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VSPN CE Course STAF138-0115: Compassion Fatigue Module 1: Healing Ourselves
Audio only: The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly audio format.
Please come prepared to listen.

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Instructor: Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR
Course Open: January 28, 2015-March 7, 2015
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Wednesdays, February 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2015; 9:00-10:30pm ET (USA)
***Please note: February 18 RTS has been changed to 9:30-11pm ET. This is only for the third RTS.
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

*The instructor for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen. If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course is designed for all veterinary and animal health care professionals regardless of position or type of practice or facility.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinarians and veterinary technicians (22-15479). This course has been approved by the VHMA for CVPM credits. (VHMA course #10-15) The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

Course Description:
Chances are you entered the veterinary or animal healthcare world because of your love of animals. That has remained your passion, although now you may be experiencing emotional difficulty in the role of caregiver. You are not alone�every care giving profession can suffer from two similar but different conditions: burnout, and compassion fatigue. Yet even if you are feeling toasted around the edges, or your compassion has been stretched thin, you can learn how to diagnose your condition so that the proper treatment plan can be generated. This course will help you to identify why the job tends to get tougher by the year, by the month or week even, and what you can do to turn things around. Your love of animals led you to this career, but your love for yourself will carry you through.

This course consists of four (4) Real Time Sessions of ninety (90) minutes each, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

*The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation, please be prepared to listen.

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

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructor: 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.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session February 4): Compassion Fatigue vs. Burnout � Diagnosis is First
Content: How many of you have heard of burnout? Likely everyone in class has. How about compassion fatigue, does that ring a bell? For many, although they may not know the definition for the term compassion fatigue, they realize that this sounds like something they are dealing with in their professional role as a care giver. Come learn the difference between burnout and compassion fatigue, and why a proper diagnosis can lead to a much more successful prognosis. We explore specific burnout symptoms that happen in healthcare settings, and leave with tools to help us reduce the transfer of emotional contagion and evaluate our own levels of satisfaction and burnout while we continue to do the important work we are called to do.

Week 2 (Real Time Session February 11): Exposing Compassion Fatigue � Letting the Cat out of the Bag
Content: Looking deeper into compassion fatigue, we discover there are factors that cause us to be more susceptible to this condition. By learning the actual symptoms, you can better diagnose yourself and perhaps those around you in your practice and the profession. Compassion fatigue does not only affect you during the workday, though; you cannot just stuff it into your locker at the end of the day. There are symptoms of compassion fatigue that you may see at home, when you are trying to enjoy your time off work. We are not two separate beings, at work then at home, so we need to learn how to apply what we learn about compassion fatigue to our total lives. Private assignments will help us to reflect on our personal experience with compassion fatigue, while interactive discussions on the message boards will help us understand that we are not alone!

Week 3 (Real Time Session February 18): Compassion Fatigue � Focus on You
Content: By learning the 5 Phases of a career in care giving, we learn what challenges lay ahead and what successes now lay behind us. We discover that a career in care giving is more like a marathon than a sprint, and we must pace ourselves for the long haul. Taking care of yourself is the key to minimizing and preventing compassion fatigue. Yet, it is not as easy as it sounds. We will work through several self-care exercises as homework, to spend time in personal reflection and share as much as you are comfortable with other students who are seeking a healthier relationship with their work. The Life Stress Test is taken by each student, to help us realize that there are many stressors we are trying to juggle in our lives. We learn that as care givers, we have certain Rights that we need to uphold and maintain in order to continue our important work.

Week 4 (Real Time Session February 25): Compassion Fatigue � Focus on the Workplace
Content: We explore some specific factors that lead to compassion fatigue in healthcare workers, and we discover that when our people experience compassion fatigue, so does our workplace; it can pervade the entire culture. The symptoms of organizational compassion fatigue are examined, with an eye on how we can turn things around. We explore a positive and toxic work environment, so we can identify when we have made significant change. Managers who are trying to heal the practice must first heal themselves, and we learn how their susceptibility to compassion fatigue can be significantly higher. Finally, we discuss just who is responsible to make the changes to help the people and the practice, and explore the �three-pronged approach� to increasing awareness and healing in our profession.

CE Credits: 6

Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by January 14, 2015)
*Enroll in both Modules by February 4, 2015 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).
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close at 5 pm ET February 4, 2015, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
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  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 792 or email Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is approved for 6 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 800-846-0028 ext. 792 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VSPN office 800-846-0028 ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VSPN office at 800-846-0028 ext. 792.

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

The CE team:

Charlotte Waack, RVT, CVT
VSPN Director/VSPN CE Interim Director

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
Direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: (014522) 26154
Direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 011 +61 26 145-2357

800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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