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2057 03-03-2009 10:20 PM

Stress Management
As I mentioned in my Intro I attended the 10th Annual Animal Control Personnel Training Course. One of the things we discussed was Stress and how it effects us out in the field and on this job. I was wondering how you handle stress. I want to help with the management of it if I can.

You are faced with what is called "accumulative stress", and it can be the source of many problems that you may not be aware of. One result if it's left unchecked is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It's almost unheard of in AC, but it's not completely unheard of.

What do you do to relieve stress?

(Keep in mind, that I'm not able to access the ACO forums, if you are discussing this there, then disregard this).

Getting too old 03-03-2009 10:54 PM

Iíve done several things. I love jigsaw puzzles, but I havenít had the space to leave one out for an extended period. So I havenít done one in years.

I used to really enjoy my motorcycle, until I wrecked it out and almost killed myself in the process. One day Iíll have another one, but it just ainít in the budget now.

For several years I worked in the audio/video crew at my church, but that eventually went south (long story for a different time), so now Iím back to sainginí in the choir.

I also enjoy the fool out of this forum.

2057 03-03-2009 11:14 PM

Hobbies are good. Keeps your mind active and takes your mind off things. ;) Church is good too. I teach Bible Study's and even speak at the Pulpit although I'm not a Pastor. Right now we're without one, so me and another guy are filling in until we get one.

Like I was saying in the other thread, I enjoy my scooter, we've had some good days to ride so far. It gets about 115 degrees here in the summer and the hot air burns my eyes a bit. But I still ride it.

I brought this subject up because it is something that we all deal with in different ways, it's good to do something healthy and constructive to relieve the stress from the day. I know how hard it can be to "leave the job at work". But it helps if you can at least to a degree.

GTO did you go to A&M for the Training? If so, is this part of the training they give now? (At least bring it up).

Getting too old 03-03-2009 11:41 PM

Are you referring to the basic/advanced ACO training? I did mine at the Dept O Health in Arlington, and then Iíve been all over the state going to the conferences to keep my CEs up. I went to College Station for a conference, and one of the sessions was on the A&M campus, but I never attended as a student.

They completely changed the training laws last year from being voluntary to being mandatory. All of the CEs we had accumulated were erased so that only approved CE would be in our files. The material required to be covered in the basic training now is so in depth that it canít possibly be taught in the time permitted, so they are talking about simply over viewing it in the class, then cover the details in a series of one day classes.

The conference this year is in Corpus. Maybe Iíll take the scenic route back and see if I can catch up with firestar and boxermamma in Victoria.

2057 03-03-2009 11:57 PM

Yeah, that's what I was referring to. Things have changed a lot then. Everybody used to go to A&M for a week and get a crash course you might say. I think you could take the Basic Cert test at testing facility in the Dallas area (maybe Arlington), but the Advanced Cert was done at A&M if I remember correctly.

I wasn't a student at A&M only for the training they offered in the week you were there. It was called "Continuing Education". I still have the piece of paper, that they give you for the classes. All you have to do is be there for that one though.

Scooterchic 03-04-2009 12:18 AM

Stress relief.... Humm.. Scooters, working, building and riding on them. fishing is a great past time. Chillin at home watching movies and Top chef with my husband. Working out by running and weight training. That is a great stress reliever.

Cheers, Scooterchic::scooter::

stmelangell 03-04-2009 01:02 AM


Originally Posted by 2057 (Post 49214)
... is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It's almost unheard of in AC, but it's not completely unheard of.

Well, kinda ... the most recent study (2005) indicates that about 50% of animal workers have symptoms of compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress (STS), which is "our" brand of PTSD. An earlier study (1992) indicated a level of PTSD in animal services workers as high or higher than police, fire, and emergency services workers -- but lately they're classifying PTSD more strictly, as a byproduct of trauma to the individual rather than the secondary trauma of watching trauma happen. I would argue (and probably will, in my master's thesis, heh heh heh ::mischief::) that ACOs are as likely to suffer direct trauma as PD or fire, so you can't necessarily assume that shelter workers are exempt from PTSD even in its newer definition.

As far as stress relief, gotta go with what works, applied as needed as often as needed:

(1) External support (friends and fellow ACOs).

(2) Internal support (relaxation techniques and a good strong spiritual foundation).

(3) Getting away from it (hobbies, exercise, and vacations)

:) This site works for me! Have I said that


yet today?

Learning To Fly 03-04-2009 02:37 AM

I knit and exercise...relatively mindless, with just enough counting to keep my mind too busy to dwell on other things, and the exercising releases all those wonderful endorphins!! Plus, both make me feel good-getting healthier and creating things to give to others!

NCACO2CI 03-04-2009 07:40 AM

Love to be with the gandchildren......::hyper::

And out working on the farm, I think we all have our releases and should.

Im not sure I agree about the psdd, I think aco's and shelter workers get exposed to some really horrific sides of humanity and it is not acknowledged as most jobs go.

Ever see the turnover rates? Some find the way to cope with it, and some find they cant handle it.

Id like to see what everyone thinks............

Getting too old 03-04-2009 09:35 AM


Originally Posted by Learning To Fly (Post 49250)
I knit and exercise...

I have an allergy to exercise. Whenever I try to do it, I get all sweaty and have shortness of breath, and then for the next few days I have aches and pains.

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