Hanrahan, C., Sabo, B. M., & Robb, P. (2017). Secondary Traumatic Stress and Veterinarians: Human–Animal Bonds as Psychosocial Determinants of Health. Traumatology. Advance online publication.
Among health care professionals, veterinarians and veterinarian technicians (VVT) have been largely overlooked in terms of the consequences of preferred coping style, stress management, and care work (e.g., burnout, secondary traumatic stress [STS], and moral distress). STS, often referred to as compassion fatigue, can have serious negative physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual impacts. Although trauma research has begun to shed light on the development of STS as an adverse consequence of care work, a limited understanding exists within the extant literature about the role of other factors such as individual coping style on the development of STS among health care professionals in general, but among veterinarians specifically. This lack of attention on VVT is not surprising when one considers disproportionate lower ranking of veterinarian medicine within the larger medical hierarchy, in which doctors of humans are generally bestowed with greater prestige. Within trauma research, no understanding exists within the extant literature about the relational significance of human–animal bonds in veterinary settings regarding the development of STS, and how they may function as social determinants of health, impacting both professional and organizational well-being. This discussion article seeks to add clarity to the issue as well as challenge current perceptions of veterinary work, its health consequences on VVT, and anthropocentrism in research more generally. Implications for education and research are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)