UK veterinary nurses are being asked for their views and experiences of compassion fatigue in an attempt to raise awareness of the condition and help practices recognise the signs.

RVN Nicky Smith, who has the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Small Animal), is studying for a BSc honours degree in clinical veterinary nursing at Myerscough College in Lancashire.

Her dissertation is on compassion fatigue in UK veterinary nurses – both small animal and equine – and she has launched an online survey to find out more about what is happening across the country.

Mrs Smith said: “I am looking to identify whether there are concerns regarding compassion fatigue in veterinary nurses, but also at compassion satisfaction that may be gained from carrying out the job.

“I hope by doing this survey and publishing my results I can raise awareness of compassion fatigue in the profession, hopefully encouraging practices to recognise the signs and provide support to staff when required.

“In the long term, if more systems can be put in place to support staff it may lead to greater job satisfaction, hopefully leading to better retention rates for qualified nurses.


She said she believed the issue was of great interest in the profession.

“To ensure results obtained are as representative as possible of the nursing population it is imperative the survey is completed by as many veterinary nurses as possible,” she said. “I need as many responses as possible by the beginning of January.”

To complete the survey, visit

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