Dear Reader

Welcome to the March edition of the VNJ and I hope this also comes along with the first signs of spring after what can only be described as a very wet winter!

In this edition, the BVNA presents the first release of the findings from the Well¬Being Survey that so many of you took part in during the end of last year. Thank you to all that took the time to complete this as it has provided interesting results and a fresh insight into the potential stresses faced by veterinary nurses.

In compiling and following up on these results, the BVNA and Vetlife hope to improve the support services available. Stress doesn’t just arise from unpleasant or busy working environments. Positive happenings such as getting married, starting a new job or being pregnant can all impact on us.

Stress does not necessarily have to have a bad effect, either. In fact, it protects us in many instances by priming the body to react quickly to situations. This ‘fight-or-flight’ response helps keep us safe in response to threats. However, the problem in modern times is that our body’s stress response is regularly triggered even though our lives are not in danger. Chronic exposure to stress hormones can damage the body.

Everything from headaches, upset stomach, skin rashes, hair loss, racing heartbeat, back pain and muscle aches can be stress related. According to medical research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 90 per cent of all illness and disease is stress- related.

Evidence shows chronic stress can lower immunity and make people more susceptible to infections. Stress has been shown to contribute to the development of heart disease and high blood pressure. It also appears to stimulate appetite and contribute to weight gain!

I was certainly amazed as an employer just how much a workplace can do to try and help prevent stress amongst its team and how this can then help improve the working environment and its productivity.

The best way to reduce the amount of stress in your life and avoid these possible health risks is to identify the stress triggers in your life. I hope the results and advice the BVNA will provide can help some of you identify and tackle any stress prior to any serious effects on your health or home life.

When ‘running around trying to cram everything into my week, I do try and keep the following quote* in mind to help me achieve a balance: ‘Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends and integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered’.


Sam Morgan, CertEd DipAVN (Medical& Surgical) RVN

Executive Editor

To cite this editorial use either

DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12116 or Veterinary Nursing Journal VOL 29 pp 70

• VOL 29 • March 2014 • Veterinary Nursing Journal