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STAF139-0612: Compassion Fatigue Module 2: Healing Our Practices

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR

COURSE OPEN: June 14-July 15, 2012

REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Thursdays, June 21, 28, and July 5, 2012; 8:00pm-9:00pm ET (USA)
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. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first Real Time Session.

* 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 a Practice Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate 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 is not required.
VSPN CE Course. This course has been re-submitted for RACE approval of 3 continuing education credits for veterinarians and veterinary technicians and is being re-submitted to VHMA for approval for a total of 3 CVPM credits.

Course Description:
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 should first examine compassion fatigue to see if healing first can help our business be stronger and more profitable. If your practice is not currently experiencing symptoms of compassion fatigue, it could only be a matter of time. Prevention is possible by monitoring your team, recognizing the symptoms and treating as quickly as possible. If your practice needs to become healthier or you want to preserve the healthy workplace you have now, utilize the techniques in this course to keep your team on top.

This course will consist of three (3) sixty (60) minute Real Time Sessions, 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 be considered for a course certificate of completion.
** 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 Texbook(s):
There are no required textbook for this course. Required reading will be in the course area library upon the course opening.

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 June 21): Compassion Fatigue - Defining the Healthy Workplace
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 June 28): Compassion Fatigue - Creating the Healthy Workplace
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 July 5): Compassion Fatigue - Developing Action Steps for a Healthy Workplace
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.


Tuition: $60 ($54 early bird special if enrolled by May 31, 2012).
*Enroll in both Modules by May 10, 2012 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 when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

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

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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 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
Note: "This course submitted for approval for 3 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).
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 VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
**Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN 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
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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