Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Ethical Fatigue

May 31, 2017

Dani McVety, DVM, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, explains the differences between compassion fatigue, burnout and ethical fatigue.

Compassion fatigue is a word that has been thrown around a lot in the veterinary profession, but sometimes it isn't being used correctly. Dani McVety, DVM, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, explains the differences between compassion fatigue, burnout and ethical fatigue — three different things that veterinarians may experience throughout their career.

Ethical fatigue is experienced when the veterinarian is put between the pet and the client, and compassion fatigue is experienced when the client, the patient and the veterinarian are all on the same side. Burnout is directly in the middle of the two and is experienced when you aren't taking care of yourself or getting enough relaxing time alone to rejuvanate yourself.