Hi everyone! I am Shirley from Hong Kong. I am currently in my 4th year of the 5 year BVM&S programme. This week is the first week of our Easter break, which is normally 4 weeks long. These 4 weeks provide great opportunity for us to complete Extramural Studies (EMS placement), travel, visit home, study and relax.
As an international student, I used to spend my break returning home and completing some EMS placement there. However, due to the pandemic, I am staying in the UK this Easter break. I am very excited as I will be completing in total 3 weeks of placement in a small animal practice and a mixed practice. One of my favourite aspects about EMS placement is the practical skills you get to learn and practice – for example: IV catheter insertion, using an otoscope, and using fluorescein dye to check for corneal ulcer. It is also an amazing opportunity to learn what key questions to ask owners on individual cases to come up with diagnosis. It also provides students with opportunities to ask vets about different approaches and find one that is best for you. In addition, in case blood work has been done and analysed, it is a great opportunity to apply skills learnt from the clinical pathology course. For example, looking at how different blood parameter levels can indicate certain diseases. Overall, EMS placements are very beneficial as the allow you to apply what you have learnt in class to the clinical cases. As I have learnt more about clinical diseases and approaches in the 3rd and 4th year, I find myself thinking of different differential diagnoses when I am helping in the consultation. This gives me a good chance to figure out which differential diagnoses are more likely and what tests or steps are needed to reach a diagnosis.
Although EMS placements are really fun and beneficial, it is also important to have time to relax and rest during the break. I find it very important to have days participating in non-vet related activities to relax – for example: watching movies with friends, bouldering, walking around the beautiful city or spending a day in. In addition, I find it really important to relax before school starts again so I am ready to study.
After this Easter Break, 4th year students will have different lectures, tutorials and practical sessions to prepare us for final year rotation. Hopefully I will be able to share more as I take over Vet School’s Instagram during the first week of final year preparation. Hope you will enjoy your Easter break! 🙂