Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 2 Day 3

Hello again!  Today was day three of my surgical skills rotation.  We started the morning off with a lecture on how to break bad news to clients.  We then split off into our rotations and my surgical skills rotation learned how to scrub up for surgery, how to correctly place the surgical gown and gloves on without contaminating them, and then we practiced our hand-ties and suture patterns again.  At 11AM it was off to learn how to perform an exam of a dog's abdomen and limbs.  After lunch we learned some of the different techniques used to castrate cattle and tried our hand on it on models.  We also learned how to draw blood from a llama model.  At 2PM it was off to have a discussion that was supposed to be about open-ended questions but was more of a discussion on good and bad traits of different vets we've worked with and then watched some humorous vet/animal-related videos.  We ended the day by reviewing the different surgical instruments, dehorning instruments, and castration instruments that we will need to know for the assessment that will be given on Friday. 

Also, I meant to note a funny comment that was made at the Mens Sing this past Saturday in Tremont.  The person who was conducting us said something like, "Pretend you have an inner tube around your waist."  From behind me a man pipes up, "I already do and it's inflated!" 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 2 Day 2

Well it's Tuesday evening already, I can hardly believe it!  Today started out with practicing the hand ties we learned yesterday at the end of the day.  They are kind of difficult but I'm getting there.  Then, it was on to suturing.  We need to know five different suture patterns for our assessment on Friday.  After this, we headed to the place where the dogs are kept for us to practice physical exams on.  We focused on the head, neck, and chest today for exams.  After lunch, it was time to learn how to use the tools to dehorn animals (on models, not real animals), learn how to block nerves for dehorning, and learn (or for the four of us students that had the farm rotation last year, review) how to cast cows.  At 2pm it was off to a discussion on non-verbal communication with clients and then back to the Clinical Skills Learning Center to practice suturing.  While this rotation is not as exciting as the farm rotation last week, I am learning a lot of skills that are essential for being a veterinarian.  There are only 7 students in my surgical skills rotation compared to the 17 students in my farm animal rotation last week which is nice! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Clinical Rotations Schedule

For those of you who are interested I figured I would let you know what I will be going through the next seven weeks or so.  We have clinicals for the first eight weeks and each week I will be in a different clinical rotation.  My schedule is as follows...

8/22-26/11: Farm Animal Husbandry and Techniques
8/29-9/2/11: Surgical Skills
9/5-9/11: Imaging
9/12-16/11: Equine Medicine and Surgery
9/19-23/11: One Health
9/26-30/11: Anesthesiology
10/3-7/11: Ophthalmology
10/10-14/11: Rehabilitation Medicine

Then on Monday, October 17, I start my core classes for the rest of the year.  I will then be in the classroom or anatomy lab every day with no going in the clinics. 

Week 2 Day 1

Well, day one of week two is done.  After attending a lecture on making decisions with clients it was off to the Clinical Skills Learning Center to begin my surgical skills rotation.  The main project for the morning was learning the different kinds of tools used in surgery, mostly small animal surgery.  At lunch I attended a session where two doctors were presenting a case of bone cancer in a dog.  After lunch we learned the different tools used to castrate animals and to dehorn animals.  We then attended a session on using empathy when speaking with clients and finished the day learning how to tie hand-ties.  The surgical skills rotation is not as laid back as my farm animal husbandry and techniques rotation from last week as there is a lot more reading and online quizzes.  But, I am sure that I will learn a lot!

Mens Sing

This past weekend I went to Tremont where, on Saturday, I participated in the 2011 Men's Sing at the Tremont church.  There were approximately 120 men there and we sang for over 9 hours.  I was at the church from 930am to 930pm.  Needless to say, it was a very long day but it was also a neat experience.  I then attended Tremont church on Sunday and there were almost thirty churches represented there.  I had a nice weekend but now its back to school for the week.  This week I have surgical skills rotation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our Cool Dog

While I'm posting all these posts I figured I would share a photo of our "rad" dog Snickers. 


Courtesy of my little sister Carla!

Students and Roommates

Figured I would post a couple pictures, one of the students from church who are attending University of Illinois and Parkland Community College this year and also one of my roommates who a lot of people ask about.

First the U of I/Parkland group...


These two fellas here are my roommates.  The one on the left is Loren who I share a bedroom with and the one on the right is Josh.  I have really enjoyed living with them, we get along real well. 

Blue Coat Ceremony

Sunday, August 21 was the day of the Blue Coat Ceremony for my vet class, the class of 2015.  It was basically our formal introduction into the world of veterinary medicine.  It was pretty short with the dean of the vet school talking and then the introduction of each student separately at which time the student was assisted in putting on their blue coat which is used in the clinics.  It was nice for me because I got to see who each student was, I could try to put a name to a face.  We have 129 students in our class, 31 guys and 98 girls.   

This is Brittany.  I first met Brittany my freshman year at UCONN.  We both majored in pathobiology at UCONN, graduated in May 2011, both worked in the necropsy lab at UCONN and now are in the same class at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.  She is also in my anatomy group, I just can't get away from her! ;) 


This is Max.  He would be my step second cousin who is also in my class at school.  He would be my grandma Nancy's great nephew. 

I had a front row seat for the ceremony due to my last name being pretty early in the alphabet.


This is Dr. Whitely, the dean of the vet school.  Although this picture is blurry I decided to put it in anyways.  He actually used to be the department head of pathobiology at UCONN.  Also, the new president of the University of Illinois used to be the president of UCONN also.  So, there is quite a bit of U of I/UCONN connection.


Here's my family (minus Heidi and Evan) after the Blue Coat Ceremony.

This was all fun and good times but after that it was time for the real deal, vet school!

Day 5

Well, one week down and I'm still a vet student at U of I so things must be alright ;)  Started today with a lecture on communication with clients, not exactly the most thrilling topic in the world but it wasn't too bad.  Then it was off to give our presentations and take the quiz for the farm animal rotation (which turned out to be a group quiz that wasn't collected, if only all the quizzes in vet school would be like that.....).  After lunch it was time for our clinical skills assessment and that too was easy as the professors ended up quizzing us a little but mostly teaching us more skills that we hadn't learned.  Looking back on the week, I must say that I loved the farm animal rotation.  I was not stuck at the vet school but rather got to go out to the various farms and learn new skills.  But, it is time to move on!! 

Day 4

Thursday morning we started by going to "rounds" where fourth year students explain the cases they're working on and get feedback from the faculty.  We heard a case on a pig and then it was off to the dairy farm.  There we learned how to dry off a cow, vaccinated calves, learned the ins and outs of a milking parlor, and got a general tour of the farm.  It was a good time.  Then after that it was time to work on our presentation for class on Friday on the info we learned about pigs.  One more day and I'm done with my farm animal rotation!

Day 3

Wednesday morning we had a lecture on how to write/read medical charts and then it was time to wrestle sheep.  It was balmy, with temperatures in the mid to upper nineties although there was a nice breeze.  Needless to say, there was a lot of sweat involved while working with the sheep.  We had a brief lecture on sheep and goats (and a little on cattle) and then learned how to roll sheep onto their rumps so we could do a physical exam and draw blood from their jugular as well.  Although it was hot, it was still fun.  After lunch it was off to the horse barn to learn how to perform physical exams on horses and again, how to draw blood from a horse's jugular vein.  This blood draw went the best for me out of the three (pig, sheep, horse).

Day 2

Tuesday morning it was time to learn some pig info.  After a lecture in which we briefly learned some information about pigs, we were ready to go.  We used a snare to snag the pigs on their upper snout to restrain them and then each student got to draw blood from a pig's jugular and swab their nasal cavity.  It was really neat as I have never drawn blood before and I find pigs kind of neat.  After lunch we went to the beef cattle barn and although we did not actually work with the cows we learned how to use a hydraulic chute and learned varying information involved with raising beef cows.  Tuesday was more exciting than Monday for sure!

Day 1 part 3

Monday after lunch we sat through a lecture about different aspects of poultry, mostly chickens.  We watched part of a video on how to perform a chicken necropsy and then split up into groups and dissected chickens.  It was easy as I have cut open many chickens while working at UCONN.  While the day was a little slow, it was still fun because it was the first day of vet school for me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of Class (Part 2)

Hello again!
I am on lunch break meaning I made it through a half day of vet school without dropping out!  After having a 50 minute lecture on performing calculations for drug dosages my class split up into our rotation groups.  There are 17 of us in Farm Animal Husbandry and Techniques.  We had a brief orientation and then went to the Clinical Skills Learning Center to learn how to tie different kinds of knots that are commonly used when working with large animals.  Right before lunch we learned how to "cast a cow" which consists of placing a large rope around a cows neck, shoulders, and abodomen and then pulling from behind to cause the cow to fall to the ground.  This afternoon we will be working with chickens.  I will be posting a post with some pictures from my Blue Coat Ceremony yesterday sometime in the near future. 

First Day of Classes

I am sitting here, five minutes before my first day of vet school starts!  I'm extremely excited but also a bit nervous.  I have farm animal husbandry and techniques clinicals for this first week so after a 50 minute lecture I will head off to work with chickens, cows, goats/sheep, etc.  Anyways, gotta go, will post later how it went (hopefully!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moving In and iVLE

Hello from Illinois!  This will be my first post from a state that hopefully I will come to love as I will be spending four years here in vet school!  This post will contain no pictures as will be the case with many of my future posts.  I have successfully moved into my apartment and everything is going well.  Most of my stuff was moved in this past Saturday (8-13) and the rest this past Monday (8-15).  I think that I will enjoy it at the apartment a lot!

Wednesday was iVLE which stands for Illinois Veterinary Leadership Experience.  It took place at Lake of the Woods park which is a short drive from school.  It was a day filled with ice breaking and leadership games and getting to know our new classmates.  Second and third year vet students along with some vet school faculty put it on, it was a fun day and I enjoyed it.  Wednesday night, I went to Cissna Park for church without calling anyone or knowing anyone there but was warmly welcomed!  I had a wonderful time there!  Thursday and Friday are orientation but I will write on that later when it is over.   Monday is the first day of classes, I can't wait! Clinicals are first which makes it even more exciting!  Hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Patient

Well I received my first patient today.  Fortunately he was well-behaved and did not cause any problems and he was perfectly healthy too!

Meet Fritz:

Fortunately I had all my tools at the ready!

Dr. Dave was there and ready to roll!

This set-up was actually a gift from my friends Kev and Jayme, many thanks for the "Dalmation Vet Kit."  Whenever I need practice I know just where to turn ;)  Many thanks Kev and Jayme!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Last Day of Work

Well, yesterday I bid adios to my job at UCONN where I have worked for the past three years.  I loved my job there and will definitely miss working there.  Everyone was awesome there and I felt like I knew and got along well with everyone there.  I worked in two sections of the pathobiology lab: microbiology and necropsy (animal autopsy).
In the morning, there was a big photo session in micro!

There were two students working in micro this summer, myself and Marilyn.  And, "oh, would you look at that!" here's a photo of Marilyn!


Gail was in charge of mastitis testing and the kitchen and salmonella and..., well you get the picture!


Lynn was the microbiologist so she was in charge of the microbiology part of the lab.  I believe her motto should be: "Lynn's the name, bacteria's the game!"

Here's the whole micro crew together, Lynn, Marilyn, Lynn, me, and Gail.

In the afternoon there was even a cake for me (and everybody else!).  Many thanks to Sharon for getting the cake!
In case you can't read it, it reads "Look out vet school here comes Dave"


They had me cut the cake while everyone else watched.  As far as I know that knife was NOT from the necropsy room however you never know!

Ethan and Erica, a couple of my fellow necropsiers! (probably not an actual word but who cares?)

Maralis, a microbiology lab alumnus, came back for the party! (the pic is slightly blurry but I included it anyways)

Although I didn't work in the serology section of the lab I still enjoyed the time spent talking with the people that worked there.  Here's the two ladies in charge there, Maureen and Holly

This is my friend Edyta who is also a fellow necropsier and also works in serology.  She will be attending vet school starting next year. 

While I will miss everyone at the lab, the time has come to move on towards my goal of becoming a veterinarian.  Many, many thanks to everyone at the lab for everything, I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there and will look forward to visiting during my breaks from vet school!