Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Vets4Pets Workshop

I got an email from Vets4Pets in September to say some Košice graduates on their grad scheme had nominated me to be a Student Ambassador.
As part of that I organised a workshop with Cat Curtis from Vets4Pets to come out with Bobby, a Joint Venture Partner, and Niamh, one of last years graduates, to come and speak to us about Setting Up for Success.

The workshop covered everything from writing a CV and cover letter to selecting practices, interview technique and how to make the job work for you - there has to be the right fit for both the practice and the candidate.
Feedback from my yeargroup was really positive in that they spoke generally and inclusively of mixed, farm and equine practice even though they all work in a small animal environment. They really didn't push the graduate programme at all and while the session was meant to finish at 4:30pm, people were still there asking questions at 6pm!

We went out for drinks on the evening and chatted more about jobs, recruitment and Vets4Pets. To be honest I'd never really thought about working for them before as I didn't know much about the group but speaking to Niamh and Bobby has changed that!

Friday, January 18, 2019

End of an era at the PDSA

I first started seeing practice at the PDSA in 2016, I've been there for a few weeks every year and I've loved every minute from the start. It's a busy practice with a high caseload, lots of surgery and the team are great. I've been to lots of practices before and since but this became like my "home practice" because I got to do so much and was able to be useful knowing everyone and where things are kept.

Last week I did my first flank (side door) cat spay with Tessa one of the vets and although she is really patient I fumbled through it and didn't think it went very well. I've monitored anaesthesia for a couple since then so got to watch the procedure and learn from other vets then today there was another on the ops list.
I started the morning with a dog castrate which went really well so the Senior Vet said I could do the cat spay all by myself, he was in Prep should I need anything so I induced and intubated the cat, helped prep for surgery and was pretty nervous before I started. I placed my drapes, measured with my fingers and re-measured, made my incision (which was the bit I was concerned about doing flank) and it all went smoothly so I was really glad I got to end on a high!

One of the nurses was doing post-op checks for this weeks surgeries and came in to ask if I'd done some of them as I close with intradermals as most other vets place skin sutures. The German Shepherd bitch spay I did was bouncing around and the intradermal sutures looked great which is always good to hear!

This was my last couple of weeks of EMS before my last semester of vet school and graduation so the team bought me cakes and a card signed by everyone which was really nice.
It was really weird saying bye but I've learnt so much from them so will always be grateful and they all asked if I'd like to work there in the future.
I'd like to apply for the PDSA grad scheme as I love the busy environment, there are often more complicated surgeries that would be referred in private practice that they get to treat, plus the added support of a mentor; so if there's a vacancy I'd love to go back!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Another week of charity practice

I'm back seeing practice at the PDSA for a couple of weeks and since I was here last year they've had a few new members of staff so it's been nice working with new people.
One of the locums has been asking me questions throughout the week, I thought she was testing me for revision, then on Thursday she asked me for the controlled drugs key and we both realised she thought I was a vet!! aha

I've got to do a fair bit of surgery and am confident with cat and dog castrates, fairly happy with bitch spays and closing the abdomen after other vets have done ex laps but I've still yet to do a cat spay!
I used to find dentals fairly boring to watch because you can't see much from the other side of the table but I enjoyed the session at BSAVA in Liverpool so made an effort to get stuck in as it were.
Tessa let me section some molars to extract them and it looks easier than it is so she had to help with some roots, we took out 4 molars and 3 incisors then did a scale and polish which is actually quite enjoyable! Later in the week I did another dental and have never seen teeth so bad and had to extract most of the teeth, bar the canines and a couple of incisors.

I'm quite aware that I'm happy with the practical procedures side but not as confident with internal medicine so Nam said I need to push myself and do some more consults. I've been calling patients in to take a history, do a clinical exam and then call a vet in at the end to dispense meds and answer any questions they owners have. They see lots of skin disease, ears and trauma (cat bite abscesses, RTA etc) so once you've seen a few you get an idea of the treatment plan and how other vets treat them.
Some of the diabetic cases are really interesting as the owners are more switched on and have really good control and we saw three dogs this week with ascites and Dilated Cardiomyopathy; sadly one which died at home overnight after we examined her as the owner hadn't been giving medication for the past month.

This afternoon the Friday (cat) cesarean came in which Nam sorted pretty quickly and she had two healthy kittens.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

BSAVA Liverpool Student Conference 2018

This weekend I travelled up to the Uni of Liverpool Leahurst Campus with two friends to attend the BSAVA Liverpool Student Conference 2019. It is the second year the conference has ran and as we have a break before our next block, we decided to go and it was great value at £60 for the two days plus a dinner on Saturday night.
We stayed with vet students I've spoken to online for a couple of years but never actually met, so was great to meet them too!

Saturday morning kicked off with a couple of lectures and then an Endoscopy workshop. I've done a bit before at the Endoscopy Weekend and scoping birds with rigid endoscopes but it was great to practice.
We had to retrieve foreign bodies from a 'stomach' and as they say, teamwork makes the dream work and we got the best time!

Next up we had a lecture on fluids with Jacqui Seymour from VetsNow which I wasn't particularly looking forward to but turned out to be really useful! I think in practice we often put animals on fluids without thinking too much about what, how much and why so it was really interesting to think about it and practice evidence based medicine!

The second practical session I went to was Rabbit Neutering with Frances Harcourt-Brown, an RCVS Specialist in Rabbit Medicine and Surgery, and her husband who both have a wicked sense of humour!
Frances spoke about surgical techniques and spaying, particularly about where to place the cervical ligatures and her evidence base for it ...which is different to what I've seen in practice.

Saturday night we had a formal dinner which meant several bottles of wine and we don't remember much but we all had a good time and sore heads the next morning!

I think my favourite session was the Communication Skills workshop with Penny Barker from VDS Training. I often see posts about VDS and know vaguely what they do but never really paid attention to them, Penny was really engaging and interactive especially considering it was last thing on Sunday afternoon.

She spoke about DISC profiling and we worked out which profile(s) we best fitted into and how we react to conflict.

I definitely think I'm a High I, while apparently most of the veterinary profession are C and S.
I sat there thinking about various friends and colleagues and which profiles they fit into and then related it to clients and how to interact with them.

Overall we had a great weekend so thank you to all involved organising the weekend, the speakers and Becca for hosting us!