Today’s blog post is an update on final year rotations and what the future holds! At the moment, I have completed 9 weeks of final year rotations. So far, I have completed my farm core rotation weeks and am just about to finish up the small animal general practice rotation. Some of the many skills that I have been practicing include:
– Performing a thorough clinical examination on various different species. Practice makes perfect, especially with auscultations! I have been very focused on listening for lung noises and heart murmurs as this will be an important skill in practice.
– Hands on skills like blood draws, catheter placements, intubations, taking radiographs, performing ultrasounds, thoracocentesis, operations, etc.
– Communication skills including taking a history from clients both on the phone and in person, giving discharge instructions, and explaining treatments to clients
– Developing an anesthetic plan before various types of procedures
– Stabilizing a critical patient in an emergency situation
Final year rotations are really focused on allowing you to apply all the knowledge you have accumulated to real life situations. For example, I have just completed my anaesthesia week of rotation. Anaesthesia was a large topic that was focused on year 2 of GEP which involved lots of information on different drugs and breathing systems. It was overwhelming to learn such a heavy topic at the time but it has been really rewarding to apply this knowledge to developing an anesthetic plan for real patients during this past week!
I am only at the start of my rotations and know I have a long way to go, but so far it has been a great start! What has been helpful for me is to think about the skills that I want to develop at the start of my rotation week. Each week I choose a different skill to focus on so that hopefully I will have strengthened many different skills by the end of rotations.
At the moment I am preparing for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). Being in clinics has helped to solidify my knowledge and has really helped with my studies. After the NAVLE, the next hurdle will be final year examination in February, and then on to selected rotations! From April to June I will be completing clinical EMS. Following that will be . . . graduation! It seems very surreal to say as my time in veterinary school feels like it began just yesterday. For now, I will be enjoying my rotations, the new experiences that I am gaining, and soaking up all the beauty that Edinburgh has to offer.