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Second-year student diary
  1. Rosie Perrett


Rosie Perrett can't believe it's nearly Easter already but is looking forward to lambing. In the meantime she has been learning pharmacology and communication skills.

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I am four weeks into the current term and I only have three weeks left! Easter is particularly early this year and this term has gone by quicker than ever. As of yet, I don't have my exam results, but I wait with bated breath. Last week was half term, so Mum and Dad visited for a couple of days; we were distinctly disappointed when we found out our favourite Chinese restaurant had stopped opening on a Tuesday. The following weekend I visited my boyfriend for belated birthday and Valentine's Day celebrations, so all in all it was an indulgent week of good food.

The past four weeks have consisted of many pharmacology lectures; we're concentrating more on the drugs that affect the central nervous system and those against infectious diseases. There are so many names and I can't even pronounce half of them, which doesn't stand me in good stead for the future. On the other hand, I am enjoying relating the drugs to their uses and comparing them to their use within human medicine. My parents are probably fed up with me asking what medication they've been on and what it was for. Personally, I've recently been prescribed antibiotics for infected eczema, as well as some steroid cream. However, I am a little different compared to other people in that I'm allergic to penicillin (which my family discovered one holiday in Guernsey, but that's another story), so instead I'm on a macrolide. If I'd been given it a week earlier I wouldn't have had any idea what that meant, but now I feel a little more clued up, particularly because I spent a good 20 minutes reading the data sheet. Actually, I read most data sheets of drugs, although to be honest, I was checking this data sheet to see if I could have a glass of wine at the weekend!

Most of the timetable is taken up by pharmacology, but as well as that we have been preparing for our professional skills assessment, which concentrates on communication skills. The assessment involves taking a history from the owner of a pet before referring it to the vet. Initially we were taught about dealing with difficult communications: this may involve responding to client emotions in the correct way, or dealing with conflicting scenarios in terms of financial constraints and ethical dilemmas. I like to think I respond well to people's emotions; despite not knowing what to say or do half of the time, I think that it is a good building block. We got a chance to look at a few good and bad examples of scenarios, trying to appreciate what is too much empathy and what is too little/non-existent. Last year this assessment was during the exam period at the same time as our objective structured practical exam (also known as an OSPE); however, they decided to bring it forward this year so the preparation didn't interrupt revision for the other exams.

Rosie gets ready for her professional skills assessment

I'm already looking forward to my two weeks' lambing at Easter. Fingers crossed it gets a little warmer!

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