A Virtual Talk on Compassion Fatigue

Our AIP colleagues at Denver Zoo and AIP graduate Andrew Pittman hosted a virtual talk on compassion fatigue. This presentation explores ways to reduce burnout, which can be present in many facets of life including daily tasks, work and even during this master’s program. It also discusses the impact of compassion fatigue and how to navigate those feelings. Compassion fatigue is typically associated with the healthcare industry particularly in regard to nursing staff; however, conservation work poses a great risk for feelings of not only compassion fatigue but also for secondary traumatic stress. With the challenge of navigating stakeholder demands and fighting difficult battles in unforgiving environments, the mental weight can become overwhelming. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of compassion fatigue and have the necessary means of combating those feelings.

Andrew Pittman, who lives in Denver, Colorado, graduated from the Advanced Inquiry Program in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in general psychology. His dissertation explores the professional quality of life of animal shelter employees with a focus on compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. He also works at an animal shelter in Denver and volunteers as a victims advocate with the Denver Police Department.