Today was my first day of volunteering at a vet clinic. (I have to log 80 hours as part of the application for the Animal Health Technician program.) I am doing my first three days at my own vet’s clinic, as the doctor there is a neighbour to my parents and has known me forever.
I got to do so much today!
- a cat spay – I thought there would be more blood but there was hardly any
- dentistry on a cat – teeth cleaning and the removal of a fang
- two abscesses drained, one cat and one dog – lots of pus and blood but not gross at all. However, the same thing on humans would make me feel a little nauseous.
- a cat being euthanized – the cat had cardiomyalgia which means the walls of the heart were too thick. In this case, over twice as thick as is normal. I know this because I also got to watch the autopsy and dissection of the heart.
- anaesthesia being administered to all these animals through use of gas
- x-rays being taken
I got to do all by myself:
- pulling antibiotics into a syringe to the correct dosage
- administer antibiotic shots to two cats
- develop an x-ray
- take a cat’s temperature – yes, anally
I also hung over the shoulder of the two women who work there as they answered the phone, took appointments, explained medications, filled out charts, entered billing information, etc. Brenda has worked in the industry for about 20 years and when she started, there were no programs. One just learned on the job. Based on her experience, I would call her a tech. Cody took the six-month program to be qualified as an office assistant specifically for veterinary practises but because this is a small clinic, she has learned all sorts of things that she would not have been exposed to if she worked in an office that had more of a separation between techs and support staff. Both Brenda and Cody are totally awesome and made me feel welcome.
I am looking forward to going back on Tuesday and seeing how much information stuck in my brain, as there was a lot going on today and it was all totally different from anything I have ever done before. That said, I loved it, and I can see myself doing this job.