Sunday, August 31, 2008

One of Those Calls

I just got one of those calls. If you're slightly interested in animals or becoming a vet, you know what I'm talking about. Someone calls you about an animal that is doing something weird/abnormal and they ask you if there's something wrong and what they should do. It had actually been a while since I had received one of those calls, but it looks like they may start back up again.

This puppy was shaking all the time...What's wrong with it? First of all, I have completed an entire week of vet school and I don't think we covered the shaking puppy and its cure. Then the person wants me to agree that it's a neurological issue. You may be wondering why they don't just take the dog to a vet...I don't know either. As a vet-in-training, I don't think it would be wise to hand out diagnoses (especially over the phone) based on all of my lack of knowledge and experience. Furthermore, I don't think an experienced vet would even diagnose it without running tests and examining the animal.

So for now, I will tell you "I don't know. Take it to a vet." if you ask me what's wrong with your animal.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Almost One Week Completed

I must say that the school days are very long. I'm in class 8-5 or 9-5 most days then I get to come home and study. My life has definitely been consumed. Yesterday felt like it should have Friday with all that I've done this week. I asked a vet student if I was supposed to be learning stuff. He said, "No, just absorbing and then dumping after tests." So I think I'm on the right track. In Histology we looked at different types of nuclei, but I don't know what I was supposed to learn from that.

I did learn that a pimple is a cheat sheet in a Microbiology exam as it shows the 4 signs of infection - redness, heat, inflammation, and pain. I also understand why vet students don't respond to emails right away. It's because we get so many everyday and skim through them and go back to studying.

On a side note, I think there's a daycare right outside my apartment door. While I'm studying, I hear little kids playing/screaming/crying and riding their scooters and tricycles by my window.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day

I just finished my first day of vet school, and I think it went fairly well. Classes were kinda boring because it was a lot of introductions. Histology is going to be a long class as neither the professor or the material seems very exciting. Anatomy was cool in that we got a dog skeleton to use for the semester. I started studying all the bones and parts of the bones. However, I learned that we can't take pictures of our preserved specimens when we get them because animal rights people don't think it's right. To those people I say, "Thanks for hindering my studying and pursuit to better help animals. You should be proud!"

We got our locker assignments today and mine was on the end so I would have plenty of room, right? One catch: it came pre-locked. The next locker they assigned me was also locked so I currently have a locker in the men's bathroom on the first floor while everyone else it on the second floor. Apparently, I'm special. Another snaffoo I ran into was that everyone else received a free lunch bag except me. I'm wondering if this is the result of me being the last in my class alphabetically.

So far, I've been able to borrow books and only buy coursepacks. It's nice to save a few bucks here and there.

We've been receiving lectures the past couple days about how we're professionals and need to act like it. The main point was that we should be at classes and meetings on time which I think I was so I'm good. Another point was that we are already veterinarians. We already took the veterinarian's oath and we're probably going to graduate. That one really made me think since I considered myself still a kid or student.

A little bit on my pet peeve of high expectations: After this weekend of orientation, my mother said something that has been one of my fears/concerns for a while. She said I better do well and get through vet school since the director of admissions and a lot of people here are saying that I am going to do great. Nothing like a little pressure. Oh, and apparently I know more people than I really know here. I had a conversation (not just a greeting, more of "what are doing now") with a woman that knows me, but I had no clue who she was. I guess I'm just that popular.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Orientation and White Coat Ceremony

Yesterday was exciting, but I'm glad it's over. There were activities from 10 am - 9 pm. I looked at my schedule and it's crazy. It's basically the same every week except little changes that are going to be annoying. The schedule itself doesn't look that bad as days start at 8 or 9 pm and end at 3 0r 5 pm. BUT I heard that students study an average of 30 hours a week. There went my life. Everyone seemed cool, but then again I think most of us are still in shock of what's going on. Out of 111 students, there are 14 guys.

We received so much information this first day that I'm still trying to sort through it all. My first test is the 10th then the next week I have 3 more tests.

We did get quite a bit of free stuff, so my $10,000 a semester bought me a backpack, shirt, and some meals. That was worth it, Right?

I received my white coat and took the veterinarian's oath and am officially a veterinarian in the making.

Monday, August 18, 2008

School is Approaching Fast

I'm usually not the kind of person to speak up or volunteer to do things first, but I was thinking a few weeks ago that I need to do these things to learn and have more opportunities. My new motto for vet school: Learn by doing. When the doctor asked if anyone wanted to try to suture a dog's ear, I had to volunteer. So those were the first sutures I had put into a live animal. It was fun! But my hands were shaking too much with the doctor watching. Also, it was harder than practicing on a sponge - getting the needle through the skin and come out where I wanted was sometimes a challenge.

Overall, I think my volunteering this summer was successful as I learned a few things and the doctors said I could come back on breaks from school. I think that's a good thing.

I think the going-away parties are signs that school is about to start and the summer is over. This is my last week. I have 1.5 days of work left. Then I move into my apartment on Thursday and Friday is orientation for vet school. I'm at the point where I can't prepare myself anymore so I just want it to start. Let's not put off the inevitable any longer.

I've never felt more unprepared for school in my life than I do right now. Fear is a good motivator sometimes and I am counting on it to push me to study harder than ever before. It should last at least the first few weeks.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

3 Weeks Till School Starts

I'm actually excited for the start of school this year. It is a strange feeling. With every email with details about orientation and books and supplies, I get hit by the realization that I am in vet school now. Up to this point and even now still, it hasn't fully clicked that I am a vet student now. I think that time will come a few weeks after school starts.

While I am definitely excited about school, the other half of me is extremely nervous. Am I ready? Will I succeed? - Questions like that keep flying through my head. I guess they say, "Learn by doing." So, Let's do this.

The summer has gone by so fast and I don't doubt that will change in the next 3 weeks. I look back at my summer job and just have to laugh as I worked in my city's engineering department (not exactly veterinary related). I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the Kodak i260 scanner and how to survey streets and measure concrete. However, I do think the job was good for me because it gave me practice interacting with fellow employees and being the lead person on some projects (that's also funny when I tell engineering majors what to do in their field).

Anyways, I have a few more weeks to enjoy the summer and hopelessly try to prepare myself for vet school. I plan to enjoy this free time.