All year in anesthesia, we’ve been working up to anesthetizing our first live patient, learning the basics of what drugs to use, how to place a catheter and intubate, and how to set up an anesthetic machine (and lots more). We were supposed to have this lab a couple weeks ago, but since Mother Nature is targeting PEI heavily with that white crap, it was moved to another day.
The night before we were initially supposed to anesthetize, I woke having a panic attack. I had been sick all weekend and was barely feeling prepared to drag my butt to class, let alone be responsible for an animal’s life. I’ve never had an anxiety attack before this, so in my mind I knew I was making a huge deal out of it. Anesthesia isn’t something to be taken lightly; it can be very dangerous if not done properly, and I ended up being thankful for the snow day because I was much better prepared for the lab when it came to finally be my turn.
I’ve helped anesthetize patients at veterinary clinics before, but this time it would be mine and my group’s responsibility to look out for our patient. We had three professors there for our four small groups, so we had plenty of help and guidance throughout the whole process. Our anesthesia professors are great at both making sure we’re prepared and helping us with something we’re not so prepared for. It was a very positive and beneficial learning experience, and even though we only anesthetized one patient once, I feel more relaxed about being able to induce and maintain anesthesia on future patients.