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This morning I had my last exam for Semester one of fourth year! I’m now halfway home and will get there at some stage tomorrow before comparing a concert tomorrow night. I then start mixed-practice placement in Glen Innes on Monday…busy, busy!
The past week has been absolutely gruelling with three huge theory and exams and one viva voce (oral) examination. These tests examined our knowledge of calf health, cattle abdominal disease, a million-and-one things with horses and neurological and urinary diseases in dogs. We also had an exam on digital imaging, surgery and anaesthesia. Suffice to say, I’m ‘zonked. It’s 10:30pm, I’m curled up on the couch watching a feel-good movie and trying to type out something coherent to keep you all up-to-date with what’s been happening before I head off to placement.
Since my last posting I’ve done one more surgery, this time another cat spey, which again went really well with the cat going home healthy, and happy. I also had some sheep practicals, which gave me an opportunity to practice taking blood samples. Which might I add is exceptionally difficult, about as challenging as extracting blood from a stone. Imagine trying to feel a water filled balloon the size of a pen beneath one of those thick, woollen car seat covers – yeah, it’s hard!
That’s about all the ‘fun’ stuff that’s happened prior to the exam period. From then on, it was eating too much, sleeping too little and trying to stay focused on studying my behind off! I found that there are six stages to studying for exams as a vet student:
1. Procrastination. I honestly don’t think the oven has ever needed to be scrubbed so vigorously! And, more importantly, I have finally perfected three ingredient banana pancakes!
2. Denial. This, for example, goes something along the lines of “well, the subject is on dogs and cats…so if I only study the dogs then I’ll at least know half of the content and can still pass”.
3. Anger. I’m sure all students go through a period of this. You hate uni, you hate your lectures, you hate your course and you just hate everything! You even hate coffee, which up until this point has been your best friend.
4. Bargaining. You have 3 hours to learn 189 pages of dot points on the important sections of each case…63 pages an hour…yeah, you got this.
5. Depression. This may be the one I am best at. You are convinced you are going to fail. You question yourself and your ability to be doing this course. Are you really good enough?
6. Acceptance. All in all, you’ve prepared the best you can and what will be, will be. You ask yourself if you this is going to kill you, and of course it won’t. Besides, you can’t do worse than that one person who knits during all the lectures, right?
My work as a vet nurse on Saturday was a welcome relief and really reminded me why I am putting myself through university torture to become a veterinarian! I got to play with puppies, advise clients on how to best look after their pets, help prolong the lives of old animals suffering from heart failure and got to be part of the diagnosis of my first diaphragmatic hernia! While it wasn’t a good prognosis for the cat I found it to be an amazing learning experience.
So that is my short update! I look forward to filling you in on placement and meet judging in a few weeks’ time. Until then stay safe, and give your pets a big hug from me. They are what gets me through this and what I’ll never be able to live a day without.
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