Combat Compassion Fatigue with Vet Wrap Art Therapy

Posted: Nov 6, 2013
Views: 13928 - Comments: 8

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Too often we underestimate the power of the smallest act of caring.

- Leo Buscaglia

Sitting around a table crafting in our community room with co-workers is a little thing that many of us look forward to each month. At our staff art therapy sessions we make cool stuff. Each month we look forward to a new project. We get a chance to shift gears and have fun, while reducing stress and get reenergized – important elements in combating compassion fatigue.

Our most recent art project had a trickle-down effect of good feelings, and there is no end in sight. You can do this at your clinic too! We made a variety of bright, whimsical, funny and charming patches using colorful roles of vet wrap. We pre-made the patches to decorate patient’s bandages before sending them home. Here are some pictures from our staff art binder (we keep this in our ER where we do most of our patient bandaging):

Vet wrap art bookVet wrap art #2Vet wrap art book #3Vet wrap art #6

Vet wrap art #8Vet wrap art #9Vet wrap art #10Vet wrap art #12

These little patches make us smile while we are creating them. They make our co-workers smile when they choose one to place on a patient and they make the family of the patient feel personally cared for when they see this small personal touch. It feels wonderful to be the catalyst that activates a positive note to someone’s day. When you perform an act of kindheartedness with no need for reward, it creates a positive cycle of good feelings.



Jen Jarboe's picture

These are delightful! Any tips for creating them? This would be fun to do on "down time".

Sarah Crisp's picture

Jen, a really good tip from our ER floor (which every new person learns quickly) is when you're cutting out symmetrical shapes, use something that the vet wrap won't adhere to as the middle-layer and just fold the vetwrap over it. We make hearts for all of our euthanasia catheters, and use our t-port papery wrappers for this middle layer. Works really well, we're re-using the garbage for something before tossing it out, and it helps you make perfect hearts :)

Jamie Holms's picture

This is incredible, it certainly shows the commitment to patient and employee care. Thank you for sharing it.

Jessica Medina's picture

I love these they are so creative. I love the idea of having premad art because the rushed hearts look like that, rushed and I think clients can tell when we made a few quick hearts or took our time. Having a bunch already to go is such a great idea.

michelle mc atee's picture

i love this idea very much, i hope i can convince other techs to join in the fun where i work!:)