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.”

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Time to Prove Myself (Week 8)

Week’s Itinerary= SA Digestive Quiz #2, Basic Surgery Final Exam, Science Research Symposium

Even through all this madness, I am doing surprisingly well with my grades.  I am beginning to find a balance where I am not being blown this way or that by my surroundings. I am staying the course that God has graciously provided for me. In past semesters, I would occasionally be discouraged by professors, classmates, or even anything I saw displeasing in my environment. But now, I am beginning to stop worrying about every little thing that bothers my heart and spirit. Never let anything in your path discourage you from achieving your goals.

Small animal (SA) digestive quizzes are hard and adequate preparation takes up so much of my time.  We were asked to read two scientific articles about liver disease syndromes and the possible role of nutraceuticals (nutrition supplements that may act as medicines) for treating liver problems. Together, this assignment was more than 20 pages of pure intellectual dryness, assigned at the same time as studying for our surgery final.

Fortunately, reviewing for surgery was not that bad.  The final asked for short answers and was divided into surgery and anesthesia sections, just like the quizzes we’ve been taking. My advice is to review all the lectures and videos, and you should be fine.

Georgia Veterinary Scholars Program (GVSP) participants were required to present at UGA’s Vet School symposium this week. We presented our summer research findings to our peers and professors at the school, and not to an audience of basic scientists as we did before and honestly I was a lot less nervous.  My main goal was to make my talk as fun and engaging as I could, so that anyone could understand the experiments I did.

So I watched the audience carefully while I was talking. Some people smiled and nodded at the right times, but then I looked at others where their eyes were glazed over. Seeing that, I realized that I can’t make everyone understand what I’m trying to say. At least not yet.  My research included challenging material, and I now appreciate what professors go through during lectures.

You can learn more about my GVSP experiments in my post called “The Best of Summer”.

Through Him,

~Camille

Isaiah 30:41 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Bring it On (Week 5)

Week’s Itinerary= Radiology Exam 2, Respiratory Pathology Pre-test and Exam, Ovariohysterectomy Feline Surgery, and Surgery Quiz #4

I looked at the class schedule and realized that I have two exams for four consecutive weeks, on Mondays and Fridays. As a result, I can barely tell the differences between weekends and weekdays.  This Monday we had our radiology exam 2 and my feline spay surgery (ovariohysterectomy).  I was nervous before taking my radiology exam because of how revolting my quiz grade was last Friday. I approached the exam with a feeling of doom lurking ahead, but I should never have let that quiz discourage me.  The exam was surprisingly straight forward: it covered general concepts and abnormalities that can be detected in x-rays of equine forelimbs and hindlimbs.

Surgery was exhilarating!  I was finally the surgeon this time, and our patient was an adorable, 16-week-old female Seal Point Siamese.  A young cat equals a tiny reproductive tract, so this task was definitely an exciting challenge.  Another big issue for kittens is they can easily become hypotensive (low blood pressure), so we had fluids and emergency drugs ready to go for our patient.  I had the honor of taking out one ovary and the uterus while my surgery assistant took out the second ovary.  No signs of hemorrhage were detected, so our surgery procedure was a success.  And quiz #4 on Friday went well.  It consisted of an anesthesia and surgery portion.

Great news.  After our surgery, a classmate adopted our patient!  I am so happy for her because she is in great hands.

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Immediately after surgery, I had to begin studying for our pathology pre-test, which was  exhausting.  The pre-test was early Tuesday morning, so I did have overnight to review everything.  If you don’t remember from last year, we are allowed to take a pre-test before our actual test.  If we pass it with a score of 90% or better, we do not have to take the actual exam.  I love that rule.  However, passing the pre-test is easier said than done.  I did not pass the pre-test, but I did exceptionally well on the exam that was taken on Friday.

Through Him,

~Camille

Psalm 68:5-6:
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,  is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families..”

The Absurdity of a Week (Week 4)

Week’s Itinerary= Canine Neuter, Small Animal (SA) Digestive Quiz 1, Theriogenology Exam 1, Large Animal (LA) Digestive Exam 2, Surgery Quiz #3, and Radiology Quiz #4

This week has been crazy, and not just for me.  No matter what room I entered, I could feel the tension and stress from my classmates.  I am so drained, but I have to keep pushing forward.

On Monday, we had our small animal digestive quiz, which covered supplemental reading about gastric dilatation volvulus (which vets call GDV).  Because I have limited experience with working at a small animal practice, this stomach issue for dogs is new to me.  It affects primarily large, deep-chested breeds where there is more room for their stomach to twist and turn on itself causing bloating and other problems.  I was relieved when we were able to answer the questions twice, individually and then in groups.  This made it one of the week’s few stress-free experiences.

Later on that same day, my surgery team did a canine neuter.  If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you know that I love performing surgery but cringe at being an anesthetist. But this was my assignment on Monday.

The beginning got my heart pumping because as we were going to the operation room, our patient began to wake up.  A common pre-anesthetic drug, propofol, had already been given to make him unconscious.   After giving more propofol and a maintenance gaseous drug, we successfully got him in for surgery.  The only other complication was hypotension (low blood pressure), so I gave the patient more fluids to bring his blood pressure back to a normal systolic reading of > 90mmHg.  Thank you so much lab partners and doctors for helping me settle down and do my part during surgery.

I applaud to those who do anesthesiology as a career — in animal or human medicine — because it is a high-stakes game.

I really needed a long nap after surgery, but I had to prepare for our next task, our first theriogenology exam of the semester.  Before I started vet school, I didn’t even know what “theriogenology” meant. This is what we call reproductive medicine for animals.  The first test covered the reproductive systems of male and female cows, and I got a B+ even though some questions were specific and tricky

One more test and 2 more quizzes to go!  On Friday, we took our second large animal digestive exam, which covered cow and swine digestive concerns.  I was feeling really great in one section of the test, and then I got to questions written by a different professor.  It was brutal.  We have not received our grades back, but I’m hoping it went well. (Update: Got it back.  I can do better…)

Studying for so many quizzes and exams in the same week was a challenge for me and I did not do as well as I had hoped.  A difficult radiology quiz was a wake-up call for me, and afterwards I bolted for the science library to get a radiology book. I’m going to study hard before our second exam comes up next Monday.  Since I was struggling, I had to seek extra assistance by getting this textbook.

I have two exams next week!  Before I tackle that, my body needs to rest.  When I’m not studying this weekend, you can bet that I’ll be sleeping.

Through Him,

~Camille

Psalm 119:114-115 “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.  Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!”

Another Unexpected Loss (Week 2)

Week’s Itinerary: LA Digestive Exam 1, Radiology Quiz # 2 & 3, Surgery and Quiz #2 regarding Feline Neutering

As you may remember, back in January we lost a vet student by the name of Zachary Cowart from Class of 2017.  On Wednesday of this week, we sadly lost another student from Class of 2018.  Here is a message from the Dean:

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that we have lost a treasured member of our CVM community.  Sina Shayegan, class of 2018, passed away Wednesday August 27 of unknown cause.  Sina is from Cumming Georgia.  His family is understandably in shock from this tragic loss.  I ask that you keep Sina and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. 

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Here is the Dean and Sina Shayegan during Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony in August

He will be greatly missed by all his classmates here at the vet school.  I pray that his family will receive comfort during their time of grief.

On the academic front, professors bombarded 3rd years with quizzes and exams this week.  The first quiz was on radiology, which focused on bone diseases that affect young, large-breed dogs.  For example,  Panosteitis is a common cause of lameness, mostly in young  German shepherds. Fortunately, it usually goes away when they mature. We also were tested on Osteochondrosis (OC) and Osteochondritis dessicans (OCD), conditions that cause pain in the shoulders, elbows, tarsus (heel area), and stifle (knee area) of large and giant breeds. We had to identify X-rays for other diseases as well.

The second quiz focused on diseases of the axial skeleton, which consists of the skull and spine of an animal.  So far, the format for all the radiology quizzes has been the same: we’re shown 10 X-rays we have already seen and discussed during lab and asked multiple-choice questions about them. I managed to do very well in both quizzes this week, so I am very thankful.

Neutering my cat for surgery class was a fun experience.  Here are the surgical procedures:

A closed castration was performed on the right testicle.  The right testicle was incised ventrodorsally and the spermatic cord was tied off with a single throw.  The scrotum was left open.

 An open castration was performed on the left testicle.  Using the blade, the testicle was incised ventrodorsally.  The testicle was pushed through the opening.  Then another ventrodorsal incision was made through the parietal tunic covering the testicle and the testicle was pushed through the incision.  After the testicle was free from the scrotum and the tunic, a hemostat was used to pull the ligament of the tail of the epididymis from the epididymis.  A hemostat was used to pull the epididymis away from the testicle and remaining spermatic cord.  Two square knots were created by tying the epididymis to the remaining spermatic cord.  After ligation was complete, the spermatic cord was incised at its distal end and the stub was placed back within the scrotum.  Excess tunic was also transected and removed.  The surgical opening in the skin was left open.

The LA (large animal) Digestive Exam 1 was challenging, but I was ready to conquer it.  The test consisted of 20 multiple-choice questions, 10 written by each of our two professors. One professor’s section much harder than the other’s, but I still managed to get an A.  I was so excited that I called my parents to let them know how well I am doing so far.

Now, I promised I would share with you how Dragon Con went this weekend.  I had a BLAST.  It was a huge costume party of nerds — plus people-watchers like me who’d come to observe tens of thousands of people dressed up like characters from science fiction and fantasy. It was hard to move around sometimes because the five hotels hosting the conference were so crowded.  My friend (who goes every year) said this was the largest, most crowded Dragon Con ever held.  It was a very enjoyable experience regardless. It was funny to be waiting in line for food between a centurion from the movie “300” and some strange alien from Star Wars.

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It felt so surreal walking past costumes like this

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I got the wonderful opportunity of taking a picture with a character from my favorite childhood movie, (Rufio in ”Hook”).  RIP Robin Williams.

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Through Him,

~Camille

 1 Samuel 16:7

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”

 

 

 

Starting off Strong (Week 1)

Week’s Itinerary: Radiology Quiz #1 and Surgery Quiz #1

During a typical new semester, I am already feeling behind on my class work after two days.

But not this time when I felt very organized and efficient during the first week.  I was able to look at the lecture notes before hearing the professor teach, and I am soaking up new information.  I’m not sure how long this will last but I like it.

Demand peaked on Wednesday when we had two quizzes.  The first radiology quiz for the semester was not difficult at all.  It was based on our first three lectures and on the lab assignment we worked on as teams (we were allowed to choose our own groups).  We were shown 10 X-rays we had already seen and discussed during lab and asked multiple-choice questions about them.  I got an A, which is a fantastic way to begin a new school year.  Here’ a goofy cartoon:

x-rays

 

The second quiz for the week was for surgery.  This turned out to not to be hard, even though we weren’t entirely sure what the first quiz of the semester would cover.  The professor wanted us to review old information related to surgeries we performed on piglets last spring semester.  So we were asked about proper hygiene and etiquette techniques, when to change our anesthetic equipment, what is wrong with a surgical site projected on screen, and so forth.  We wrote short answers individually and then answered the questions again with our group members. The professor surprised us by saying that she would use higher of the two.  This an unexpected bonus was a treasure to my eyes.

I promise you the weeks will get more exciting as the semester continues.  Next weekend, after my first surgery and large animal digestive exam, I will be going with a friend to “DragonCon” in Downtown Atlanta. If you don’t already know, this is a conference that celebrates the fantasy worlds of video games, sci-fi movies, and anime.  Stay tuned for pictures.

 

Through Him,

~Camille

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

 

At the end of the tunnel… Spring Break!!! (Week 9)

Week’s Itinerary = Surgery Written and Practical Final, Systemic Pathology Pre-test and Test, Toxicology Quiz 3, Ophthalmology Quiz, and Boston Mission Trip

How on Earth did I make it this far!?  It was through the power and strength of Jesus Christ!!  Amen Lord!  So, I am writing this on the commencement of my Spring Break, which means my thoughts have gone elsewhere.  I will do my best to recount my experience this week.  Four assignments this week!

1) General Surgery= We had our Written and Practical Final on Monday, and I thought the questions were not as crazy as from Principles of Surgery.  The written portion was primarily multiple choice with only 4 short answers.  Don’t be fooled with the short answers though.  They want you to be thorough with your answers, and questions was worth 5 points from your grade.  Show them that you know the information.  The practical portion was extremely easy!!!  There were a total of 32 questions (all multiple choice).  It will feel very drawn out though (you will finish most questions in under 15 seconds then wait/ each station is 90 seconds . . . hope you eat because my stomach was growling very noisily! J You’ll do fine!

2)Systemic Pathology and Pre-test and Test= Yeah-yeah, this means I did not pass the pre-test.  So what!  I was determine to succeed for the test!  So, you guys are used to my pre-tests being done online.  Well, the professor switched it up on us!  We were given just one sheet of paper and asked to write the pathogenesis on some diseases!  Pathogenesis is my weak point!!  But, it was not bad at all guys!  I actually enjoyed the test experience! 🙂

3)Toxicology Quiz= Having this with another exam is not fun at all!  But, glory to God I passed!  Gosh, this is a painful class!!  It was 16 multiple choice questions this time.

4)Ophthalmology Quiz= Our last quiz in this class!!  And it was one of the most challenging ones 😦

Update on Clinical Pathology:  I did well!!  Thank you Jesus!  You can do it guys.  Half of it was take-home though, so that greatly aided in my success!

I am in Boston right now!!  I know random right?  Well, my Bible study group asked if I could join them on a mission trip to evangelize in schools such as Harvard and MIT.  This is my first time here in Boston and enjoying my time!!  God, use me as a vessel to reveal your love and beautiful light.

ImageFirst time using a subway system!

ImageCool looking alleyways in Boston!

Through Him,

~Camille

Matthew 28:19= “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”