I know, it's been ages. I had this crazy idea that once I began working I would be blogging all the time. Hah.
I have now been working for just under a year, and while I do have many stories to share, I also feel like I am constantly thinking about or doing veterinary things, and the second I get home I want to sit on the couch, lose myself in a good book and never emerge, and all thoughts of blogging quickly go out the window.
To give you some examples: I have had to figure out how to alter my history taking for blind clients and those with learning or language difficulties. I've gone through an entire consult only to find out at the end that my client was deaf and I had to repeat the whole thing and write everything down. I have convinced many people that it was time to let their suffering animal go, and I have been forced to euthanise healthy and sometimes adorable and (seemingly) sweet animals because they bit someone and were 'un-rehomable'. I have had to comfort a crying owner after diagnosing her animal with an incurable cancer, and I have had to refer clients to other vets because I have no idea what is wrong with their animal. I have been told that I am a money-grubbing good-for-nothing-vet and I should be sued, and I have been told that I am lovely and compassionate. I have had clients who are over-the-top devoted to their pets and want to do everything possible to help them, and I have had clients who I swear are on drugs/drink and are certainly not going to follow through on my instructions. I have had to argue with clients over feeding their dog cheesecake and doughnuts, and I have been argued with for telling a client their dog needs to lose weight. I have had a client come in 2 minutes before closing time with a bitch struggling through labour that was told to come in the early afternoon, requiring the nurses and I to stay 2 hours late because they 'can't afford the emergency vet' despite breeding and selling dogs for £500 each, and I have had clients waiting at the door first thing in the morning because their dog's nose was dry and therefore it must be sick. I have been told that I must be wrong because 'My breeder/Google/my friend said...' and I have been praised as the vet who finally listened after a vet at another practice didn't. I have had clients request a different vet, and I have had more who now request me every time.
I look back at how I felt on my very first day, and walking into my first consult, and it makes me realise that even though I still have tons to learn, I've come so far in such a short time. Even in terms of surgeries, despite doing mostly the same surgeries (neuters and spays and dentals), I also get to try new ones every now and again, and I've expanded my repertoire to wound sutures, pyometra spay, tumour removal, aural haematoma repair, tail amputation, and exploratory gastrotomy among others, and I've gotten the opportunity to watch and assist in even more. And more and more I'm less nervous about taking on new surgeries, providing there's someone around to help if I get stuck, and at my practice that's nearly always the case. I still ask tons of questions to my colleagues, of course, but I see this as a good thing, and my questions are becoming more and more complicated as I gain control of the simpler things.
As much as I may complain about the long hours, the low pay-to-effort ratio, the roller-coaster days and the incredible (and often unrealistic) expectations of our clients, I can't honestly imagine doing anything else.
Anyway, so as much as I love my job and the people I work with, I am, sadly, going to be leaving it in a few months, at least for a short while, as Andrew and I are expecting our first baby! I'm hoping to work as long as I can until it arrives, but depends on how I'm feeling near the expected date! I'm so looking forward to this next adventure, and now I finally feel like I'm in a place where by the time I start maternity leave, I'll have enough experience as a vet to step away for a few months and be able to come back ready to take on even more. Hopefully I'll have some time to update, at least to share a quick photo of Button (as we've named the baby until we find out if it's a girl or boy - I have a feeling this nickname will last well into its adulthood). Given the chaos that comes around a newborn though, we'll have to wait and see :P