That is the perfect word to describe compassion fatigue and burn-out. They creep up on you, and you never realize that you are suffering from them until someone else points it out to you. Then, it's as if a light bulb has suddenly illuminated. All of your recent unhappiness becomes clear.
I have been very unhappy at work the past several months. We have been slow at work, dreadfully slow. Euthanasias for financial reasons seem to be on the rise. More and more clients complain of cost, price-gouging, money-grubbing. Animals I could save are euthanized due to owners' inability to pay.
One day, you stop and realize that you've been working in an ER environment for almost 3 years. It's tiring, it's disheartening, and it just builds and builds. You realize your attitude has been terrible over the past several months (and yes, I'm sure pregnancy hormones play a part). You look at your technicians and fellow doctors and realize that your unhappiness is completely apparent to everyone around you.
Then someone says the words "boredom" and "burnout" - and that light bulb flickers on.
Veterinary work is hard - GP, ER, specialty practice. It doesn't matter. It's all challenging and emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. What I have to realize is that I can't carry it all around with me. I can't let the cases I could've fixed but euthanized instead eat at me. I have to accept that my job sometimes is to end suffering and that's ok. I need to go to work, do the best I can do, maintain a positive attitude, and leave knowing that every day, I do the absolute best I can. Otherwise, in 2 years, I'll be working as a librarian in a small town.
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