Euthanasia Service During Covid-19
All training materials were written prior to the current pandemic. All veterinary services must be provided in a manner that supports social distancing, good hygiene and biosecurity. For further information please visit the BVA website.
This site is dedicated to improving the experiences of both owners and veterinary professionals at one of the most difficult times that a pet owner can face – the end of their beloved pet’s life.
The way we manage the euthanasia process can have a significant impact on the way we make our clients feel. If we get it right, we will have a lifelong advocate – if not, we have a distressed owner that will not return to the practice as a client.
Honouring the human-animal bond
Euthanasia is one of the most common procedures completed in practice. Yet most veterinary professionals do not receive a lot of training and learn about euthanasia whilst “on the job”. This lack of training can lead to unsatisfactory experiences for veterinary professionals and owners alike.
To recognise and honour the human-animal bond, we believe that more training on a compassionate or bond centred euthanasia process is needed.
Creating a compassionate euthanasia experience
It’s not necessarily what you do and say during a euthanasia that will create a lasting memory for pet owners, but how you make them feel. This feeling is something that will not leave your client/owner and will inform their perception of you, your team and the practice. Get it wrong and not only are you probably going to lose a client, but your practice reputation will suffer.
As part of a compassionate or bond centred euthanasia process, it is vital to look at all aspects leading up to a euthanasia. Topics include:
- Pre-euthanasia appointments
- Creating an appropriate setting
- Compassionate communication
- Bond centred euthanasia
- An appropriate follow-up
- Bereavement support
Safeguarding your mental health
All healthcare workers face a risk to their mental health caused by the nature of the work they do and the pressures faced on a daily basis.
In addition to the pressures faced by all healthcare workers, veterinarian professionals face unique pressures that can increase the negative impact on mental health. Research highlights that veterinary professionals can be four times more likely to commit suicide than the general public.
Our module on compassion fatigue looks at some simple changes to practice protocols that will reduce the risk of compassion fatigue. We also look at how individuals can recognise the warning signs of poor mental health and take preventative steps to protect themselves and colleagues.