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Protecting the Self

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Veterinarians’ Perspectives on Dealing with People

image of Society & Animals

This study was used to examine how practicing veterinarians protect the self when dealing with people at work. Veterinarians interact with the people attached to their patients in myriad ways in order to accomplish their organizational goals. Data collected during semistructured interviews with 17 veterinarians revealed that these veterinarians considered client interactions just as important as treating nonhuman animals. Impression management concepts were used to describe many of the interactional strategies veterinarians employ to protect the self when dealing with difficult clients. Building trust with clients and giving front stage performances were common strategies adopted. Despite veterinarians wanting their jobs to be animal-centric, these data show that they are not.

Affiliations: 1: University of Central Florida


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