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STAF139-1110 : Compassion Fatigue Module 2: Healing our Practices

Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR

November 5-November 28, 2010
Real Time Sessions: Thursdays, November 11 and 18, 2010; 8:00pm-9:00pm ET (USA)

Compassion Fatigue has been called the "cost of caring," and it is costing our practice or facility money! When we have team members who are suffering from chronic compassion fatigue, it can affect the policies and processes of the business, and infect the overall culture. The symptoms of organizational compassion fatigue include many basic management challenges that can affect any business; yet in a care giving profession, we can first examine compassion fatigue to see if healing this can help our business be stronger and more profitable. If your practice is not currently experiencing symptoms of compassion fatigue, it could be a matter of time. Prevention is possible as well, so that the team is monitored and the symptoms are recognized and treated as quickly as possible. If your practice needs to become healthier, or you want to preserve the healthy workplace you have now, this course will help.

This course will consist of two (2) sixty (60) minute real time sessions; library materials supplementing the required reading; multiple choice quizzes (after each real time session) designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention; a cumulative final exam online; and interactive message board discussions. Katherine Dobbs holds credentials as a RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician), CVPM (Certified Veterinary Practice Manager), and PHR (Professional in Human Resources). She has taught and lectured worldwide both in onsite and online venues.

This course is designed for all leaders or management team members in veterinary practice or an animal care facility. This includes practice owners, hospital managers, supervisors and more. The Compassion Fatigue Module 1 (Healing Ourselves) is a logical recommended precursor for this course, but are not required.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to

TEXTBOOKS: There are NO required textbooks for this course. Required reading will be in the course area library upon the course opening.


Week 1: Compassion Fatigue - Defining the Healthy Workplace
Content: As a practice owner, manager, or any other leadership position within the practice or facility, you know you are responsible for the culture created in your workplace. Yet the emotional health of the employees around you also affects that culture. When team members have burnout or compassion fatigue, the entire practice suffers. As you learn the symptoms of organizational compassion fatigue, it is easy to see why it could be causing you time and energy as you deal with the drama and trauma of the team. You will also see the effects on the bottom line profitability of the practice. During this class, determine how much your organization may be suffering from the ill effects of compassion fatigue, and how the members of management must process compassion fatigue on the personal and the practice level to provide healing and prevention.

Week 2: Compassion Fatigue - Creating the Healthy Workplace
Content: With increased awareness comes the realization that it is time to stop talking about compassion fatigue, and actually DO something about it! Within the management of the practice, there are many protocols and policies that can help spread awareness and prevent the negative symptoms. From the time a person is interviewed and hired, to the continued monitoring of their compassion fatigue levels throughout their career, to the conversations to insert into staff meetings, to implementing critical incident debriefing and more, the practice can take a proactive approach to becoming and maintaining a positive work environment rather than letting the workplace become toxic. Learn how to create a Culture of Compassion that will benefit your practice, the team members, and ultimately the animals and those who love them.

LIBRARY MATERIALS: Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSIONS: Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.


$40 ($36.00 early bird special if registered before October 22, 2010).
*Enroll in both Compassion Fatigue modules before October 7, 2010 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price.
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

** NOTE: Enrollment will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session.

**For more on how online CE works see the VSPN Participant's Resource Center


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  4. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
  5. VIN Member veterinarians ARE ELIGIBLE to take this course; this course is being submitted to RACE and VHMA approved for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians. **Please access the course enrollment through
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 2 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).
This course has been approved for continual education units toward CVPM requirements through VHMA.
COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Refund policy does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
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Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
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Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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