Thursday, April 16, 2009

lessons from orientation

Some things I've learned this week:
  • I'm not really a fourth year until the current fourth years graduate, even though I've already started rotations. So, I'll officially be a fourth year on May 4th!
  • When I have a patient in the hospital, I am responsible for that animal's care from 6 AM until 8 PM. That will make for some darn long days.
  • When I have Small Animal ICU clerk duty (about 20 times throughout rotations), I have to take care of my own patients' treatments, plus stay until midnight to help take care of the intensive care patients.
  • Our hospital has procedures for how to deal with clients who threaten our lives, clients who threaten to take their own lives ("If my dog dies, I'm going home to kill myself"), and clients who come in intoxicated. Scary that all those happen often enough that we have to have procedures.
  • Even animals that appear completely paralyzed can miraculously regain full function of their legs if you decide to take them outside without a leash on. Always use a leash!
  • On average, doctors interrupt their patients within 18 seconds of asking the patient why they've come to the clinic.
  • People do crazy things when they get scared, sad, are grieving, or feel guilty. I'm supposed to learn to not take it personally.
  • My classmates and I will be relying on each other more than ever- as important as playing nicely together has been for the past three years, it's essential to our survival in clinics.
  • Offering a hug to a client can be considered sexual harassment, but backing away from a client who tries to hug you can make you look not compassionate and uncaring.
Orientation ends tomorrow... Then we have one last party as a junior class before we head to clinics for real. Bring it on!

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