Student teaching. Our gift to the future.
Time certainly flies when you are having fun. Having read all the testimonials from students who had placements at WVC before, I arrived at the clinic full of anticipation of all the things I would be doing for the next three weeks that were to come. I was not disappointed; vets Andrew and Charna pretty much allowed me to do almost everything. Straight off the plane and into the clinic, I was put to work immediately drawing blood in front of a client. When following the vets on consult, I got to do a full physical exam on every single patient (unless they were attempting to take my arm off) while they were taking a history. I also got to give injections, shove tablets down wriggling puppies, clean out mucky ears, bandaging sore paws etc. etc. All these seemingly little everyday routines have contributed greatly to the confidence in my own abilities as a near graduating vet, especially in front of clients. Doing a physical examination now is as if on autopilot once a patient is put on the consultation table. That tablet successfully goes down that dog or cat’s throat on first try, and injections are given with only so much as a twitch of the skin. Andrew also randomly quizzes you on what you would do next, pathogenesis of certain diseases, drug doses to give, in the middle of consult and keeps your brain ticking. I definitely felt more like a real vet, being able to make decisions, talk to clients and administer treatment in front of them.
As a surgeon wannabe, I was delighted at the free rein I had with regards to the procedures I was allowed to perform. Owing to the rehoming program WVC runs, there is certainly no lack of desexings to do, and I had my fair share of practice. I am grateful for the confidence Andrew and Charna had in my skills, allowing me to do surgeries all by myself, just standing back and guiding me from the side. I got to do my first flank spay, perform a pyometra removal, drain abscesses and stitch up gaping holes, just to name a few examples. I am still amazed at the calm and patience Andrew and Charna display, when I accidentally rip through an ovarian pedicle or am taking very much longer than usual doing routine procedures.
Not to be forgotten of course, are the nurses and staff at WVC: Carol, Lena, Tash, Carol-Ann, Karen, Sharon, Amelia, Kristy and at Roxby Downs: Jess, Erika and Keira. Their knowledge, patience and assistance have been invaluable, be it in helping out in surgery, monitoring anaesthetics, restraining patients for catheter placements or performing X-rays. Everyone at the clinic is always friendly, supportive, encouraging, and ever ready to make a cuppa for that morning and mid-day energy boost. The atmosphere at the clinic is fun, cheerful and most conducive to learning. On top of that, the lovely Sandi provided a cosy home to go back to after work, and delicious meals after a long day. Despite arriving at a slightly quieter season, the amount of knowledge of skills and knowledge I have gained is immense. Nothing beats the feeling of having played a part in making an animal feel better, and I daresay I am much more competent at that after these 3 weeks in Whyalla. Many thanks go to the whole team at WVC and RDVC and Sandi for making this placement of mine such an enriching one!
" All these seemingly little everyday routines have contributed greatly to the confidence in my own abilities as a near graduating vet, especially in front of clients. " Jiaying Ng