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Whyalla Vet Clinic rehouses many dogs and cats so I was able to perform many castrations and speys. I also got to perform and assist in a vast number of interesting surgeries including abscess drainage, dentals, dermoid cyst removal, cruciate repair in a cat, stitch ups and umbilical hernia repairs among others. Unfortunately at uni I had never had the opportunity to complete a full spey or castration so it was slightly scary at first, however after doing so many my confidence has soared and I feel so much more comfortable in doing everyday vet jobs.
I was able to contribute to consults by doing physical examinations on all animals since the general public was very supportive and this helped me get my animal handling skills down pat. There was never a time when I was told to sit and watch- I was always involved and allowed to do most aspects of the work up and treatment. Basically for the first time I actually felt like a real vet! And this was a great environment to improve all of my clinical skills. Andrew, the head vet, is an awesome teacher and vet and it was most helpful to see and learn from how he did things. Both vets, Andrew and Yuri discussed the diagnosis, treatment and management of cases with me and were very patient in explaining everything. The nurses at Whyalla were extremely kind and helpful, they let me do everything and were still patient even when I was a bit slow or had to repeat things. This enabled my skills to improve immensely as there was never someone taking over so we would get done a bit quicker.
I also got to visit different parts of South Australia including Roxby Downs, Cowell and Adelaide. I was very fortunate in this aspect as I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to see some of these unique and interesting places if it wasn't for my rotation in Whyalla. I also got to vet check the greyhounds at the Greyhound races and watching the races was very exciting too!
What stands out the most from my rotation in Whyalla is how supportive and helpful everyone was, including the vets, nurses and general public. Being allowed to participate in everything, rather than just standing and watching, enabled me to improve all my skills immensely. As a result I will feel competent and so much more confident in my abilities as a vet and feel I will have something to offer when I go into practice as a new graduate. A big thank you to Andrew and all the staff at the Whyalla and Roxby Downs Vet Clinics for hosting me and making my final year elective such a brilliant experience.
"What stands out the most from my rotation in Whyalla is how supportive and helpful everyone was, including the vets, nurses and general public. " Jolene Attard.
Melbourne University. Australia.