ICU, Dermatology and Pigs

November 2018

As I write this month’s blog, I am sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma, where I am completing the second week of my preceptorship with Hanor, a pork production company. Since we last spoke, I have completed both the ICU and Dermatology rotations at ISU. I first transitioned from nights to days in the ICU, which was a harder adjustment for me than working nights. I had a lot of swing shifts, which are scheduled from 10 AM to 10 PM versus the standard 8 AM to 8 PM. The only downfall of these shifts was that no one came in to replace you at 10 PM, so I stayed several hours past shift until my patients were hospitalized and paperwork was completed. For my group, day shifts allowed for more skill-set development and rounding, compared to our busier night shifts. Overall, I ended up really enjoying my month of ICU. I was extremely lucky to get a stellar group of rotation mates that were always willing to jump in when needed.      

My next rotation, Dermatology, was a nice transition to a normal practicing schedule of 8 AM to 5 PM. This rotation is not required for students on the food animal track, but I took it as an elective because dermatological issues are everywhere. It affects every species, it is the number one topic I get questions from family and friends about, it has been a large component of my North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) preparation, and realistically because I have an English Bulldog at home. We rounded a lot during this rotation and were given scenarios to work through, which was extremely helpful. The clinicians did a good job focusing on what practical knowledge a small or mixed animal practitioner needs, along with when referral is needed. This rotation marked my one month window to NAVLE and with more stable hours, I was able to start cracking down on my Vet Prep program. 

After a month and a half in the small animal hospital, I had a scheduled swine preceptorship with Hanor next. I was definitely rusty the first couple of days, having not touched a pig since July. For the first week, I stayed in Iowa and commuted to the company’s office daily to meet their veterinarians for health visits. During this week, I was able to improve my bleeding and necropsy skills, along with being asked to form differentials and treatment options. I also got to fix a few rectal prolapses for the first time ever, which I can now use as a skill across other species. For my second week, I am with the company in Oklahoma for half of the week and will then be headed back for the 2018 ISU James D. McKean Swine Disease Conference. 

Until next time,

Megan