Happy new decade everyone!
I hope that everyone was able to have a relaxing holiday season, spent with family and friends.
For us international students, Christmas is our Holy Grail that we look forward to all year; not only is it time off of school, it is time to go home and spend it with loved ones after months away. This year I decided to stay in Edinburgh for an additional week to complete a week of EMS (Extra Mural Studies) placement at a local charity clinic. Although the placement was enjoyable, it was certainly tough being “left behind” when all of my classmates were posting about being home with family. However, it was worth it in the end for the clinical experience, and eventually going home at the end of the week.
This was my first week of official, clinical EMS and I was a bit nervous to begin, as I thought that my experience was insufficient and it would be noticeable. However, I had to remind myself that this is the reason to be in school… to LEARN. The clinic was a great introduction to some clinical skills, as well as observation of various veterinarians’ expertise in consults and surgery. It was an eye-opening experience to be a part of the charity side of veterinary medicine, as it operates quite differently from private practice.
Some TIPS that I wish I had told myself prior to starting clinical EMS:
- Do not be afraid to ask questions, all vets were students once and understand. The majority of vets enjoy answering questions, and will admit if they don’t know something.
- Be confident!
- Ask to get involved, and be vocal about what you are hoping to accomplish from the placement.
- Take notes. This is something that I did not do enough, and wish that I had this information now.
- Talk to the vets, they are real people and have gone through the same experiences as you. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in nerves when speaking to vets/professionals, as this is a profession that we have worked so hard to get into.
That is all the tidbits I have for now, but I am certain that I will learn more with each placement that I do. Thanks for reading through this (slightly) lengthy post!