FEB 08, 2018 01:30 PM PST

Engaging Through Enrichment: How the Animal Enrichment Committee Works to Combat Compassion Fatigue

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  • Animal Enrichment Coordinator, Lead Animal Technician, University of Michigan Medical School
      Jennifer is currently a Lead Animal Technician in the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine at the University of Michigan where she serves as the Animal Enrichment Coordinator. As Animal Enrichment Coordinator Jennifer works to evaluate and improve the campus wide animal enrichment program. Jennifer graduated with a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University in 2005. She is enrolled in the Certified Laboratory Animal Behavior Professional program at the Animal Behavior Institute.


    Compassion fatigue, or the state of chronic stress for those caring for people or animals in distress, can affect anyone working in the lab animal sciences.  This can even affect employees who do not work directly with the animals on a daily basis.  Working in this field can make it harder for people to get support from their external support system, such as family or friends, since many of them are unfamiliar with the challenges in the field.  This makes it imperative that the workplace fills the gap and provides additional support. An enrichment program that has a foundation of engagement for everyone in the animal care and use program is an avenue to help address compassion fatigue. By combating compassion fatigue the institution can provide a healthier workplace for their staff and animals.  

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