Building Confidence

November 2018

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the opportunity to enjoy some delicious turkey. It has been a week since I arrived back in Ames from visiting my family in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was so nice to see everyone again, including my two dogs and my bearded dragon. The weather was also perfect (low 70s)! I am now back in Ames, and it is definitely starting to feel like winter. The mornings so far have been a chilly 18 degrees, but the peep of the sun in the afternoons makes for a nice stroll outside.

Prior to the Thanksgiving break, I participated in my last surgery lab of the semester. My group mates and I had an adorable patient, who was a black domestic shorthair cat who had recently given birth to a litter of kittens. It was so very tempting to adopt this cute little creature, but unfortunately, my current cat friend prefers my apartment to be a one cat household type of home. This time around, I was the anesthetist.

Being the anesthetist might seem scary, and believe me, it still is for me. A dear friend and classmate of mine gave me the idea of jogging for 10 minutes prior to the surgery lab, and she vouches that this helps her blow off some unwanted adrenaline and anxiety. I’ll have to try this strategy some time. For now, my strategy to help reduce my nervousness prior to placing my anesthesia cap, is to take a moment and take deep breaths, and tell myself “I can do this!”. Once I have given myself that extra confidence and boost I need to conquer the rest of the afternoon, I head into the surgery prep floor.

As the anesthetist, you get to place the intravenous catheter, intubate the patient, and monitor the patient while under anesthesia. The night before the surgery, the anesthetist prepares for the surgery by performing a physical exam on the patient and calculate all of the drug dosages for the following morning. Time flies by so quickly when you’re the anesthetist, and before you know it, you’re in the recovery room, recovering your patient. Thankfully, my patient did very well under anesthesia and she recovered fairly quickly.

This upcoming week, I am looking forward to attending the equine enucleation wet lab, hosted by the Ophthalmology Club. We’ll be learning and practicing how to perform enucleations on equine cadavers. Although I have attended this wet lab twice before since starting vet school, I always learn something new, whether it’s a new technique or suturing pattern, it never gets boring practicing a procedure that will prove to be beneficial when out in practice.

It’s unbelievable how fast the month of November has gone by. With only 2.5 weeks of school left, I am looking forward to my next trip back home for winter break. But first, I must conquer the dreaded finals week!

Until next time,

Jacky Peraza