November 29, 2011

Weeks 8 and 9


I've learned some new language after visiting a farm last Wednesday! ;)  For Imaging, we went to a local Horse Farm to take x-rays!  It was very exciting and scary because I've interacted with horses before, but only when I was very young and the horses were super well trained.

The farm was absolutely beautiful and the horses were very gentle.  Interestingly enough, our x-ray machine was acting up, and we didn't take a single x-ray.

Below is a picture basically explaining how we take x-rays "in the field."  We have one person operating the portable x-ray machine, one person holding a cassette that contains the x-ray film behind the part being radiographed (here is the fetlock joint), and one person distracting the horse at the head.  We even get to wear the ridiculous looking lead gear featured!  Amazing what you can find on Google Images! :P

When we did ours, we hold the cassette using what's called a tomahawk.  Basically a long pole that holds the cassette so we don't have to be that close to the primary x-ray beam.

Today in Parasitology, we got to exam the dogs for external parasites (mites, lice, fleas, etc.)  We also got to administer a pill and Frontline (a topical that repels and kills Ticks, Fleas, etc).  It went smoothly!

Applying Frontline

I did two hours worth of inventory today, and still haven't finished!  There is a lot to go through, and it is kind of fun to see all sorts of tools, products, and medications that I have sometimes only talked about but never seen, and other things that I haven't learned about yet, but know that I will!

Tonight, I got checked off on drawing blood from a dog's lateral saphenous vein.  I got blood as soon as I poked the needle in!!  It was exciting!  We also practiced our next technique - a jugular vein blood draw.  It took me a bit, but I got blood, and even drew up enough for half of the class to run tests on!

Jugular Blood Draw

We also ran some tests on the blood that we've been learning, and I perfected a  few things that I have been struggling with!  I did a somewhat difficult blood test by hand and my results correlated with the results from the automated machine!  It was super exciting to see that I had done it right!!

I will write again later this week or next.  Have a great week all!

November 19, 2011

Week 7

Hey All

This week, we took a bunch of x-rays in Imaging.  We did several different views on two cats and a dog.  It was really fun to do what we will be doing in the clinical setting... everything from setting up, restraining, setting the x-ray machine, taking the films, processing them, looking at them and discussing them, labeling and putting away the x-rays, and breaking down.

In Parasitology, we did our normal fecals and those that found parasites got to decide on a medication, calculate the dosage, fill the prescription, and give the first dose.  I wasn't one of those people, but it was cool to know that could be me next week!

I got to do what is called a Snap test to test if one of the animals had FeLV/FIV (Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).  The Snap test looks like this:

You mix three drops of blood and four drops of a reactive agent, put it in the reservoir, wait for the blood mixture to creep up to the dot in the middle,  and then press down on the opposite end to Snap it.  You then wait a designated amount of time.  The four dots represent a negative control, a positive control, FeLV positive, and FIV positive.  

We can use a variety of these for differnt diseases as well, including heartworm, lymes disease, anaplasmosis,  parvo, etc.  They are quick and efficient.

The one I did was negative, which is good!

For Hematology this week, we were tested on a cephalic blood draw for cats, and we did what's called a lateral saphenous vein, which is the vein that runs down the back leg, on a dog.  

Feline Cephalic Veinpuncture

For work this week, I did some paper grading, some filing, some stocking, and....Inventory.  Anyone who's ever had to do inventory knows that it can be a MAJOR pain, but I've figured out a good system.  I brought my laptop in and used an Excel spreadsheet to do the inventory.  It's very easy using the "Find" feature!  And, if I come across more of one of whatever it is that I've already counted, I can very easily add it in.  

I also had my music playing on my laptop since there was no one else in the room I was counting.  Much, much, more fun! 

That's all for this week.  Next week for Imaging we are going out to a Horse farm to take some x-rays on a Horse.  It should be fun!

November 11, 2011

Imaging Midterm, Work

Hey!  I know, I know.  I'm just as surprised as you are...two days in a row!  *takes a bow*

Anyways... Today we took our Imaging midterm.  It went pretty well.  One of the things that I absolutely love about my instructor is that she lets us utilize the tools that we have around us on exams.  For example, we can go back to the x-ray room, turn the machine on and play with the settings if we need it to help us with the exam.  She also encourages us to keep a stuffed animal at our desk during the exam to help visualize putting the animals in positions, placing markers, etc.

She posted our grades tonight and I got 115.5/120 = 96%  :)!!

Work at school today was really fun too, as usual.  I spent some time rearranging a file cabinet or two, made some signs, some name cards for the pocket pet cages, made some copies, filed some papers, organized some files, stocked some gloves, filled Nolvasan (disinfectant) spray bottles, mixed a bottle of diluted Nolvasan, and some other random stuff.

On Fridays, we close campus at 4:00pm (Winter Hours), so I've made it a point to make sure all the cupboards in the Vet Tech Department are locked.  There are few classes and instructors around to do so, so I think that it helps out.  Today I even shut down all the lights and locked all the classrooms.  It feels great to be a part of something like that!

Well, it's the weekend.  But that doesn't mean that school stops!  I have a smaller project due Monday, and I have some catch-up studying that I need to do for Hematology.

Have a good one all! And let's see if we can go for three (school) days in a row! ;)

November 10, 2011

Update: Fall Quarter Week 6

Hey All.

Thanks for bearing with my busy schedule and complete absence of posting this quarter.  I am at school every other day, making it easy to forget about blogging, homework, tests... (just kidding on those last two things ;)

Anyways, I'll recap you quick on things that I've been doing!  I have now drawn blood from a feline's cephalic vein, run SEVERAL fecal tests looking for parasites, run blood tests, and my new favorite adventure: taking X-rays!  When I was in High School, my original plan after was to become an X-ray Technician.  I find it amazing that what I could have learned in 2 years I'm learning in 12 weeks.  My class has only three students in it, so I get to be involved in all of the x-rays we take!

We get to don these awesome lead aprons and thyroid shields, as well as lead rimmed glasses.  I assure you, we are runway worthy.

I have taken and helped restrain for several x-rays, including for a cat's thorax and a sedated Yorkie's pelvis and skull.  I have taken pictures of them for my personal "x-ray album," however I don't know if I am allowed to share them with you.  I will have to get clearance for that first :)

It's about midterm and I am doing pretty good.  I am getting a 96% in my online Spanish Class, a 95% in Imaging, A in Parasitology ( I don't know the exact percentage), and a 90.00% in Hematology.

I am trying to regroup and re-focus my energy towards Hematology, and keeping my 4.0.  I have found going to school every other day really really makes it harder to keep on track.  I want to keep my 4.0, and I have absolutely no reason that I shouldn't, so I am going hard core, all in the next six weeks.

Six weeks.  In six weeks, I will be one half done with my program!! I am so excited and scared and nervous all at the same time.  I know things will continue to get harder, but I've got such a great support system behind me, I know I will be just fine.

Sorry if this post is all over the place, but it is really hard to blog after an absence.  Maybe I will add BLOG to my assignment notebook so I do it at least once a week?

Tomorrow, I have a midterm exam in Imaging.  I feel pretty good about it.  The last exam we took was 106 points and it was probably 95% short answer (i.e. pull the answer out of our choosing ABCD).  I got a 102/106 - a 96% :)

Like I said earlier, sorry for the randomness, and I will try to post more.  Midterm tomorrow and work at school (which I absolutely love, btw :)