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Saturday, August 12 • 1:25pm - 2:15pm
Occupational stress and compassion fatigue in the ECC and referral setting

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Occupational stress and compassion fatigue in personnel working in animal-related occupations has gained momentum over the last decade. The impact of these conditions on employee mental wellbeing, workplace productivity and morale is notable and has become more recognised by those who are employed in animal-related occupations. 
There has been an increase in recognition of work-related mental health disorders affecting all industries and professions worldwide (Australian Safety and Compensation Council 2006).
With an estimated cost of AUD$200 million dollars annually, workers’ compensation claims for stress-related mental disorders in Australia are on an upward trajectory. Data collected by Work Safe Australia show not only an increase in workers’ compensation claims for stress-related conditions and mental disorders (5700 in 1997/98 to 8260 in 2004/05) but also in the duration of claims where median time lost for mental disorders suffered at work rose from 6.8 weeks in 1997/98 to 9.7 weeks per claim in 2004/05 (Guthrie et al. 2010). Mental stress is understood to be the foremost causative factor of work-related mental disorders in Australia, with exposure to a traumatic event and work pressure being the most commonly reported mechanisms (Australian Safety and Compensation Council 2006).
According to The National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics (NDS), the industries with the highest claims or incidence were health and community services and education and personal and other services. The highest claims according to occupational groups were professionals, and intermediate clerical, sales and service workers. However, extremely high incidence rates were also evident for police officers, prison officers and social welfare professionals and school teachers (Australian Safety and Compensation Council 2006). These findings are consistent with the extensive literature published in the human health care and social sciences sector. 
Martins Pereira et al. (2011) state that the experience of working with high levels of death and dying puts those who work in emergency and palliative care at particular risk of burnout and compassion fatigue (Martins Pereira et al. 2011). Similarly, those who work in emergency, oncology and other care-giving occupations also have a high prevalence of occupational stress and compassion fatigue (Najjar et al. 2009, Hooper et al. 2010, Potter et al. 2010, Ray et al.2013). Nonetheless, it appears that job satisfaction remains comparatively high in these occupations. Whilst there are a great number of articles and published research examining compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction in human healthcare occupations, there is little focus on those working in animal healthcare and other animal-related occupations.
 This presentation is based on a study conducted to investigate the incidence of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and burnout in those working in animal-related occupations across South East Queensland with a focus on results from those working in ECC and referral practices.

**Nurse Congress Proceedings will be available on a USB in your congress bag 

avatar for Rebekah Scotney

Rebekah Scotney

School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland
Rebekah graduated from The University of Queensland (UQ) in 1993, taking her first position within the School of Veterinary Science shortly thereafter. Rebekah is an experienced Veterinary Technical Officer, qualified Veterinary Nurse and Workplace Trainer and Assessor. She has a strong background in animal welfare, behaviour and ethics. And, with more than 15... Read More →

Saturday August 12, 2017 1:25pm - 2:15pm
Room 8