IACUC: Training and Qualifications

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Qualifications Form & Health Screening

All personnel working in animal facilities or in contact with animals in the course of their work are encouraged to participate in baseline and annual health screenings. All graduate and undergraduate students working in animal facilities or in contact with animals in the course of their work are required to participate in baseline and annual health screenings; the Qualifications and Health Screening forms must be completed annually. Health screenings are administered by the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center. Click here to access the online Qualifications Form.

 

CITI Training for Investigators

All faculty, staff, and students engaged in research involving vertebrate animals are required to complete training via the CITI platform. Instructions on how to register for CITI and access the online training can be found here.

  • All researchers must complete the "Working With the IACUC: Investigators, Staff and Students" module.
  • Additionally, researchers working with non-fish species must complete the "Aseptic Surgery" module.
  • Researchers must also complete any species-specific modules that are relevant to their research activity (e.g. "Working With Mice...", "Working With Rats...", "Working With Gerbils...", etc.)
    • Researchers working with Mice and/or Rats must also complete the "Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats" module.
  • Note: researchers working in the Central Animal Facility may have additional training requirements to complete; be sure to check with the CAF facility manager. 

 

Compassion Fatigue Resources

Compassion Fatigue is the experience of emotional and physical exhaustion due to the requirements of one’s job. It may result in:

  • depleted sympathy
  • feelings of anxiety and/or depression
  • feelings of grief and sadness
  • feeling of guilt
  • difficulty concentrating

The feelings associated with Compassion Fatigue are valid: Compassion fatigue is common in those who provide care for laboratory animals. Close and frequent contact with laboratory animals can lead caregivers to feel affection for these animals, and the human-animal bond is important because it provides enrichment and decreases stress in laboratory animals. However, it can be emotionally challenging to provide care for captive animals who will ultimately be euthanized. It is important to recognize that the feelings associated with compassion fatigue are normal and legitimate.

Ways to cope with Compassion Fatigue: If you are experiencing compassion fatigue, it is important to know that there are things you can do. Examples include:

  • visiting the counseling center
  • finding social support from those you trust
  • planning short breaks during the workday
  • talking to other researchers about the positive impact of the research you conduct
  • getting a full night’s sleep
  • exercise
  • practicing meditation
  • pausing to recognize when you provide animals with high quality care

Resources:

You can find more information about Compassion Fatigue in the document, “The Cost of Caring.” Please take a few moments to read it.

Please contact Lehigh’s Counseling and Psychological Services if you’d like to speak with a counselor: 610-758-3880, incso@lehigh.eduhttps://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/counseling-psychological-services-ucps

If you are interested in learning about mediation, check out Taylor Gym’s Meditation Room in Taylor Gym 3rd Floor Studio, Room 360, https://lehighsports.com/sports/2019/1/26/meditation-the-unplug-zone.aspx

The University Chaplin is also available for conversation and counseling: 610-758-3877, incha@lehigh.eduhttps://chaplain.lehigh.edu/university-chaplains-office

The following video highlights the necessity of using animal models for solving complex problems, such as developing novel treatments for humans: https://fbresearch.org/biomedical-research/