Megan Nickel, DVM

Final Rotations!

May 2019

My final rotation at ISU CVM was Clinical Microbiology and Diagnostic Laboratory, which was perfect for me due to an overwhelming amount of swine cases. For me, the diagnostic laboratory portion was the most beneficial to read case histories, sort through submitted tissues, and develop a prioritized differential list. This experience further emphasized the importance of providing both a thorough and relevant history, along with collecting the appropriate sample, at the appropriate time, and selecting the appropriate test.

Wrapping Up the Fourth-Year

April 2019

After the 2019 AASV Annual Meeting in FL, I traveled back home to continue some wedding planning, and then headed to southern MN for another preceptorship. I spent two weeks with New Fashion Pork (NFP) in Jackson, MN. I really enjoyed my time with the company and had great mentorship during my stay. I was able to gain confidence collecting blood samples from pigs of various ages and setting up a variety of ventilation controllers. I benefited greatly from walking through water medicator and fan calculations.

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.

ICU Overnights

September 2018

 I write to you this month during one of my ICU overnight shifts. Prior to ICU, I was on the Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery rotation. I really enjoyed the food animal rotation and got to see a variety of species for appointments and overnight hospitalization, including beef cattle, sheep, goats, and alpacas. The rotation started off steady with mostly beef lameness cases, but quickly turned into assisting with several goat blood transfusions. I learned a lot and enjoyed working with the interns, residents, and clinicians.

Plan your fourth year wisely

June 2018

The past month of rotations has flown by! I have completed two rotations, started my VetPrep program, and have registered for the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and with the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine.

So far, my rotations have provided a great opportunity to get to know classmates that I previously haven’t spent much time with. Now that everyone is closing in on a career path, it has been great to create a network of species experts that I will be able to refer to in the future. 

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