SAGE Veterinary Centers to Hire a Veterinary Social Worker


June 3, 2021

Campbell, Calif. SAGE Veterinary Centers is hiring a veterinary social worker (VSW) to improve and maintain mental health in the veterinary profession.

Veterinary social work acknowledges the human-animal bond, as well as the impact working in a veterinary hospital can have on veterinary employee wellness. VSWs provide mediation and counseling to veterinary staff to address the stresses and compassion fatigue they experience on a daily basis. They also work with a veterinary hospital’s pet owners to support their emotional needs when making difficult decisions about their pet’s care, and to provide long-term grief management following the loss of a pet.

A mental health study in 2015 by the American Veterinary Medical Association found veterinarians were more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders, to experience bouts of depression, and to have suicidal thoughts compared with the U.S. adult population. The study also showed that more than 1 in 6 professionals has contemplated suicide since their graduation.

COVID-19 has worsened the situation, and CDC research says long hours, meeting client expectations, processing client complaints, animal deaths and illness, debt out of veterinary school/residency programs, and challenges of work-life balance can contribute to mental distress among veterinarians.

“For anyone working in a veterinary hospital, caring for sick pets and their grieving owners takes a huge toll on your mental health. Our SAGE employees deal with challenging emotional situations daily on top of normal stresses of life and work,” says Dr. Wendi Velando Rankin, SAGE Chief Medical Officer. “Our employees’ well-being is a top priority; by hiring a veterinary social worker, we are taking a proactive approach to address our employees’ mental health in a profession where we want to help every pet and person we can.”

Pet family members, staff, and even the pets themselves benefit exponentially by having a Veterinary Social Work program, says Sandra Brackenridge, LCSW a licensed social worker who provides consulting services to hospitals interested in developing VSW programs. “The social worker understands the bond owners have with their pets and the emotions involved when they are sick, injured, or at the end of their life. A social worker facilitates the veterinarian’s and the nursing staff’s ability to get back to treating the pet while knowing the client is being supported emotionally.”

For interested candidates, please click here

About SAGE Veterinary Centers

SAGE is one of the leading veterinary groups on the West Coast providing business and clinical support services to 16 locations: SAGE Veterinary Centers, Veterinary Vision, Veterinary Specialists of Alaska, Advanced Veterinary Specialists, Yakima Pet Emergency Service, Mid-Columbia Pet Emergency Service, Animal Internal Medicine & Specialty Services, and two strategic partnerships with Adobe Animal Hospital and Central Texas Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital. SAGE has practices across four states, including Alaska, California, Texas, and Washington. Since its inception in 1992, SAGE has embodied a patient‐first philosophy and commitment to collaboration, leading to a reputation for delivering innovative veterinary medicine using the most advanced technologies available.




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