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What causes moral stress in the veterinary practice?

What causes moral stress in the veterinary practice?

Most veterinary professionals recognize the feeling: when you're faced with the inability to provide the best care possible for your patients.

When a client is unable to pay for treatment, or euthanasia becomes the only available option – these situations and difficult decisions can place a burden on the care provider that seems beyond the scope of the job.

Moral stress arises when your ethical principles clash with the factors in front of you, and it can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, or worse.

In this article, we explore the causes of moral stress in veterinary practice, and offer tactics that you and your team can use to reduce or limit instances of moral stress – to help ensure your success and contribute to a healthy well-being.

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Author

Cathy Barnette, DVM

Cathy Barnette, DVM is a veterinarian and freelance writer based in Florida. After 14 years as a small animal general practitioner, Dr. Barnette now focuses on creating educational content for veterinary teams and their clients. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, one dog, two cats, and a rescued white dove.