the procedure and start breathing in order to reduce the stress level. Veterinary doctors have more specialized techniques that they can use, to analyze situations, set priorities and give solutions that will reduce the stress level and keep the professional attitude and should have.

Communication Skills

Even more challenging than managing the stress level, is to communicate effectively under stress. The structure of the language has to be solid and well-framed in order to be understood. Various linguistic models have been developed and customized for veterinary doctors to achieve elaborate communication and reveal the sympathy towards the pet owner.

Veterinary doctors are a specialized group of professionals in the medical field, who after their graduation have to succeed in various specific situations in their workplace. They often have to manage demanding clients with dynamic attitudes while being under pressure, which can resolve into a barrier at work.

In order to remain unbiased, flexible and open to any challenging or unknown situation, the veterinary doctors have to manage their personal stress. They often face situations during their professional life, either with clients in stress or medically difficult cases that causes stress.

There is a new mindset for a Veterinary doctor to develop. There are new ways to manage stress. There are new approaches to use and thrive in the working environment. Managing stress requires skills for self-awareness, understanding of the symptoms of stress, techniques to manage their reactions, but also practices for managing the relationships with clients and the team.

Yanis Athanasopoulos
MBA | Global NLP Trainer