Summer is at its height in the Northern Hemisphere and rehab centers are loaded with babies and injured adults to care for, and a phone that never stops. We often forget to take time to care for ourselves. Having been there and gotten many tee-shirts, I can only ask you, my dear colleagues, to try and take time for yourselves. Some years ago, I wrote a talk entitled ‘Stress, burnout, compassion fatigue, and adrenal fatigue – the dark side of rehab’ (yes it is a bit like do as I say and not as I do!). In preparing for this, I asked colleagues on a rehab chat line for input, what are the worst issues you face and how do you de-stress. One reply still resonates and I have endeavored to use it in my life. This wise person takes time for an unbreakable date with her husband each evening, meeting on the deck at 6pm, time for being together. My translation is nibbles, a drink, maybe a fruit juice spritzer, and M*A*S*H re-runs with my husband, so calling me between 5 and 6pm may not be a good thing. We chat, catching up on the day and deciding what supper will be if there are no left-overs in the fridge. Magic! I look forward to this special time and always feel recharged afterwards.
IWRC has been busy with planning for the 2011 Symposium. Kai and Kim will let you know the details as soon as the plans are finalized. I look forward to meeting you in Florida this November. Maybe we can try meeting for a drink at 5!
Bookings for courses are also keeping us busy. Don’t forget to check out the in person courses that may be coming to your region. On-line courses are also being revamped and released. There are several new and very exciting courses in the works. Kai will let you know more next week.
Did you know that all of IWRC’s instructors are Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators (CWR)? We, yes me too, have all sat this on-line exam, designed to challenge our knowledge and ensure that a pass really is quite an achievement. IWRC is also proud to welcome new instructors on board. If you are interested in preparing for this exam, the Basic Course is a great start. Check out the locations of up-coming classes. None near you? How about hosting one? Contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Basic Course needs your help (and Nutrition Course too).
This wonderful course is in need of an update which will be tackled later on this year. But we need images to update the PowerPoint. Can you help please? Topics cover a wide range, as any of you who have taken this class know, and you probably remember that many of the photos are looking rather ancient! So, this summer, take lots of photos and share your high quality digital images with us and other rehabbers. Topic we need digital images for include: facilities, caging, flight caging, housing, diseases, general images of wild animals, babies of all sorts, injuries, release sites and releases, laboratory set-up, digital X-ray images, safety equipment, and any thing else you would like to share with us. We would also like to to place some of the images not used in the course in the IWRC Members site as a resource available for browsing. Please let Kai know who took the images so we can ensure they are acknowledged correctly. Email images to email@example.com
The Nutrition Course is also up for review and I would like to bring more images into this course also. So think about any photos that would be of use to illustrate nutritional issues. Have you received an animal with severe nutritional deficiencies? How about feather damage? Fractures? Please take those photos and send them to Kai.
Talking nutrition, calcium is often an underdone component of our young wildlife diets. You can simply use your egg shells for your charges. If they come from boiled eggs, simply dry them and grind them up. If uncooked, bake them for 20 minutes at 250°F, grind them up and store them in a container. Place a little egg shell in all your cages allowing your charges the chance to add calcium to their diet as needed. Deer antlers are great calcium sources for small mammals.
Thinking about courses, a new series of webinars are going to be added to the IWRC Members section. The first one should be out next week. It is the first in a new series called ‘Almost everything you wanted to know…’. These webinars address topics we all need to know something about, the first one – Needles and Syringes. The next – Reading a pharmaceutical label. I have to admit, I learned lots too as I pulled them together. Plus it was fun to do these units. Are you interested in helping? One I am working on is – how to identify that white stuff in that bird’s mouth. Contact Kai.
In the works are a special series in the ‘Almost everything…’ group – Wildlife Disease Webinars. We are hoping to enlist veterinary students to help prepare them. However, we need your help too. Let us know what wildlife diseases are of concern in your area. What species are affected and what common names are used for this disease. Also, do you have any contact with your local vet school? We would love to ensure that they are in our database. This series could be a great class project and the benefits ongoing for years to come. Email Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have a vet school contact to share.
The webinars are all going to be translated into French and Spanish. However, I don’t want to wear out our 2 volunteer translators, so do you know someone who can help with these languages? It would also be useful if they are prepared to simply review the translation. My hope is that we can also translate the webinars into other languages, Mandarin and Cantonese being two languages that would be so exciting to offer these in – OK I know, dreaming in Technicolor again, but if we don’t, nothing changes. So if you dream too, and can help, let me know.
I was really excited when Kai asked me to look over the book titles she was considering purchasing for the on-line store. There really is nothing like a great reference book on the shelf, something to turn to for help and ideas. Let her know at email@example.com
if you need other titles. I am looking for a new drug formulary. What ones do you find most useful?
A new Database for State, Provincial, and Territory contacts (and beyond)
We are developing a new database for our membership of all the contact information, current regulations for registering a rehab center, relevant wildlife rehabilitation laws and regulations for the USA and Canada. This is a huge undertaking and needs help to make it happen. Board member, Brenda Harms is preparing a template to ensure we cover all the bases as we develop this informational database. Are you interested in helping with the information for your State, Province, or Territory? We can send you the template as soon as it is ready. Or you can send Kim the email contact for your permitting office. Any regulations or web based forms will also be of great use to your colleagues. Not in the USA or Canada? Send your government’s information along. It might be a very long while before we have information available worldwide, but we can start with the countries with IWRC members! Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to protect yourself through these long days of hard work, never ending demands for your time and expertise, and always one more job to do. Sleep all you need, eat well and don’t forget to laugh, maybe one of our greatest gifts for de-stressing. I hope you can plan a break with all of us in Florida this November. If this is not a possibility, do make time for time out, you deserve it.
My very best to you all,