Developing surgical skills, communications

September 2018

Hello Friends!

Third year has been steering forward with so much to do and so little time! These past two weeks have been very busy, with exams and surgery/patient care responsibilities. Two weeks ago, I was able to do a neuter on a shelter cat that came in through the ISU Junior Surgery and Community Outreach Program. On surgery days, I prepare with my group mates by going over anesthetic protocols, doing a physical exam on the patient and make sure everything is ready to go for the surgery in the afternoon. It was a great experience being able to perform a procedure that is so common in general practice.

After my team and I neutered our patient, I as the surgeon, was responsible for the patient care over the weekend (if you are a Friday surgery group). I checked on my patient twice a day throughout the weekend to make sure his incision site was healing well and that he was comfortable, happy and eating well. I also had the responsibility of SOAP-ing (or charting) the patient and recording my physical exam findings.

This week, I experienced my first PCAL session. PCALs are simulated client communications that third year student do to improve their communication skills and aid in dealing with different clients and personalities. At first, I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect and how my “client” would react to me. But I was very relieved after the session and I appreciated my client’s feedback and tips for success. This was a great learning experience, as this will surely help me prepare for my fourth year, when I communicate with many clients.

I am looking forward to Trivia Night tonight, where we form groups of four students and try to correctly answer NAVLE (board questions) questions with some delicious food at hand! For now, I’m relaxing in my room with my cat, Maddy and watching the rain drip calmly from the nearby trees. I can’t wait to let you all know about my first upcoming feline spay experience!

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."- A. Schweitzer

Until next time,
Jacky