(photo posted with owner permission)
There are many perks that come along with being a vet. One that I hold in very high regard is being able to foster relationships with my talented support staff. Though I will be the first to admit that the stress of juggling numerous cases leaves me in a position of being less inclined to teach on certain days, when the chaos dies down and we can all breathe more easily, it’s nice to help each other learn. I enjoy discussing the pathophysiology of various diseases with my technicians and clients alike. And learning is a two-way street. I find myself learning from my clients and technicians on an everyday basis. For example, I never learned in vet school that the Great Pyrenees often has dewclaws on the hind limbs. A particularly enthusiastic owner shared that little fun fact with me.
Moving beyond scientific knowledge, I often learn from my coworkers how to be a better doctor. They lead by example by exhibiting patience with owners and unceasing support for me, especially when things are rough. I recall my anesthesia technician, Bella (pictured above with two happy patients), monitoring for me in the operating room when an ovarian pedicle started hemorrhaging blood. The last thing I ever want to see if blood pooling in an abdomen I have my hands in. I began hyperventilating a little bit, and Bella clearly took notice so she began to placate and encouraging me to ligate the vessel and figure things out. When she said “You’re manifesting” I instantly felt better. I started to repeat it in my head, found the appropriate vessel, tied it off, and proceeded with completing the surgery. Now, anytime I am confronted with a problem in surgery, I repeat the phrase as somewhat of a mantra to help calm me down. Thanks Bella!