Compassion Understood to host webinar sharing insights from research with over 500 owners about their experiences at the end-of-life of their pets. Managing Director, Doug Muir, will give recommendations for best client support at this sensitive time.
Veterinary training company Compassion Understood has opened registrations for a free webinar ‘End-of-life client care: why it’s a must-do, not a nice-to-do!’ taking place on October 5th at 8pm. Open to all veterinary practice staff, the webinar will focus on the findings of Compassion Understood’s research with both pet owners and with veterinary staff about end-of-life management. The research shows a disconnect between what pet owners want, which is more openness around the subject and additional support, and reluctance of veterinary staff to engage with the topic for fear of upsetting their clients.
Compassion Understood’s pet owner research¹ showed that up to 19% of clients do not return to the same practice after the loss of their pet with a new one. The causes are multifactorial but include feedback around the end-of-life experience within the clinic.
Other research shows that veterinary staff can have a direct impact on the level of grief experienced by a pet owner. ² Doug will discuss the findings of both studies and outline how with additional support, clients can be helped through their end-of-life experience so that they feel confident in returning to their veterinary clinic with a new pet.
Doug said, “We want to give vet staff the knowledge and the tools to feel equipped to deal with end-of-life situations. I’ve spoken to many vets and nurses who are afraid to say anything to their clients about the death of their pet, until that very final consultation, and by that stage, it’s often too late. The impression is already made. This may be why one study showed that clients still left, despite saying they were satisfied with their euthanasia experience. The owner is going to remember so much more about their pet’s passing than we think – the conversations on the phone, the discussions about whether to PTS or not, what to do about their pet’s body. These conversations are often difficult to have – for example, staff are afraid to say the wrong thing and so say nothing, or keep the conversation very clinical and efficient. But with a proactive focus on communication, there’s so much more support that can be given. I’m looking forward to sharing the findings of our research so that we help practices feel more comfortable and confident in this tricky area.”
Compassion Understood was launched earlier this year, with the intention of helping both veterinary practices and pet owners. The website, http://www.compassionunderstood.com, has a strong pet owner emphasis, and veterinary practices are encouraged to direct their pet owners there for reliable, clear end-of-life information, written by veterinary professionals.
The site also contains a veterinary portal where practice team members can access online training in end-of-life, as well as topical blogs and other information. The training programme has been put together with the help of end-of-life vet Dr Susan Gregersen and education/communication expert Dr Jenny Moffett. Modules include clinical aspects of assessing quality of life, decision-making around end-of-life, pre-euthanasia preparation, as well as front-of-house client care. Other aspects covered are the emotional and psychological aspects of losing a pet, as well as how to protect the practice team from compassion fatigue or emotional depletion.