“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a saying common in many different walks of life. I have heard it during my experiences in school, in the horse industry, and with past jobs but never has it been more relevant than in these early days of our veterinary careers where we are transitioning from the classroom to the “real world”. The way I interpret this saying is that it is not about faking your knowledge or experience; rather, it is about acting with confidence even when you feel like you don’t have a reason to have any yet, and it is about having faith in your theoretical knowledge even if you are still building on the experiences to back it up. I have been discovering that confidence plays a huge part in performing well, and not making others around you panic, especially under pressure. This week I have been working primarily on the small animal side of the clinic and, despite having a week of small animal experience under my belt already, I still feel a bit like a fish out of water working with dogs and cats.
Thanks to the techs and small animal vets though, I have taken huge strides in terms of my technical skills and this week was definitely more comfortable than my first week doing small animal work. I put endotracheal tubes in dogs and cats for surgery, placed intravenous catheters to allow delivery of IV fluids during surgery, and helped to take x-rays and participated in the workup of small animal cases. I found that the little bit of confidence I gained in my first week on small animal made me faster and better at these tasks this second time round. A good omen for the rest of the externship I hope!
In photo: Stella, the clinic cat, helping me with my small animal skills