| Reflective practice is a form of learning in which people use their own experiences and the learning contained within them, to grow and develop. This style of learning is often undervalued in comparison to traditional formal, knowledge-based learning. Greater use of reflective practice may assist veterinarians to address the common sources of occupational stress, whilst allowing for the on-going development of the key capabilities that allow them to create a satisfying and successful career. Evidence supporting the value of facilitated reflective practice groups in both improving the coping skills, satisfaction and well-being of medical professionals and reducing their stress and burnout, is growing. Facilitated groups create a time and a safe, supportive space for practitioners to openly share their challenges and successes with their peers. The use of such groups has been reported in the veterinary literature. Research into the use, benefits and challenges of facilitated reflective practice groups in veterinarians is recommended.
| It is becoming more widely recognised that individuals from a range of caring professions can be impacted by grief associated with work. How this grief is experienced can vary according to a range of factors such as individual aspirations, past experiences, professional identity and degree of personal investment in a case. Factors more specific to the veterinary profession include unique ethical challenges and frequent death of animal patients. However, this grief is often hidden and disenfranchised resulting in the development of unhealthy coping strategies, reduced work performance and high staff turnover. When emotions associated with grief are supressed they can unexpectedly resurface later contributing to psychological distress, compassion fatigue and burnout. A lack of training and stigma associated with seeking support for managing emotions has been raised as an area of concern within the veterinary profession. This presentation will propose and discuss both individual and organisational level strategies developed in other caring professions which are applicable for veterinary businesses.