Thursday, April 16, 2009

Client Interviews

For a couple of our classes this semester, we have client interviews at the learning assessment center. The clients are all volunteer actors. I hate these interviews because they are very unrealistic at times, but I know it's good practice. We study cases and then are assigned a case to make a handout and visit with the client for 15 minutes. The biggest problem with these interviews is we never know where we are in the case and what the client knows. My problem today is that I focused more on the general problem, Addison's disease, than the actual case. The client asked what we had done to her dog, and all I could remember from the update on the exam room door was giving fluids. This is part of the unrealistic part because we never actually did anything in these case studies and we have a couple minutes to read the update on the door of what has happened in the case up to this point. We have 4 of these interviews this semester and I just finished my 3rd interview.
This last interview was unique in that the clients were told to act upset about the case. Some were crying; my client was just sad - the whole time. I had the plan that I would just inform the client that their dog was doing fine and Addison's disease is manageable. It didn't work as planned. I know I have a lot to learn about interacting with clients and am still waiting on my client's comments. It should be interesting if I came off compassionate enough - kinda don't think so.
The most painful part of these interviews is that they are recorded and we have to watch them and evaluate ourselves. My biggest lessons so far: Don't call a client by their first name even if you have no idea how to pronounce their last name. Butchering my second client's last name actually lightened the mood from the beginning. Also, admit that you don't know things and you have to check with the clinician. I did a lot of that this last time.
Next week I do a physical exam on a real animal and take a diet history. This should be interesting.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quote from Professor

When asked about the difference between anxiety and depression, our Pharmacology professor said, "Anxiety is what you feel before a test and depression is what you fee after the test." So true.

Vet School has Consumed My Life and Made Me Sick

The first 2 weeks after Spring Break were nice and relaxing (Read "no tests"). Then tests started again. Then I'm expected to go into the lab every week to learn about the research I will be doing this summer. Then the weekly quizzes for 3 of our classes started again and Finals are just around the corner. Also, being sick and in vet school is no fun either. I thought I would be able to avoid it, but it finally got me. Once one person in the class gets sick, you know it's coming for you. After a few weeks of it spreading around the class, it got to me. When you don't even feel like being awake, it's hard to do any homework. I felt like my head was going to explode and had to sleep sitting up on my couch so everything could drain out of head.

I was talking to one of the surgery residents about what GPA I should aim for to eventually get a residency. She said a 3.9, maybe a 3.8 with good letters of recommendation. Who does that? Well, I better start making friends with faculty to get those letters of rec. I'm also finding out that failing a test makes it very difficult to pull up your GPA. I have 2 more tests and can only miss 5 questions to have a happy ending with Physiology. Not cool.