Last weekend I worked up the courage to ask the head doctor at the hospital I work at if I could come in and shadow during the week, and he said yes! I didn't expect him to say no, really, but still it was a frightening thing to ask. So I came in Thursday morning. When I got there, there was only one tech and the Doctor, who I shall call Dr. Stork. I haven't worked closely with this tech or Dr. Stork before but I quickly learned it wasn't all that bad. Everyone was willing to explain things to me, even if I felt incompetent cause I had a hard time getting their heart and respiration rates by the end of the day! (Multitasking is something I've never been good at.)
Dr. Stork gave me the 'lecture' when I first got there, explaining how difficult it is to get into the veterinary profession (he said you needed a 3.5 to even really have a shot... I'm working on it, I swear! I'm currently at a 3.37) and he told me his journey to vet school, working ridiculous hours for no pay, etc. It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before, but it was interesting to hear his personal story.
Of course it got me thinking about my own ability to do this... Part of me feels like I'm in too deep to turn back now... but I know I don't really want to turn back. I realize I've chosen a difficult path, a path that doesn't necessarily end in wealth and health, but I'm holding out that it will at least end in happiness, a sense of fulfillment and the chance to work with science and animals for the rest of my life. But with this stepping stone, I feel more prepared than ever to carve my way into the veterinary profession. Although, I am regretful that it will be difficult to get experience working with large animals... The more I see the small animal side of the profession, the more I want to experience the large animal side. I can see myself doing large animal work more than small animal work at this point, but of course it's impossible to say without trying everything out first. But for now, I'll take what I can get.
So by the end of that morning I had about how they anesthetize an animal for surgery (pre-medication, induction agents, gas for maintenance), I got to see the ear drum of a dog, and about the whole respiration/heart rates. It was a slow morning and only a couple of dentals were there but I thought it was a good first day.
I'll be coming back every Thursday so I'm looking forward to this being a very informative adventure!