Friday, November 19, 2010

The New Guy

Okay, so week 1 at the clinic is winding to a close.

I am loving every minute of it.

Monday I worked 9-3 and I learned how to run a fecal floatation and 3DX snap test.  I also got to peer through the microscope at some Giardia, which my super scientific mind found really spiffy.  (My dad used to keep me amused for hours with a microscope and some creek water.)  I've seen pictures in text books and such, but actually seeing it there on the slide with my own eyes was a trip.  Being me, I talked to it.  Dr. W found it and told me to go look, I looked and said, "Why hello there, Giardia."  Now they know I'm crazy.  I outed myself early.

It's interesting being The New Guy.  Being in an environment that allows me to learn was one of the biggest draws of this job for me, and yet not knowing the routines and feeling incompetent bugs the shit out of me.  I was doing the fecals and 3DX snaps by myself on the first day, but I had to holler half-jokingly "I WANNA DO IT BY MYSELF, GAWD!"  at someone before they stopped acting like I'd have to see it done 10 times first.  Maybe having to show someone ten times first is typical for them.  But I wanna do it by myself.  Gawd.  I spent the first two days shadowing people and observing what goes on.  Then Wednesday morning, I just thought, "Well screw it.  I'm never going to do it if I don't just start grabbing files and going," so I did.  I grabbed the file on one of the first annual dog visits that came back, opened it, read the file, called the owner and patient in, did what needed to be done and then took the file back for Dr. W.  When I told one of the girls that I had been shadowing my first day, her eyes got huge and she said, "Man.  It took me weeks to start calling people in.  You've only been here for.. what, this is your third day?"

So far I haven't really gotten any feedback from anyone.  I like feedback.  I tried to get feedback out of Dr. W and she only told me, "Don't smoke."  I have no idea if I'm moving too fast for their comfort, if I'm showing a good level of interest and initiative, or if I'm just going through orientation the way they wish everyone did so they have no comment.

One of the drawbacks of feeling comfortable with doing things early on is that people tend to start giving you more and more challenges, which is great, but in a medical setting can be scary.  Yesterday I went to hold a dog for one of the girls while she put in a heparin catheter prior to a dental cleaning, and she was talking to me as if I'd be doing it the next time.  K, I don't wanna do that yet.  That's kind of important.  You have to stick them right the first time or you don't get another chance and then what.  Up a creek, that's what.  There was a joke Monday morning that by the end of the week I'd be on my own and have to draw blood by myself, and everyone around me laughed like it was super funny, but I'm actually okay with that.  I think I can draw blood by myself as long as I have someone who can actually hold a dog still for me.  I'm not trying to put IV catheters in yet, though.

Randomness:  I like coming home smelling like the antiseptic clinic smell.

More Randomness:  It's interesting that at the store, my allergies bugged the crap out of me constantly.  At the clinic, not so much, even though my nose is usually inches from strange dogs and cats who are stress shedding like mad, and I'm fairly allergic to cats.  So far I've had one sneeze.  Knock on wood.

Have I seen dogs from the store?  Yes, I have, and some cats.  Most of which I recognize.  I saw a ruby Poochon who was there a month ago almost causing drama between two people who both wanted her worse than they've wanted anything before in their lives.  She's doing well, but more wired than a Shiba and that's saying something.  I saw a customer and her Maltese that I sold to her a year and a half ago who were favorite regulars of mine.  I was happy to see her.  She was in to have his anal glands expressed and I told her she'd have to bring him to see me at the clinic from now on.  I saw a Beagle/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix that we had at the store months ago.  She was so tiny when she came to the store people kept thinking she was a Chihuahua (with those Beagle/Spaniel ears, she didn't look anything like a Chihuahua to me, but I guess the only thing that matters to some people is size.)  She's much bigger now, but still a very small dog, and just as sweet as she can be.  She was only there for a vaccination, and the entire time she was too concerned with licking me in the face to even notice someone sticking pointy things in her haunch.  I found myself wondering if they remember who I am.

Every time we get a new puppy visit from the store, I check to see if it's Ringo.

I keep my mental fingers crossed that when someone buys him, they aren't the people who decide to skip the free visit and just go directly to some other vet.  Or none at all.

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