Caring for the Caregiver

Blog Author: Harold Davis RVT, VTS (ECC) (Anesth/Analgesia)
NAVTA Treasurer

As veterinary technicians in the clinical setting, we are in the position of being caregivers.  The role of caregiver can extend beyond our daily responsibilities at work.  Many of us in our personal lives may care for disabled, older, or ailing family members.  The one thing that these variations in caregiving have in common is the potential for caregiving stress or burnout.  Caregiving can impact emotional and physical health.  Caregivers may experience one or more of the following (not conclusive):

  • Lack of energy
  • Sleeping problems
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Withdrawing from or losing interest in activities
  • Neglecting one’s own physical and emotional needs
  • Anxiety, depression, or mood swings

I can speak from personal experience on this topic; my sister and I were part-time caregivers for my mom, who was suffering from dementia. My father was the primary caregiver.  For me, the big takeaways were the following:

  1. The importance of having a support system
  2. The need to make time away for one’s self, and
  3. Taking care of one’s personal physical needs.

There are community resources that are available to caregivers; take advantage of them.  I have included a link to one resource that may be helpful

In summary, caregiving begins with caring for yourself; it is very difficult to care for others if you are not well.