Today I had a really neat experience. As third-year students at Ohio State, my class has started our technique labs in which we learn various techniques used for different species. Since I one day hope to practice equine medicine (or at least mixed animal with an equine focus), I am one of a handful of students in our class who is taking an advanced equine techniques elective. This class teaches more techniques than are typically taught in the basic equine techniques labs.
Today we learned to do ultrasounds. Clinicians from various specialties came to teach a dozen of us various ultrasound techniques. We started with the tendons on the distal extremities of the teaching horses’ legs. I had done this before, but I was so grateful to the professor who knelt beside me helping me to learn the tiny adjustments needed to bring a picture into focus and get the angle of the probe just right. It was so neat to figure out what I needed to do to visualize a structure and feel less like I was just guessing (which is what I have done in the past when performing this technique).
After that we moved on to ultrasound techniques for the thoracic cavity to examine the lungs and pleura from various angles. I have seen ultrasounds from sick horses, but it was neat to see the lungs of a healthy horse on ultrasound. We also practiced ultrasound on the heart and its various structures.
The last part of the day was abdominal ultrasound and practicing identifying structures on each side of the horse. Working in between the ribs was a challenge, but it was definitely an exercise that put our anatomy knowledge to good use trying to remember what structures were located where.
After spending two years in a classroom, it was nice to get my hands a little dirty and learn some skills that I will be using one day as a practitioner.