Anywho, here's what I was up to at work this week!
Week 9: March 23-29, 2015
Recently I’ve been preoccupied with learning as many new skills as possible that I didn’t stop to make sure I was proficient at the ones I know. I decided to make an effort to slow down and practice acquired skills and to allow the new ones to present themselves without stressing about it. My main goal was to become better at venipuncture. There are certain veins I feel less confident in, so when we had anesthetized patients, I would practice cephalic and lateral saphenous venipuncture. In addition, I didn’t hesitate to jump in and do blood draws myself instead of handing them off to someone with more experience because I was nervous. I figured if I don’t hit the vein by the second poke, I can hand it off and still get the practice. I had many opportunities to practice jugular and medial saphenous and hit the vein on the first try each time, which has given me confidence to move forward with blood draws and eventually other skills as well. I would really like to learn how to perform cystocentesis since it’s a procedure we do very often.
Cystocentesis is the introduction of a needle into the urinary bladder for the purpose of extracting urine. It's the best way to collect urine for sterile lab send outs.
The best part about this week was puppies. Puppies make all the stress, anger, and heartache just fade away into warm, cuddly fluff. We work closely with the local shelter and they had a stray mother with four puppies they were trying to catch. They were able to retrieve the pups, but the mother remained elusive. The four puppies estimated to be about 35 days old were brought into the hospital and put under my charge. I weighed, took TPR, assessed mucous membrane color, and performed a PE to check for any obvious injuries or abnormalities. I also obtained fecal samples from all four for microscopic examination. They had fleas, but were otherwise in great condition: active, vocal, and chubby! They were given names and numbers for the shelter and placed in a kennel with plenty of blankets. A fecal flotation resulted in roundworms, which wasn’t a big surprise, so they were given 0.5ml Strongid each with instructions to follow-up with 1ml each in 10 days. There was no way of knowing when the puppies had last eaten, so I then prepared to feed them both with replacement formula and canned food mixed with formula in a bowl since they were over 4 weeks old and able to begin solids. I offered each puppy a bottle with formula and when I had them excitedly eating, I offered the canned/formula mixture. They were all eager to eat off my fingers, so I then directed them into the bowl. Most of them ate great this way and settled in well together for a nap. Later, we received a phone call that the mother had been trapped and the shelter manager was bringing her over to reunite with her pups. She was scared and a collar that she was wearing had slipped under her arm on one side had been digging into her skin causing a wound. The puppies were very excited to see her and she seemed content to have them back. They were set up in a run with plenty of soft bedding. Mom was given water and plenty of food. Lactating mothers require a lot of calories and it was clear she wasn’t receiving enough to maintain her own body weight though her pups were in great condition. Puppy food is the best for lactating moms, so we gave her both dry and canned free feed. It was really heartwarming to see the family reunited, happy, and on the road to healthy. The next step is to see them go to forever homes!