a Case of the Mondays


My general practice rotation wrapped up nicely, albeit somewhat on the busy side. Classmates seemed astonished when I revealed to them that I never left my general rotation before 6:30 p.m. And the one time it looked like I was all set to clear out at five, we had three emergency walk-in cases Emergencies. An egg-bound bird, foreign body obstruction puppy and very sickly geriatric cat arrived simultaneously. Their arrival was so in sync we thought it was possibly 3 pets from the same family. Although I wasn’t on shift and wasn’t the designated back-up student, I wasn’t going to break my year-long streak. I had yet to pull the Asshole Classmate card, and with roughly a monthly left of school, I’m working even hard to keep that beast put away. Only a self-centered person would skip on out of the hospital at a critical time like this, knowingly leaving two students to fend for themselves as they in-take patients, treat current patients, attended kennel boarders, treat ICU cases, answer phones and return phone calls.

Two out of the three emergencies had a sad ending, and by the time 10 p.m. rolled around we were all emotionally drained. Having pulled an all-nighter in an emergency surgery the night before, I’m well aware that I likely resembled a zombie as I walked out across the parking lot to my truck. I’m pretty sure I could feel the bags forming under my eyes, but my concern over appearances was bottomed out like my energy.

Having limited small animal experience, I went into general practice rotation with an inherent fear of one particular clinician. She has reputation for being particularly hard on none-small animal students. Considering I had to reschedule this rotation earlier in the year due to illness, it was no secret that she had been put-off by this. So, first day of rotation I wasn’t surprised to find myself signed up for three dentals. Nothing like jumping right in…and nothing like doing everything wrong. I’ve collected blood samples, medicated cats, performed surgery on them, placed catheters, medication and etc… But, you would’ve never guessed.

Not only did I blow multiple veins while attempting to catheterize the cat, I also took on a considering amount of abuse from the cat. He was, like most cats, lightening quick and very pissed off over the failed catheter attempt. I’m pretty sure he was a 500 lb Bengal tiger in a 11 lb siamese body. Howdy, the cat, managed to nail me pretty good on my right hand. Our tech, stricken with guilt of having not restrained the cat, repositioned herself and took on an intense game-face…it almost intimidated me.

Howdy was as successful at abusing my left hand as he was my right. And it was still only 8 a.m…and on a Monday.

The day was full of my repetitive failures.I dropped tube samples for another patient, which ended up breaking and rendering the contents compromised. And, this was after the patient had left the hospital and started the 6 hour drive home.. I forgot to include vaccinations on a bill, didn’t schedule a procedure for the owners after their pre-dental consultation and examination were completed, ordered the wrong tests, lost a patient file, spilled my classmate’s coffee on her file…I mean, this was one of those Monday’s I’ve only heard about..

I’m just glad it’s behind me. I’m glad that Monday was one of a kind in the two weeks of GP. And now, I’m stoked for my externship…four weeks with a mobile equine practitioner. Always nervous about starting experiences like this, it’s been a pleasant surprise that my excitement greatly outweighs my nervousness.

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