Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reflection—Part 2

I’ve been awful about blogging and writing anything lately. However, I have been keeping a notebook/journal/doodle thing. I jot down ideas, thoughts, drawings, whatever. I date each page when I start a new one. I keep changing up the color pen to keep me feeling creative. Anyway, if you remember the last post I did—about the beginning of my career in veterinary medicine. I will pick up right after Part 1.

2005--2007

There were so many other things that happened, but that was the only death on my watch. My friend Myke and I could make you laugh and cringe in disgust at some of the things we experienced. I heard other stories later from staff that remained after I left—they didn’t stay long. I try not to dwell on it much, its quite upsetting. I was already stressed out from working for Dr. D so when he cut my hours, I handed him my resignation letter—effective immediately. I already was on the job search and had an offer as a personal assistant to a couple of realtors. Just as I was starting the new job my friend and I had a falling out and I moved into a duplex with some friends. I started dating one of my roommates—as I had a crush on him before I moved in. I was on the rebound after dating one guy on and off for several years—and he was there for me. After a long time of searching and applying I finally landed a job at a local veterinary clinic. (I actually had a job interview to work for Dixie Stampede as a rider but I wasn’t able to get a ride out there *sad times*)

I worked at the clinic for about 6 weeks. I was having trouble sleeping and my boyfriend (at the time) had a friend that was over often with a drug problem—he would come and crash at our place after arguing with his fiancé (not that we didn’t get a little wild back then). When I was hired I was told they would teach me to do the things I didn’t know. At my first review I scored a D because I wasn’t excelling as they had expected. I told them I wasn’t being trained. Finally one day I was called by the manager. She stated that she was going to talk to me that day but I wasn’t there (it was my day off). She said I didn’t seem happy and it wasn’t working out so if I could please come by tomorrow to drop off my key and pick up my final check. I was crushed. That’s the first time and only time I’ve ever been fired. I was so devastated—I thought that maybe this wasn’t for me. I took a job at the local publix as cashier. I figured what the hell, might as well earn some money while looking for a better job or just work there while I went to school.

I didn’t last long. I grew tired of staying hours after my scheduled time. Tired of the monotonous scanning of barcodes and weighing vegetables. So very tired of being exhausted every week and paychecks that weren’t worth it. I found a job for the local specialty clinic on careerbuilder.com and literally like 15 minutes after applying I received a call from the hospital manager. After two interviews (one was a working interview) I was hired as Vet Assistant/Treatment Tech. I originally applied for position of tech but after speaking with the manager I told her I wasn’t comfortable doing the job without training—but once trained I knew I could. They hired me with the knowledge that they could use my practically anywhere.  And they did. I was used the most as “cat whisperer”, as I was really good at restraining and calming pets, particularly cats. This was especially important during chemotherapy as movement could cause the injection to come out of the vein. I often helped in chemotherapy with our patients, in ultrasound restraining patients, I was able to encourage sick cats and dogs to eat, I did treatments while the other techs were busy in procedures, I took appointments a few times, but the most interesting part was when they asked me to take over physical therapy once a week.

Every friday I did physical therapy exercises with a few dogs and then the underwater treadmill. It was amazing to watch animals rebuild strength or maintain severe arthritis. The best part was Lucky (I think that was his name). He was a little dachshund that was unable to walk when I started working with him. The most special thing about him was he exclusively saw me. The other patients sometimes came on friday when they couldn’t make their regular visit or at least they had already been evaluated by the physical therapy assistant (all of our instructions came from the orthopedic surgeons, there wasn’t an actual physical therapist). So Lucky came only once a week and it was recommended at least twice a week for results. He came in unable to walk and I watched him go from needing total assistance to being able to support himself and almost walk completely unaided. It was absolutely amazing.

I worked there for almost 2 years and learned so much. We had many joyful times and many heartbreaks. That’s the curse of working with animals. We will almost always outlive our pets. It was so refreshing to finally be somewhere that had the same medical ethics as me and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. They thanked each of us everyday and I loved working there. I only left because I was finally accepted into University of Florida and my dream of becoming a veterinarian had been delayed too long already (the story of school is also an epic one, I’ve had one hell of a time just trying to work on my bachelors. That will be for another time).

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This photo is Lucky and I our last day together. It sucked because he didn’t care for the person taking over my job. I have several other photos from my last day. Special patients that were still hanging in there, goofy coworkers, and all the doctors. I remember him the most because he was MY patient. I used to have video of him walking without support for several steps. Just amazing.

The next step of my journey was that of acceptance into the school I had been dreaming/planning to attend since I was a little girl. Once I was accepted and knew I would be moving up there I informed the doctors at the specialty hospital and they told me to apply to the vet school. I wasn’t sure if I was qualified but I was assured that I could do it and I would be great. I applied for any veterinary technician position within the small animal hospital but I would work in large animal if trained. I went up for my interview and to apartment search. The interview was a success and I was offered a job working the middle shift (without veterinarian supervision—except by phone call or if they came in) in the small animal ICU and critical care. The job was a huge promotion for me and came with a nice raise from my current salary. I decided to room with a friend for a few months before deciding on my own place up there. A month or so before the move my boyfriend and I broke up and I ended up moving in with friends for those few weeks—I also dated a few people and found the guy I’m dating now (and have been for almost 6 years).

This is the Spring of 2007 and I am about 22 years old. I have been in veterinary medicine for approximately 8 years. The fun has just begun.

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