"I found Andrew Melville-Smith was very helpful in making my time in Whyalla comfortable and pleasant. He was very encouraging and supportive during my time working at the clinic. I found the nurses well skilled, helpful and easy to get along with." Will Ryan
Listen to his interview on ABC Radio here.
On my arrival in Whyalla I was surprised by how arid the region is. The landscape comprises mostly of red dirt and low lying scrub. There are plenty of kangaroos in the area and the odd emu can be seen by the road. There is little rain over the course of the year and Andrew Melville-Smith informed me Whyalla is subject to over 300 days of sunshine per year. I found Whyalla’s climate and it’s proximity to the sea make it an ideal region for those who like to spend time in the outdoors. The town itself is large but there is still a sense of it being a small town community and I was surprised by how friendly people were compared to Melbourne.
On my arrival at the clinic I was greeted with a hot cappuccino made on the clinic coffee machine that I would find out gets a good workout every day of the week. The nurses were all eager to introduce themselves and they made me feel very welcome. On my tour of the clinic I was impressed by how modern and well equipped the practice is. There are endoscopes, orthopaedic equipment, xray machine, plenty of fluid pumps and haematology and CBC blood machines. The building itself has plenty of space and everything seems to be in the right place. The clinic is always very clean and well organized. Over my time at the clinic I found the work environment a pleasure to be in. The nurses are very helpful and great fun to work with.
I was quickly introduced to the clinic microscope, which is by far the best microscope I have used. Andrew helped me over the following months develop my cytological diagnostic skills. He had even enrolled me in a haemotology lecture online. I found this very helpful and over the following weeks I had plenty of opportunity to further develop my haematological skills. I was enrolled in two additional continuing education seminars given online during my three months at the clinic. There is a definite emphasis on continuing education at the clinic and I found Andrew very helpful in explaining and elaborating on cases and approaches.
On my first day I was given free range on the day’s surgery cases. Andrew was pleased for me to perform more advanced surgeries and was always available for assistance or guidance if required. During my 3 months working at the clinic I was able to perform a caesarian section, a femoral bone pinning and an intestinal anastomosis. The large number dogs and cats rehoused by the clinic meant there was never a shortage of desexings to perform if the day was otherwise quiet.
After two weeks working at the Whyalla clinic I was given the opportunity to work at the sister clinics in Cowell and Roxby Downs. I especially enjoyed working at the Roxby Downs clinic, which is located 4 hours drive from Whyalla towards Lake Eyre. The clients in Roxby Downs seemed to be really friendly and appreciated having a vet for just one day of the week. One of the highlights was a day trip to Andamooka, a small mining community adjacent to Roxby Downs.
I found I had ample time off during my stay to explore surrounding regions. There is plenty to see and do around Whyalla on a day or a weekend off. The scenery is spectacular and there is plenty of wildlife to be seen. The area is rich in aquatic life and I quickly found fish are easily caught from the shore. There are always dolphins to be seen from the shore. A trip south to Port Lincoln and nearby Coffin Bay is rewarded with some of the freshest seafood and supposedly some of the best oysters in the world.
I found Andrew Melville-Smith was very helpful in making my time in Whyalla comfortable and pleasant. He was very encouraging and supportive during my time working at the clinic. I found the nurses well skilled, helpful and easy to get along with. I enjoyed what Whyalla and its surrounds have to offer. Overall, I found Whyalla Veterinary Clinic a pleasure the work at and would not hesitate to return in the future.
Locum vets who have worked at our practice.