• Nadia Vogt
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
As research in pet owner experiences is showing that many owners suffer from feelings of grief, when their pet is euthanized, veterinarians are increasingly forced to focus on handling pet owner’s grief during euthanasia encounters. A growing body of literature is focusing on the veterinarian’s role as a counselor, and how they don’t feel prepared from veterinary school to partake this task, though such studies has yet to be conducted and in a Danish context. This exploratory study examines how Danish veterinarians experience their role in relation to eu-thanizing a family pet, what challenges they face and what, if any, competencies, or psycho-logical knowledge they find themselves lacking. Using a phenomenological-hermeneutical theoretical position, semi structured interviews was conducted with four Danish female veter-inarians. The transcriptions from these interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis in order to identify patterns within the data. The patterns were then viewed in the light of theo-ries of emotion work, feeling rules, sympathy and role theory. The thematic analysis found four major themes within the data: ‘the good euthanasia encounter’, ‘expressed feelings’, ‘roles of the veterinarian’ and ‘challenges and sought-after psychological knowledge’. The role of the veterinarian was in this study found to be threefold. First, the veterinarians found themselves taking on the task as counselor and supporting the grieving owners. Second, the veterinarians were found to put emphasis on being a protector of the animals, ensuring animal healthcare and timely euthanasia. The third role of the veterinarian was as a financial business employee interested in giving owners a good experience in order for them to return with their potential new pets. The veterinarians experienced challenges as a result of their sometimes-conflicting roles, and in supporting pet owners in certain situations. Moreover, the veterinari-ans expressed a lack of knowledge on how to go about breaking bad news, and it is theorized, that the veterinarians might benefit from knowledge on grief related to pet loss. The implica-tions of this study are interdisciplinary. Though veterinarians are aware of their role as coun-selors and are already implementing pet owners needs into euthanasia encounters, they may benefit from more psychological training. This is consistent with previous literature from oth-er countries, but more research on the topic is needed to establish potential formal training programs for veterinarians. Additionally, further studies are needed to determine pet owner’s experience of euthanasia encounters and investigate what needs pet owners have during this vulnerable experience.
Antal sider79
ID: 440729241