Saralyn K.

January 7th – January 14th (13 hours) –  One meaningful experience that I have gained in this last reflection log cycle is how dangerous having a job in this field can be. Over winter break I continued to go in and while I was there the intern that was there last year, who go hired on, was also working. One day we had 2 feral cats come in to be spayed and neutered. Kayden went back with two techs to get the cats into a box so that we could put them under anesthetics. One got out and attacked Kayden. After they got the cat back into the container Kayden has to go to Urgent Care to get antibiotics since these cats were feral. Kayden is okay but where the cat got her this is bruising all around. I am not the best with handling cats at the moment but I have been working with my mentor to get better at is so that this is less likely to happen to me.

One soft skill that I have developed since being at my internship site is how to talk with people who don’t really know what they are trying to say. A lot of times we have people who come in and really have no idea how to explain to us what is going on with their animal. So we have to find a way to explain to the vet what is going on by using the bits and pieces that they give to us. A lot of times I talk to whoever I am in a room with to help us both understand what they were saying or even so that we can bounce some ideas on what might be going on from what we saw while getting vitals. I am still working on getting better at this skill however I have been starting to be in the room with these types of people which allows be to practice this skill.

This skill will allow me to better understand what people are trying to say whether it is in an emergency setting when animals are brought in or if it is just around my friends who are trying to explain something to me. At this point I believe that I would like to work at an emergency clinic because I like fast pace type things and some days we have maybe 5 animals to see all spaced out so in an emergency clinic when people come in panicking I will have an easier time figuring out what is going on with the animal which will be beneficial to both me and animal who needs help. Another thing that this skill can help me with is in college is I get a professor who is not explaining something well then I can take out bits and pieces to be able to go back online and get a better explanation. This could also help me if I am trying to explain something because I will be able to figure out what bits and pieces I need to say so that they can figure out what is going on.

One industry specific vocabulary words is feral. The word feral is used in terms of both cats and dogs, however we only really see it in cats where I am at. Feral is talking about an animal who is not domesticated so they will be aggressive and not very social with its own species. This word has been coming up more and more frequently with people bring in feral animals asking us to give them vaccines.

January 15th – January 28th (16 hours) –  One meaningful experience that I have had in this last reflection cycle is how close everyone who works in the clinic I am at means to each other. One of our Vet Assistance put in her two weeks almost 3 weeks ago and Saturday we all went out bowling as a going away party. I never knew if this assistant liked me or not, at least not while she was still working with us. A lot of people came including doctors and even people who didn’t work there anymore. Many jobs that I have heard about the workers don’t really have a bond like this. It meant a lot to me that not only was I invited but that when I went not only did I have a great time but that everyone was glad to see that I came. I am very sad to see her go but she seems really excited about where she is going to work now.

Congestive Heart failure is when the heart does not pump the blood through the body as well as it should be. I learned this when we had a dog come in to be euthanized. This dog had congestive heart failure. One symptom of having this is that the abdomen fills with fluid which is what made me curious in Congestive Heart Failure because this dog, was full of fluid. After the dog was gone my mentor showed me the fluid by pulling out 12 ml of fluid from the abdomen.

January 29th – February 11th () –

February 12th – February 25th () –

February 26th – March 11th () – 

March 12th – March 25th () – 

March 26th – April 8th () – 

April 9th – April 22nd () – 

July 20th – August 13th (0 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had in the internship program is the interview with my mentor. Before that point I have only been interviewed by people that I have talked to before and with my interview with my mentor I have never met her before. When I first walked into my internship location I was able to figure out what it was like to have to wait in a room that had a bunch of people coming in and out of it all the time and having to calm my nerves down enough to focus on what I was doing. Then going back for the actual interview I was able to figure out that even with it being a nerve raking experience you need to be able to keep your calm, talk clearly and make sure to pay attention to everything important even if it doesn’t seem important at the time. Then after the interview was conducted when Ms. Dee was showing me around the clinic being about to see some of the faces that work there and see what the “behind the scenes” area looked like was very important to for just the fact of seeing and meeting the people that I would be around on a day to day basis. After everything was done I was able to have the experience of what it was like for people who had just applied for a job and what it felt like to have to wait to know if you got the job.

One thing that I hope that I can learn from the internship program is how to keep a professional appearance in places that you may consider working for/at. With knowing that I will have to get a job later in like I believe that it is very important to know not only how to act in a professional environment but how I should portray myself. Even if it is at a vet clinic the people who come in with their animal want to know that they can trust you and a lot of people will base that off of how you look and act. One thing that I hope to learn from my mentor is what goes along with having a job like this. I already know that to become a veterinarian or a vet tech I will have to go to school for a good amount of time , but what does the work load look like? I want to know what exactly I would be getting myself into if I end up doing this job, which I hope I do.

One thing that I have learned from the Internship Program so far is how important it is to be on time or early with either arriving somewhere or turning paperwork in. I understand that it sounds less important than it is. If you get to a location late or turn in paperwork late it show the people who you hope to be working with or people that you are currently working with that you just don’t really care about either the job it’s self or the task you have been given. By turning paperwork in or getting to a location early it can show people that you really want to be there as well as showing them that you are on top of you workload. One thing that I have learned about myself while in the internship program is that I like to be on top of my workload as well as having the ability to plan out everything to a bigger extent than before. Before the program I was good at planning out my workload but I was terrible at really staying on top of the work it’s self. Through this program I have found that for me to not get stressed I need to be able to thoroughly plan my week out and not just a few days.

August 14th – August 27th (15.9 hours) – One thing that I have learned from being in the Internship program is being able to learn practices without having to be doing them. When I am at Pantano Animal Clinic I can’t really do too many tasks with the animal’s there because I don’t have the training so most of the time I just clean up around the clinic and try to make things a bit easier for the people there. But by watching what the Vet Tech’s and the Vet Assistant’s do I have picked up on how to do some tasks. For example just by watching the Tech’s and Assistant’s I have learn where the specific blood vessels are for taking blood as well as learning that when they need a urine sample they stick a needle into the bladder so that they can have a sterile sample to run tests on. By watching I have also been able to figure out how important it is to stay focused on what your job is. The other day while I was at the clinic we has a bird come in to be looked at, because the clinic mainly see’s cat’s and dog’s this was unusual, and because of that all of the Vet Assistant’s got distracted and didn’t do their jobs leaving the Vet Tech’s to start appointment by themselves which isn’t a good thing. The Vet Assistant’s got talked to about it and were basically told not to do it again. I was able to figure out that it is very important to just watch sometimes because you can gain even more information by just watching.

August 28th – September 10th (15.17 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have has since my last reflection log is how hard having a job like this really can be. Everyday that I went to my internship site this week I had to either help prepare for a euthanization or help prepare a body to be sent out to be cremated. I already knew that it was hard for the owners to have to go through with what needed to be done and I figured that I was also really hard for the Vet Assistants who had to set everything up. One thing that I found particularly interesting is that the clinic keeps the euthanization medication in a locked safe close to the surgery room. At first this kinda confused me but the more I thought on it the more it made since in my head. I believe that helping with not only the set up of this process but with the aftermath of it helped me to better understand the more sided parts of this job. Thankfully I was not in the room when the dog got put down, I think that would have made it harder for me.

At my internship site the atmosphere is casual. We are expected to wear scrubs and to be social with the people who come in. It is also expected of us to say on top of what we are supposed to be doing and not to get distracted by the other pets that come into the clinic. It is also extremely important to remember what to do and how to do them because if you don’t there is a high possibility that you could mess up something important. At my internship site it is very important to be able to do two things at once. For example when in an exam room you have to be able to look at the computer to type in new information about the animal along with being able to listen to what the owner is telling you about what is going on.

I believe that this type of job is a natural fit for my conduct and personality. I have found that I like to always be doing something along with having the excitement of not knowing what is going to happen next. The only thing that I really have been working a little extra to accomplish is learning how to specific aspects of this job since I haven’t gone to school for it like everyone else there. For that part I try to ask as many questions as I feel is acceptable for what is happening as well as ask for an explanation when needed. Everybody at the clinic is very helpful with their responses as well as allowing me to look at what something is when I ask about what a specific medication does. I also believe that I have a hard time with the fact that I can’t always understand the language that they use because I haven’t had the same training.

One word that I have come into contact with while at my internship site is Faulted Euthanization. This word is used for when an owner brings in their pet to be euthanized for an invalid reason such as they just don’t want to take care of them anymore. I learned this word on my second day at the clinic while I was talking to my mentor about 3 dogs that got brought in to be euthanized just because the lady who was taking care of them couldn’t anymore. The personal at the clinic was able to save the 3 dogs by noticing that the owner brought in the wrong dog to be euthanized.

September 11th – September 24th (18 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had in the internship program is how people learn to trust you the more you do a set of specific tasks. For example this past week during one of the clinics slower days they showed me how to run lab tests and make labels for the tests I run. After they showed me how to do both of those tasks I did a few labs while they were around so that I could make sure that I was doing it right. Then the following day was a busy day and they had a good amount of labs that needed to be done so they allowed me to go through and run the labs. Doing these labs consists of putting the vials of clotted blood into the centrifuge and setting the timer for a specific time, if the time is incorrect then it will mess up the test completely and we only take one vial for these tests. After the vials are done being spun in the centrifuge then you have to take the plasma that has been separated from the clotted blood and put it in a separate vial to be sent off to a lab to have tests run. This meant a lot to me because for a while I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do more than the mundane tasks around the clinic. By being able to do this task it allowed me to learn something new that will allow me to help more around the clinic.

When I do lab work I put vials of clotted blood into a centrifuge to have the spinning force separate the plasma from the blood. The labs where the tests get sent off to use the plasma to run tests for disease in the animal. Plasma is a yellow liquid that will come from the clotted blood. Plasma holds blood cells that carry the blood components throughout the body.

September 25th – October 8th (35.67 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have gained since the last reflection log is how interesting it is to be at job that you enjoy for a whole day. Over break almost every day I went in all day. During that time I was able to watch both dental surgery’s and normal surgery’s. I was also able to figure out how tiring it can be to work everyday all day and not being able to leave until later in the day. I loved being able to figure both of these out. Being at the clinic all day almost every day also allowed me to make the relationships between me and the rest of the people who work there stronger.

At my site we mainly use two forms of communication. One is face to face talking and the other is over the phone. However since my site is a vet clinic we use face to face communication the most. This is the most appropriate way to communicate with the patients because it allows for the worried people to be able to ask the questions that are worrying them most. This also gives the people who come in the ability to see how they everyone in the clinic treats their pets. Allowing people to see how we interact with their pets allows them to put more trust into us and what we tell them.

I believe that I am pretty good at choosing the most appropriate way to communicate. Over the past few weeks I have been able to go into appointments and help start them by getting vitals. I have found that by doing this it has allowed me to be able to get better at talking with people who I have never met before. I have also found that when I have a question that I would like answered it is better to ask it in person because it allows my mentor to give a more in depth definition or explanation to my question or questions. I have also been able to figure out when and when not to ask questions as well as who to ask those question to if my mentor is busy. I do text my mentor but only when it is about when I am going to go in or if I had a question that I needed an answer to before I would be at the clinic again.

During this last reflection log time period I learned the word sepsis. Sepsis is when there are harmful bacteria and toxins in tissues that are normally gained from an infected wound. I learned this word from a textbook that my mentor gave me after engaging in a conversation about the Canine Parvovirus Infection.

October 9th – October 22nd (21.33 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have has in this past reflection log cycle is how important it is to know people. My first day at my site scared me so much because the office manager scheduled me on a day that my mentor doesn’t work. So I had to start doing things but I has no idea what I could and could not do. As time has gone on I have been worried that some of the people there don’t like me. But I saw one of the people that I thought didn’t like me and she gave me a hug so I guess I was wrong and I am okay with that. Going in almost every day helps me to reinforces some of those relationships. Having these relationships allows me to have more people to reference when I go to get a job.

One industry specific vocabulary is hematoma. A hematoma is swelling spot within tissues of clotted blood. This word has come up many times while going around the clinic. However the specific context that I am referencing from is when a dog was getting ready to go home after a surgery and around the sutures was a hematoma that we has to give medication for to help it go down.

October 23rd – November 5th (21.83 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had in this most recent reflection log cycle is how nothing can be as it seems. This week we had a cat come in who was on the older side who was being brought in because it was falling over when it walked. I helped to start the appointment and I went in expecting it to be really wobbly or swerving like it was “drunk”. When I went out to go call in this patient back it was a younger girl who had brought this cat in and as soon as we started to ask her if there was anything else going on who broke down in tears because of what was going on with her cat. As it turned out she has had this cat since she was really young and was terrified of this going badly especially since they had a friend who had the same thing happen to their cat and that cats health dropped dramatically. This really showed me that every single case that comes in is different and that patients needs are specific to their condition. As it turned out the cats spine was being compressed so we ended up giving it .04ml of Gabapentin, which is used to treat pain, to help numb the pain and allow the cat to be able to walk normally again.

I go into my internship site a lot which I love so if I have anything that I need to as my mentor or anyone else at the clinic I ask them as soon as I get there. For example most recently at the clinic we have had a lot of ear “infections”. For those we take a swab of the gunk in both ears, put it on a slide, stain the slide, then look at it under a microscope to figure out what it is. I have been taking pictures of things that we see in the ear gunk under the microscope. At one point when I was going through the pictures that I took I noticed something that looked different than anything I had seen before under a microscope so I went in to go ask the working vet about it. She was able to explain to me what it was which allowed me to know what it was the next time I went to see what was going on under the microscope.

I love the people at my internship they are all very kind and willing to help me understand and learn things that I don’t know. This question is hard for me to answer because I don’t really see they outside of the time that I am there. The one time that I can think of that was not based at the clinic is when I went with my mom to Walmart and ended up running into one of the vet assistants at the store. We stood around for a little bit and just talked about life and what was going on. It was nice. We are doing a clinic Christmas party at one of the vet’s houses in December but I am not sure if I am invited or not because I don’t technically work there. I guess that I will have to ask.

On my own time I have been creating an online notebook with animals anatomy, medications, diseases, and normal behaviors for animals. When I started to ask my mentor questions about specific disease’s she gave me a huge medical book about canine and feline diseases. I am currently looking up Hepatitis and in the description it uses a word called Fibrosis. Fibrosis is the thickening and scarring of connective tissue as a result of injury, conveniently enough we are learning about connective tissue in Human Anatomy right now.

November 6th – November 19th (22.83 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had during this reflection cycle is the importance of learning new skills. I have gotten pretty good at restraining dogs but cats are still a work in progress. Most recently we have been having more cats come in and with me starting to take on more things people around the clinic have been very helpful in showing me how to do things. Without those skills they they have stepped in to teach me I could hurt myself or the cat. They have also been letting me do more of those so that I get the practice in and can use that skill the next time that it is needed. I grew from this by gaining the skills needed to be able to help me in this field.

I would say from my mentors point of view that I am punctual and that my attendance has been great. When the semester first started I would check in weekly when Chris wanted me back in. After a while it got on a scheduled of me going in on Wednesdays and Thursdays every week from 2 to closing at 5:30. One I got better at doing things around the clinic I talked to Chris about coming in more and all that she told me was that she didn’t care what days I chose the come in as long as I and being helpful and not hindering anyone else work. Every since then I have been going in almost everyday because I love going in. There have been days, however, where I have gotten sick and hadn’t called in to tell anyone that I wouldn’t be there. Most recently they have started asking me to come in when other staff members are out to help cover for them as well as if they have a busy day they have been asking me to come in to help.

I feel that my time management skills are okay. I have been able to stay on top and even ahead of my homework as it comes in. However I feel like I over work myself by going in a lot but I do it because I really enjoy being there. I don’t have any extra curricular things but I have found that with me being at the clinic until closing has made it hard for me to keep up with some of my friends. Being at the clinic has also put some tensions on some of my friendships because they have a hard time understanding how much this program means to me and what it is helping me do. I hope that during second semester I still enjoy this as much as I do now and stick to what I believe now.

One word that we use specifically in medical jobs is DOA. DOA stands for dead on arrival. Many times people will make an appointment to euthanize their pet depending on the animals condition they die before the time comes for their appointment but the family still brings them in so we can send them off to be cremated. Or other times the animal will die over night and the family will bring them in for the same reason.