Thursday, 22 July 2010

Stethoscopes, spiders, and lots of super snakes

A couple of weeks ago I went on another vet related course at Nottingham University called VetSim. There I learnt about all manner of vet related topics such as ultrasound, X-rays, anatomy and husbandry as well as having the chance to hold and meet a variety of animals.

Although, once again, I was the only one from my school to attend, I soon bumped into some of those whom I had met on a previous course. Rekindling the friendships of seven months previous we were soon discussing which universities we want to go to, what work experience we’ve done, and if I’d brought my Rubik’s cube with me! Parents left and we had a substantial walk to the lecture theatre.

Either side of a slightly disappointing buffet we had a number of lectures and a question time asking current vet students questions. One particular lecture was on how to use our stethoscope and it is not often you look round a lecture hall to see over 100 teenagers listening to their own hearts using a stethoscope. We resumed December’s habit of buying excessively expensive sweets during breaks to keep us awake until gone 11pm when we could slump into bed.

The next day was a day of scrubs, animals and smaller groups. After resorting to asking a leader, I found where I was meant to be and someone else who was in my group. First session involved two lovely horses who didn’t mind us listening to their guts and heart over and over. They seemed much more interested in eating. However that did make it harder to feel their pulse! The dog we also encountered preferred us to pet him than listen to his heart or pulse but he managed to stay still enough to be used to demonstrate a clinical examination.

Also that morning, we met a very unenthusiastic guy with some spiders. We asked him about problems and he replied with there: mould, overfeeding, and death. “Have you ever been bitten?” another person asked. His unenthusiastic reply was along the lines of ‘no, I never hold them so I never get bitten.’ After he told us about his ‘pet rocks’, we established that all you could do if a spider came in was make sure the spider had enough water, not too much food, a well ventilated but warm cage and make sure it wasn’t dead. Thankfully, the snake guy was much more enthusiastic.

The guy who brought in snakes was awesome. He kept handing round larger and larger snakes and even a few lizards. We all got a hold of at least a corn snake and a small lizard. He made a pleasant contrast to the spider guy’s lack of enthusiasm, ready to answer our many questions, let us hold his many snakes and full of love and enthusiasm for his field. We even went back during our lunch break to look at his snakes. Whilst we ‘browsed’ (as it were) the snake guy told us that we could take them out as we wish. Delving into a box we took out a couple of corn snakes and spent ages holding them.

The afternoon brought less hands-on talks: ultrasound, x-rays, anatomy, but also keyhole surgery. We were able to have a go at the keyhole surgery technique but I decided that a lot more practice would be needed to get even close to good!

A cancelled charity lecture led to a slightly earlier night and the prospect of more animals to come...

(I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while but I promise part 2 and more blogs are coming soon!)

No comments:

Post a Comment