My last rotation I just finished up was anesthesia, which is mostly focused on small animal medicine. I had done some small animal anesthesia in the past, but most of my experience was focused on equine anesthesia, so it was a little new to me.
In true vet school fashion, we had an orientation lecture the first morning of our rotation and then we went upstairs to the hospital. We walked into the prep room and suddenly were each handed a chart and directed to our patients, who were already under anesthesia and undergoing surgery. While we had been in orientation the techs had been busy getting patients induced and into the operating rooms, and suddenly we had a chart and were sent in to monitor them. There was no warm up or slow start — it was, literally, go! I’m sure there were techs standing nearby who were waiting to help in case that something went wrong, but sitting there by the monitors at the head of my patient that first surgery, it felt pretty lonely.
I’m glad to say that my patient did beautifully and recovered well, as did all my patients during my two-week rotation. I had a wonderful time working with the faculty and technicians and learned a lot — not to mention that I became a lot more confident in my ability to make anesthesia plans, place intravenous catheters and trachea tubes, and a lot more. It was a rotation I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to, but I had a great time.