Imagine: It is 9:45 p.m., and you are fifteen minutes from getting off of your barn duty shift when another emergency comes in. If they had come in fifteen minutes later, the next shift would have taken them and you could have gone home and maybe gotten to sleep before midnight. This rotation has been a little crazy; you have averaged about five hours of sleep for the last week and a half, and during you long work day, you are on your feet the entire time. Food is eaten by the “bite and swallow” method. One classmate has been to the doctor already and another probably should go. And with this new emergency, instead of going home at 10, finishing up paperwork and maybe getting to eat a meal sitting down, you will probably be here until 2 a.m. And you need to be up by 5 a.m.
When people told me vet school is hard, I am guessing this is what they meant.
So how do you stay positive? How do you get out of bed in the morning?
-A sincere thank you from a clinician who is just as tired as you.
-Patience from a resident who was up with emergencies the last two nights, but still explains how and why to do a regional limb perfusion.
-Great rotation mates who make a Whole Foods run for salsa, chips, and cinnamon rolls, and who help out when they can despite being equally exhausted.
-Barn crew who take care of the stalls and help out with the little things, so your job is a little easier. And teach you to eat peanut butter cups dipped in guacamole, which is either pretty good or you are too tired to realize it is bad.
-Vet technicians who pick up the slack when you miss something.
-Thank you notes from clients, especially on difficult cases.
-A special someone at home who makes hot dogs for dinner for the third straight night in a row because that is all he knows how to make.