Rosie Perrett passed her end of year exams and has three months at home to ride, untidy her bedroom and do some EMS.
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With the academic year finished, I think I've finally relaxed. I've never been one for doing very little so I relax by riding the horses down at the yard – it's my second home. Life has become more about physical exhaustion instead of mental exhaustion.
The time I have to spend at home equates to around three months, giving me plenty of time to ride and mess up my room, which had been cleaned so lovingly by my parents. I purposely didn't book any holidays for this summer because I was too nervous that I would be resitting my exams in August, but I am relieved to say I passed all five. A couple of friends are having to re-sit one exam out of the five and I have all my fingers and toes crossed for them.
Over the past month I've completed two weeks of EMS. My first week was at the stables and, despite being a regular, I took the time to take into consideration the things I've learnt over the year. It's a competition yard, so maintaining the horses' health and fitness is of great importance. I was lucky enough to be around when one of our stallions on the yard was castrated. He's nine years old but is particularly temperamental when he competes; he is wide behind, and one of his hindlegs is ever so slightly bent outwards, all of which he gets penalised for in a dressage test. Hence, it wasn't planned to breed from him and the stress at competitions wasn't particularly fair on him.
My other week was a clinical placement in a practice in town. Obviously, I've seen practice before, but going as an official vet student was a little more nervewracking. There are so many more expectations.
The practice I chose was brilliant, everyone was friendly and I really looked forward to going in every morning. They tested my basic knowledge and helped me when I was unsure. I also got the opportunity to do my first injections and catheter placements (that weren't into a sponge as is done in the clinical skills lab), and was very proud of myself when I entered the vein on my first go at an intravenous injection. I also got the opportunity to intubate a dog before going into surgery for a spay; unfortunately, I wasn't quite so successful first time and went down the oesophagus instead of the trachea, but it was quickly rectified by the vet. They also tested me on dosage rates as well as the types of medication that would be administrated for each case.
We also had a couple of emergencies, including a labrador, which, perhaps predictably, had eaten something it shouldn't have and required an exploratory laparotomy. I was able to see the whole case through from it coming in at the start the week to being handed back to the owner at the end, looking a lot happier and ready to eat something else it shouldn't. I understand why EMS is so important – you learn so much that going to lectures can't give you, but right now I have a bit of a break before starting my dairy placement at the end of the month.