My father has often told me of his days at college and how he paid for tuition but utilized his vacations to earn large sums of cash. I have done the same but money was not the only thing I achieved.
Spay and Neuter Clinic Part Two
Sunday was a masterful display of coordination and managing to stay awake and active. Eleven hours of twenty-two animals, twelve cats and ten dogs with a few drop-outs and add-in’s. Sophie Z., my friend and roommate from orientation is my greatest confidant and rival. Her AP classes numbered more than mine and her scholarship is top rung; We inspire each other to be our very best.
So Sophie has had an interesting relationship with Doctor K. I suggested she apply to work at A-Veterinary Hospital but she is having difficulty making a solid plan for her future and her movements toward a goal have an on and off tendency. Doctor K decided to invite her to help at the spay-neuter clinic. I found not only did she do well at my job but she had more skills, even though we have approximately the same experience hours. This of course bugged my competitive spirit and I strove to be more aggressive, learn what she was doing and enable myself to obtain the same skills.
I learned how to shave animals cleanly (didn’t cut the skin once!), prepare vaccines, administer vaccines, and record vaccines in logs. We never ran out of supplies and kept the flow smooth. The only mishap was when a cat woke up too quickly on the table and went through the excitatory phase while we were still administering vaccines and gave me some battle scars. After the eleven hours I biked home (no buses run on Sundays), found a huge knot in my shoulder, took a shower and promptly fell asleep.
The next day I told Doctor K how I was disappointed that my skills sets where not as up to par with others in my experience level.
With spring break I had a very predictable schedule for work. One to five every day and “E” popped out of the wood work in the morning shift. Well afternoons are great and I learn about professional communication but that is what I have been doing all semester and all the fun happens in the mornings. So Tuesday afternoon Ms. L , our technician informs me that “E” would be more than happy to give up her morning shift to me for Wednesday. Well why not take the eight to five shift and have a fun time with surgeries.
Well Ms. L was not the technician I was going to work; instead I Worked with my co-worker, affectionately known as “Am.” I had worked with Am a few times, she tends to partner with Doctor R, and at first glance she appeared closed and very serious. This last Wednesday I found out just how great of a gall she really is and the experience she gave me was enthralling.
Doctor K told Am about my concerns for my skill set and Am appeared more than happy to teach me absolutely everything. That day we had a cat spay and a dog needing a dental, both new patients. She let me shave the cat and sterilize it in preparation for surgery, I logged the drugs that were used and prepared the surgery room. I drew and administered her rabies vaccine and polyflex.
For the little yorkie that needed a dental I learned new skills and even had the opportunity to perform them. I asked her to explain all parts of the dental cart and how to set it up. While the little guy was sedated I was able to trim his nails and as Pulse Ox kept falling off his tongue I manually took his heart rate. We performed an ear exam where I learned what an alligator, hook, and a mosquito are and what they look like.
Once I was able to take a rectal temperature on a sedated dog and a heart rate the performance did not just end there, when it came to appointments she let me do the same on patients in exam rooms. Just hearing how to perform these tasks and then actually accomplishing them is learning on an entirely different level.
Today was a very slow day with an interesting twist that it was diabetic cat day. We had one cat in such bad shape, her temperature didn’t even register on the thermometer, during the day she had an iv drip with potassium supplement as well as a catheter that collected what Ms. L and myself described as Kool-Aid (not a very good sign) by the end of the day she became more conscious and we eventually got a temperature on her but it took many blankets thrown in the dryer and a large amount of iv drip.
The second cat, “M,” had a high blood glucose level. He was also attached to an iv drip with potassium chloride infusion. He was sluggish but in much better condition. Every hour and a half or so he would get his blood glucose levels measured. The third measurement Am showed me the vein where they got the blood from, the tiny vein in the ear. The last two measurements she allowed me to take samples and record them. Another new skill to my growing list!
Today was actually very slow, few clients and the in house patients we had required constant supervision but minimal care aside from the constant switching out of heated blankets. I found myself wondering about looking for something to do. I ended up cleaning and organizing the exam room shelves in which I found expired products over two years bad that the technician didn’t even realized we had. I realized we had a talent for cleaning but not so much paying attention to dates.
A-Veterinary Hospital is furthering its self and I am challenging myself to be more aggressive in my learning because even though Am is now my favorite teacher she won’t always be my teacher and I need to get the same experience out of other as she gives to me.