Jennifer Hall, a final-year student at Nottingham vet school, has spent the past two weeks seeing practice in the West Country as part of her farm animal elective, as she records in her diary for Vet Record Careers
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ON this occasion, EMS has been a really positive experience – not just because we have had relatively dry weather, but also because this was my second visit to the practice, and this time I began to feel like one of the team.
One of the most exhausting things about final year has been the unrelenting fortnightly change of location – new practice, vets and staff. It's like starting a new job every two weeks. So, I was grateful on this occasion to return to a practice where I knew the ropes. Instead of the stress and anxiety that I usually feel on the Sunday night before starting a rotation, I found myself feeling quite excited as I headed down the M5.
It made all the difference on the Monday morning when I walked into reception to be greeted by ‘Hello Jen’, as opposed to my usual arrival . . . ‘Hello, I'm Jen, I'm the vet student starting EMS here this week . . .‘ and then standing around feeling awkward, waiting for a vet to take me out on call. What followed was two weeks of fantastic EMS. At this practice, the vets cover such a vast area that they rarely come into the office, so it is important to check the week ahead on the computer. As this was my second visit I knew to do this, and I phoned the vets to organise my days. I also found that the vets seemed to trust me more this time, and thus I had the opportunity to use my practical skills. It felt good to be asked to do jobs for the vets rather than standing watching, especially at this stage in my veterinary education.
In addition to this, there were other students on EMS at the practice, so I had some company. This was a real benefit. It was lovely to come back from a call and have someone to discuss the day's visits with. Occasionally, we went on the big routine visits together, which meant we could talk about the things we were doing, as well as benefiting from the vet giving us teaching seminars while we were performing rectal palpations!
I believe that going back to the same practice to do EMS is a benefit, as well as being more enjoyable for both students and vets. It's the little things that make a big difference; just someone knowing your name and background makes the placement just that bit less stressful. I really value that in final year!
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