Determination and hard working attitude builds confidence

Externship Project

Throughout my time at Tsolum Mobile Veterinary Clinic, I have been lucky enough to work with veterinarians who provide some of the best mentorship I have ever had. As part of that mentorship, I have been lucky enough to gain their trust to be directly involved in many of the procedures occurring in both the large and small animal aspect of things. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and has allowed me to really practice my animal handling and medicine skills first hand. My confidence level performing several procedures, including blood draws, catheter placements, injections, and surgeries in both large and small animals has climbed immensely, and it is largely because of the supportive veterinary team that I have had the opportunity to work with. In the future, it has inspired me to pay it forward to students and veterinarians alike in the field myself – it is inspiring to see how far great mentorship can take someone by being lucky enough to be involved in it first-hand.

Student veterinarian with baby fawnIn the past few weeks, partially the skills I am able to perform, but more importantly my determination and hard working attitude, have convinced my mentors that I am willing to learn and always looking forward to improving my skill-set, which has put me in a good place. Not only is my confidence building, but their confidence in me is also growing, which has allowed me to play a more and more active role within the clinic. We had several emergency procedures to perform in the last few weeks, and each time, I was trusted enough to be either primarily responsible for the patient, or directly involved in the procedure at hand.

It has been a huge learning curve for me during my externship, and the experience has sparked my interest in mixed animal practice. I have enjoyed several aspects of large animal medicine, and continuously being challenged by cases or procedures that are different from day-to-day. In addition, practicing in a rural setting and some of the smaller cities on the island has exposed me to an area of medicine where you cannot rely on referring all procedures to a specialty practice. I have enjoyed working in a setting where you are expected to help a wide range of species with a wide range of problems – problem solving becomes a huge component of veterinary medicine, and it really keeps you on your toes. It is rewarding when clients generally trust your judgment and are appreciative of your skill set while working with a wide array of species. Seeing how people practice medicine here and the kinds of things they are able to do, even with limited resources as times, has been really rewarding. I am looking forward to continuing on a career pathway where I feel challenged and interested by my day-to-day work. The emergencies and unexpected calls throughout the weeks have really sparked my interests in both emergency and mixed animal medicine in a smaller urban or rural setting, and I look forward to exploring both of these avenues of medicine further!

Photo of a student veterinarian and veterinary technician with a dogPictured are two of the emergency calls we received this week – the first was on a baby fawn who was thought to be hit by a car, and showed evidence of abrasion on her right carpus. We performed sedation, radiographs of her limbs, head, and chest to rule out fractures and signs of internal hemorrhage/ herniation, cleaned & debrided her wound, and bandaged it to heal by second intention given the taut nature of skin on her limb and inability to appose the tissue appropriately.

The second photo is a little dog who presented on emergency with a fish hook stuck in his lower lip – poor little guy! With some sedation and surgical tools, I was able to remove the fish hook and because of the minimal incision required to get the hook out, no sutures needed to be placed. He recovered well and went home within the hour.