Saturday, April 27, 2019

PDSA Graduate Programme

I applied for the PDSA Graduate Programme when it opened in March and heard last week that I was unsuccessful in getting an interview for it.
I know how competitive the programme is as a couple of friends have done it so luckily I'd applied elsewhere and have already accepted a job but I was still pretty gutted as I've done countless weeks of EMS with them for over three years.
Birmingham are taking a graduate this year so it would have been perfect as I know the team, work well with them and (I think!) they like me as they've said a few times they'd love me to work there if they had a vacancy.

The application process was the longest I've seen with four Essential and 10 Sift questions to complete about why you'd want to work for them, how you would add value, how you have approached cases in the past etc.
Successful applicants are invited to an intense interview day where you have to complete a clinical case giving differentials and a treatment plan, then a group task, and finally do a mock consult with an actor. The top people at interview are then ranked according to the number of vacancies as the top person gets priority for which hospital they work at, then working down the list.

I know they have to differentiate applicants but it just shows how difficult recruitment is when it's done by Head Office and the hospitalyou'd be working with don't have any input.
Annoyingly I can't ask for feedback, not that it really matters now but I'd be interested to know.

I got an email two weeks ago, after I'd accepted my job, from PDSA Stoke as they'd spoken to Nam one of the vets I've seen practice with for a few years and she recommended me for a job. I was shocked and delighted to get the email but it was just bad timing.
Stoke is about an hour and a half from home with no traffic so I'd have to move up there which would be difficult with a dog as I'd need to find somewhere suitable to rent and then pay for doggy daycare etc.

I explained the situation and that I was really appreciative of the offer but couldn't take it.
I could still apply if they have a vacancy in a few years time so never say never!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Veterinary Recruitment Companies

I know some people have had great experiences with recruitment companies but knowing the way they work, I chose to avoid them.

Recruitment companies advertise jobs, recruit and screen applicants then forward the CV's of suitable applicants to a practice for them to interview; for doing this they charge the practice several thousand pounds.
The great thing about this is that their websites are often a one-stop-shop where you can filter jobs by sector (Small, Farm, Academia), location and various other things. They give you an overview of what jobs are out there and can be great for finding jobs. As a practice it's handy because they screen all the applicants and present you with a couple of suitable people to interview.

Their websites rarely give details of the practice, though if you know the area you can usually work it out, as they don't want you to approach them directly and cut out the recruiters. This can make it difficult to research jobs and see if it would be a good fit for you.
This works well for many industries where there are lots of varied applicants applying for the same role like Tech, Engineering etc but I know lots of people who have been put forward for vet jobs that are completely not suitable, because the recruiter just wants their £X,000 commission.

A friend of mine who graduated last year was really excited to get several interviews, the recruiter got her really excited in that she was exactly what they were looking for and offered her all kinds of things she was specifically looking for. She travelled for interviews (which can be expensive in itself) and realised once she got there that her and the practice weren't compatible at all but the recruiter just needed the figures.
It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of your first job interviews and they're telling you everything you want to hear that you get swept away and then it turns out to be a waste of everyone's time.

I naively gave my email address to one recruitment company (it's common for exhibitors to scan your conference badge to enter their competitions etc) at BSAVA Congress in 2017 and once they had my details I got weekly emails and a couple of phone calls as they'd found the perfect job for me, in far flung regions of the UK ...I wasn't even applying for jobs back then!
I asked them to stop, which they did for a while, but then they picked up again when one of their employees set up his own company and stole my details and those of several others I know.
Clearly a breach of GDPR and it ended up going to the ICO but that's a whole other story...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Feeding time for Františka

Torunn my Norwegian friend came down to feed Františka with me today and took a few photos so thought I'd chuck them up here.

Tiška is still like marmite - she is amazing, easy to work with and great for introducing new people to birds of prey ...but she can also be stroppy sometimes and is baity (tries to fly off the glove when she's being held) which can be really frustrating!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

New Foster Pup

I've joked about getting a Pug for a few years as they're equal parts ridiculous and cute but obviously with the #BreedToBreathe campaign and problems associated with brachycephalics I wouldn't actually buy one.

This little girl was posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, she's 8 months old and has been kept in a crate all her life so she's underweight and in need of a foster...

I messaged my housemates who agreed to help me for a few weeks and here she is;
Lilo arrived last Friday

She's super cute and playful. We're feeding her up so she's gone from 6.5kg when the charity got her to just over 8kg now.
Breathing-wise she isn't too bad as brachycephalics go, she has a nose and her nostrils aren't too stenotic but she still snores like a trooper!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Orthopaedic Surgery classes

Today we started our surgery practical classes which is pretty exciting as it’s one of my favourite subjects.

We started off with a lecture where they describe a procedure and then we practice performing the procedure on cadavers. We got to do fracture repairs with normograde and retrograde IM pinning, cerclage wires and plates.

All the best orthopaedic surgeons get their gloves stuck drilling IM pins 👨🏻‍⚕️🤦🏻‍♂️

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Night shift with Gala

We have an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier in with us tonight as she was attacked by her daughter.
She has extensive wounds to her leg and an ulcer on her chest wall so that's all been cleaned and she's on pain relief. She's really timid at first but once we spent a bit of time with her she was bouncing around the room and playful outside - still not keen on seeing other dogs though!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Small Animal Hospital night shift

As part of our rotation block we have to do shifts in the Small Animal Hospital so we've done a week of 12hour days and tonight I'm on a night shift with Harriet.

We've been pretty Q-word (you're forbidden from saying it in practice as if it's muttered you just know an emergency will come in) so just looking after inpatients, given a few meds and taken everyone outside to pee.

We had a few hours sleep and got up at 5am to check on everyone and take them out again.