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New graduate's diary
  1. Jen Hall


Jennifer Hall is three months into her first job and is quickly gaining more knowledge and experience.

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The winter evenings are making life a little tricky, as I discovered last week when I tried to TB test a herd of black Limousin cross calves at 4.30 pm in a crush that had no light source! I had to bring out my trusty head torch so that I could see where I was injecting, otherwise I would have been, literally, ‘stabbing in the dark’.

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I am settled into my routine work and am getting quicker at fertility scanning. It has also been quite a month for learning. At the beginning of November, I was fortunate to go on a mastitis course run by Roger Blowey and Peter Edmondson. It was an intense three days, starting at 8.30 am and not finishing until 7 pm every evening. My image of vet conferences finishing at 5 pm with the evening spent in the pub was soon quashed! But, joking aside, it was an incredibly valuable experience with two absolutely fantastic teachers, and I felt very lucky to be there as a new graduate. I'm going to do my first parlour audit next week, so I hope that I can remember everything I learned and put it into action.

I've also been taking responsibility for more of the sheep work. I've always enjoyed working with sheep and feel quite strongly about the benefits to the industry from a proactive approach from their vet. St David's practice works closely with a sheep consultant, and he has been very generous in imparting his knowledge and expertise to me. While visiting Devon, he taught me how to vasectomise rams, and introduced me as St David's sheep vet at a talk about the new scientific research on lameness in sheep! Hopefully, I'll make contact with a few more of our sheep farmers over the next few months as the lambing season has already begun – I'm desperate to go and do a bit of lambing!

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