Orthopedic Surgery

Performing surgeries on bones are so different from soft tissue surgeries, but it was still really fun to watch. I can picture men flocking for this specialty because there are so many hardware tools to work with (nails, pins, screws, hammers, saws, wires, etc.). I was very bias though with this thought before starting this rotation because I was with two female veterinarians who were on FIRE and were powerhouses with these surgeries! They could do everything effortlessly an sometimes even better than some male veterinarians I worked with. These surgeries were not as diverse as soft tissue surgeries were though. The majority of cases were TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) operations to help stabilize the knees of a pet and fracture repairs. Other occasionally performed surgeries included patella or “knee cap” stabilization and repairs of tendon tears. Overall, it was a very interesting rotation but with very long hours.

 
Here’s what other people had to say about this rotation:
What was Orientation Day like?
-Very short orientation
-Super short orientation, went straight to work!

 
Average Daily Hours on Duty?
-expect 7-7 depending on which clinician it is
-6:45AM-8PM for our clinician, we had long patient and topic rounds

 
What is the attire? (When do you change into scrubs?)
-scrubs or dressy for receiving patients (tues and thur). scrubs (will change into clean scrubs immediately before surgery, so bring extra pairs) on surgery days, mon, wed, and fri
-Scrubs or dress clothing – I wore scrubs for sx (surgery) days and dress clothing for receiving days

 
What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?
-Use slings, write clear notes on treatment sheets so others know they must use a sling/ cart patient!

 
What are some struggles to watch out for?
-Physically demanding

 
Words of encouragement (positive comments/stories during your time in this rotation)
-may get to use some power tools in surgery, placing screws!!
-Placing screws and drilling holes was so awesome! Made all the work well worth it!

 
Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload
-2 out of 3
-3 – had few people on block (the less people, the more work!)

 
Through Him,
~Camille
Matthew 11:28= “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Ophthalmology Rotation

Whenever I am learning about the eye, I am always so captivated and in awe of how beautifully and intricately God made us.  I appreciate new discoveries by scientists.  Their findings give me a more behind the scenes view of God’s masterful work.  Thank you!
 
Ophthalmology rotation was a busy rotation, but it was not severely difficult.  I was constantly on my feet seeing the next patient, but our physical exams mainly honed in on the eye using sophisticated tools that would determine the pet’s current eye defect.  My favorite task was dilating the pupil and shining a light through a lens in order to see the retina.  It is a beautiful anatomical structure found in the back of the eye.  After you do a thorough eye exam, then the resident comes in and does their exam but with more advanced equipment.  After the resident looks at the eye, then the faculty ophthalmologist assesses the eye.
 
We also had the wonderful opportunity to observe surgeries performed on eyes.  My favorite surgery was a phacoemulsification, which is a modern version of cataract surgery where the lens are removed through emulsion with an ultrasonic hand piece.
 
Here’s what other people had to say about this rotation:
What was Orientation Day like?
-Arrived at 8:00 and briefly went over what to expect during the rotation.  Looked at the schedule for the day and started seeing appointments like normal.
 
Average Daily Hours on Duty?
-8:00-9:00 to 4:45-5:30
 
What is the attire? (When do you change into scrubs?)
-business casual with white coat and nametag; bring scrubs in case of emergency surgeries
What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?
-know your drugs, how to do a basic exam, etc.  nothing is harped on and they are happy to teach easy basic stuff, but you could review a little
 
What are some struggles to watch out for?
-Appointments take forever.  I would recommend just setting your clients up for a long process in the beginning by explaining how the teaching hospital works and that things move slowly.  Most clients are pretty reasonable about it, especially if they know ahead of time.
 
Words of encouragement (positive comments/stories during your time in this rotation)
-Super nice doctors.  Rounds are helpful and consults from other departments are good opportunities to learn about the basic exam.
 
Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload
1 / 3
Through Him,
 
~Camille
 
Philippians 4:11-13= “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Soft Tissue Surgery Rotation

My love for surgery has been solidified after taking this rotation.  I was fascinated every day.  If you do not mind the presence of blood or having to stand up for a couple hours, then you will be fine on this rotation.  Whenever I watch a surgery, it feels as if I am watching a play and want to clap my hands once the surgeons have completed their procedure.  I also liked how the rotation was organized.  Instead of having to see clients every day of the week, we only get appointments on Monday and Wednesdays while surgery days are on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  The round topics were also very helpful for my career path.  I used to want to pursue a specialty in surgery but later decided to go to private practice.  I was very encouraged to learn that there are still a lot of surgeries I can perform without having to specialize in surgery.

Here’s what other people had to say about it!

(What was Orientation Day like?)

-Tech, John, did our orientation. Semi-organized… Appointments start at 10am and then go time.

(Average Daily hours on duty?)

-7am (earlier if have more than 1 patient) – 6:45pm-8:15pm (depending on when rounds get done in the afternoon, whether you have the last surgery of the day, and how complicated your in house cases are….)

(What is the attire?  When do you change into scrubs?)

-Always have clean scrubs available. Never know when you’ll need to go into surgery. Can wear scrubs every day. Recieving days Monday and Wednesday (professional attire recommended). Technically on surgery days (Tues/Th/Fri) can wear whatever in the morning to do treatments and then change into scrubs for surgeries.


(What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?)

-We had a nice group… I guess harped on would be attendance in surgery suite – even when not your own surgery. They want students to be present and not just hanging out (working) in rounds room while surgeries are occurring.

(What are some struggles to watch out for?)

-Long Days, Short nights (ie very little free time). Week-ends you tend to be there until 9 or 10 am depending on if your in-patient is simple or complex.

(Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload)

-2

Through Him!

~Camille

Proverbs 3:1-5 

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success[a]
    in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Neurology Rotation

I learned so much in this Neurology, but it was by far one of the most grueling, exhausting rotations I have taken.  Part of this is primarily due to the lack of students in our block (4 total).  We had patients come in everyday for appointments plus emergency transfers, so you can imagine how busy it can get.  I definitely don’t recommend taking this rotation right before NAVLE examination (National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners), but do take it some time before taking the exam.

Here’s what other people had to say about it!

(What was Orientation Day like?)

-We had a lot of cases already the first day, so we got to work at 10AM.

(Average Daily hours on duty?)

7:30-6+ (usually got done by 6:30-7:00 pm)

(What is the attire?  When do you change into scrubs?)

-wear nice clothes and a white coat. Bring clean scrubs to change into if needed


(What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?)

-KNOW where to localize the lesion.  You will get a lot of practice.

(What are some struggles to watch out for?)

-Take care of your back.  You have to bend over and pick up patients a lot in this rotation.  Bend your knees!

(Words of encouragement)

-Once you are comfortable with localizing the lesion, you are more comfortable with tackling a case.

-It’s usually the same process.  MRI, +/-surgery, NSAIDs, and cage rest😛  Of course there is more to this, but you begin to see patterns.

(Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload)

-3

Through Him!

~Camille

Proverbs 3:26  “for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”

Radiology Rotation

Like Pathology, this was another rotation that was one of the easiest, most laid back rotations of your final year.  You still did have to get to school by 8AM, but you did not have inpatients or written documents to worry about.  We only had to do 2 short exams in order to pass the rotation.  There were 3 duties that we were selected to do each day: 1) a radiology technician when we get a patient and position the animal properly for the most appropriate technique, 2) an ultrasound technician where we hold the patients while the veterinarian who is certified in radiology performs the ultrasound while teaching us important findings, and 3) interpretation or radiographs.  I enjoyed interpretation the mot because I was discussing individual cases one-on-one with a specialist.  Even though we rarely got the opportunity to do interpretation due to a busy case load, I tried to soak in every advice I received from them during those days.

Here’s what other people had to say about it!

(What was Orientation Day like?)

-Arrive at 8:00. Get a brief explanation on how to use the equipment. Take a look at the on call shifts and switch as need to meet your schedule. You will have one of three tasks: 1) help take radiographs as needed 2) sit with the resident as she/he interprets radiographs that are or have already been taken 3) help with ultrasound studies. Overall pretty chill. You have 30 minutes for lunch

(Average Daily hours on duty?)

8-5 or 6

(What is the attire?  When do you change into scrubs?)

-Business casual, white coats.

-you can wear scrubs every day, with white coat

(What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?)

-Know anatomy and radiology basics from lectures, they will teach you positioning and how to use all the machines

(Words of encouragement)

-Everyone is very friendly and helps the students learn – rounds are great, and students are involved in all the cases (not so much CT/MRI)

(Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload)

(1)

Through Him!

~Camille

Ephesians 1:7= “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Community Practice Clinic

This rotation was vitally important and needed for my career planning.  Many of my classmates had the wonderful opportunity of being vet technicians before going to vet school.  They got to see behind the scenes of how a private practice is supposed to operate on a daily basis.  I got to shadow veterinarians but not actually get to handle patients thoroughly, take a history, or prepare medications.  What I liked about this rotation was how I got to do all of that plus make decisions for the pet’s care.  It was the sense of independence that I needed to feel, and the head doctors gave us that responsibility while also guiding us along the way.  It also helped me appreciate the duties of a technician even more.  We can easily overlook their hard work, and we need to make sure we verbally acknowledge and appreciate them every day.  Honestly, the only part of this rotation that I did not enjoy was how long the process of having the patient in the clinic before discharge.  There are so many steps in between to get from point A to Point B (waiting for a veterinarian to see your patient, waiting for medications to be filled, writing the discharges, etc).  You can tell how long the process can take when a vaccination appointment last about 2 hours long.  A part from that, this is a great rotation to look forward to taking.

 Here’s what other people had to say about it!

(What was Orientation Day like?)

-Orientation was 8-1, then you get thrown straight into appointments!

-You get a 2 page quiz about the powerpoints they sent you a week before. The orientation is super long and tons on information being thrown at you at once. Then they throw you straight to appointments, and all the paperwork you have to do could be overwhelming at first.

(Average Daily hours on duty?)

7:30-5+ (usually got done by 6:30-7:00 pm)

(What is the attire?  When do you change into scrubs?)

-wear nice clothes and a white coat. Bring clean scrubs to change into if needed

-Wear scrubs + white coat -OR- business casual + white coat. Have a spare “clean” scrubs to change into when you have surgery


(What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?)

-Clinicians expect you to be the “doctors” for your patients. Be ready to do your physical exam, then present the case to the clinician with your plan. They expect you to come up with a treatment plan, look up dosages, know your vaccines and preventatives really well. They truly encourage independence here. Also, techs really emphasizes putting your files in their proper places, and to make sure you submit your Travel Sheet ASAP.

(What are some struggles to watch out for?)

-Don’t forget to submit that Travel Sheet as soon as the client signs the bill (it is easy to forget). Some visits have a lot of paperwork to fill out and things to do, so make a list to keep you on track.

(Words of encouragement)

-you get to do a TON of stuff hands on!

-Puppy and kitten visits!🙂 Also, this is a very hands-on rotation, and you are doing most everything by yourself. It is also awesome that they let you do surgeries!

(Difficulty Level (1-3)? 1= It’s a breeze/ 3= really difficult workload)

-2 (no inpatients! Yay!)

Through Him!

~Camille

Jeremiah 1:5= “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Pathology Rotation

Sorry for the hiatus guys!  Before taking this rotation, I heard that it is one of the easiest, most laid back rotation of your final year.  They were absolutely right plus I learned a ton of very valuable information.  I encourage taking this rotation after a busy, long-hour type rotation or during the time you are really studying hard for the NAVLE examination (National Boards of Medical Examiners).  You get to sleep in (does not begin until 10AM), and you do not have to worry about taking care of inpatients or discharges.  The only documentation you have to do are necropsy reports that take an hour of your time at most.  There are also 2 quizzes and one group project.

Two areas of pathology that we focused on were necropsy and clinical pathology.  The clinical pathology portion occurs first in the morning followed by necropsy for the afternoon.  Depending on how many animals get dropped off for necropsy, we usually leave at 4-5pm.  I was a little nervous for the clinical pathology portion because I struggle with that course during my 2nd year in vet school.  After the first day of rotation, I was so thrilled how much I remembered from class!  That is the best part I love about clinical rotations.  You get the opportunity to reinforce what you learned and begin applying the knowledge to real life scenarios.  I also loved how we get to see the underlying cause of the animal’s death.  Sometimes, owners may not have enough money to pursue further diagnostic tests to diagnose the disease that is causing the pet’s clinical signs.  Even though we may not see the problem grossly, further diagnostics such as histopathology, infectious disease panels, and other tests will help us get the diagnosis.  In addition, over 90% of the cases you see in clinics involves Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Chemistry, so I strongly encourage that you make flashcards of what cause discrepancies of the cells and electrolytes (ex: decreased RBCs is anemia due to blood loss or lysis (death), elevated sodium (Na) could mean dehydration, a prolonged fever, excess intake, hyperaldosteronism, etc.)

Necropsy was enlightening.  There were many gross moments, but the findings were worth the process.  One case was particularly out of the ordinary that I had to dissect and remove organs from.  An armadillo was shot in his cervical (neck) area.  The reason it was brought to the school was because the person got some blood splattered in the eye, and he was afraid he was going to get leprosy.  Armadillos are naturally infected with Hansen’s disease (leprosy), but very rarely will people get leprosy from an armadillo, but our job was too confirm if the armadillo had it or not in order to make the pedestrian feel more at ease.

Overall, this rotation was absolutely wonderful.  Make sure to put “Vicks Vapor Rub” under your nose when you know something putrid is coming in for necropsy🙂

Here’s what other people had to say about it!

(What was Orientation Day like?)

-Orientation at 8:30 in the room by necropsy going over procedures and touring clin path. We got about 2 hours for lunch and had to be back for necropsy at 1. Change into their scrubs before then (they provide scrubs and boots, you bring gloves). Meet in the same room and divide up the cases for the day. Fill out the pre-necropsy part of the form think through what differentials you have and what samples and test you want to run. You watch a pathologist do a necropsy then dive into the case load for the day. We happened to have 6 cases so we were there til 8 but it depends on case load.

(Average Daily hours on duty?)

usually 10-12ish for clinpath in the morning, necropsy 1-? depends entirely on case load. The day we had no necropsies we had to check in every half hour til 4.

(What is the attire?  When do you change into scrubs?)

-anything in the morning, change into their scrubs in the afternoon

-scrubs and boots in afternoon were provided = great!

-anything in the morning, scrubs and boots in the afternoon are provided.


(What do doctors/residents/techs constantly harp on?)

-Use appropriate terms and past-tense in path reports

-describe what you see–>don’t need to try to make things more difficult. Just say lungs were heavy and firm instead of “pulmonary edema”.

(What are some struggles to watch out for?)

-The smells! Wear a mask and put vick’s inside it (theres 3 containers of it in the necropsy room)

(Words of encouragement)

-Brought snacks and cold drinks to the path break room- was so nice to have them when working on reports at the end! Also, necropsy was really cool – really neat to see all of the different animals

-They don’t expect you to know everything! Ask tons of questions. Bring your computers/ipads and leave your valuables in the necropsy writing room NOT the locker rooms. Use your computers to look up differentials for your cases and to start your report then. Many times the necropsy form will say “puppy acute death” with no other details. So trying to think of all the viral, baterial, fungal and congenital causes for an acute death in a puppy is easier when you have Dr. google:) For the first 2 weeks, you can type your necropsy report and send it to the resident later. The third week you stay there and write it.

Through Him!

~Camille

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be