Things I never learned in vet school

In no particular order:

1. What to do when an old mercury thermometer breaks and spews mercury over your surgery floor.  [Open windows. Remove other living beings. Wear gloves.  Slowly wipe mercury beads up with a damp paper towel; get the little beads with an eye dropper. Make sure to cover the whole floor, because those little buggers spread. Dispose of according to county recommendations.

2. How to set up a brand new anesthesia machine. (Nor did it teach me to just call the president of the damn company that makes the machine and make HIM tell you how to do it, but I assure you that I figured that out in time.)

3. What to say when the city council asks your opinion on dog and cat licensing, impounding, etc.  (Oh for Christ’s sake…)

4.  How to competantly hire and manage employees. (A work in progress)

5.  Just about every other business aspect of running a business. (See above)

6.  What to do when every other redneck in towns barges in to the clinic waving some poor, unaltered, unvaccinated animal and shouting about how they don’t want the damn cat/dog anymore and I’m just going to leave it here, hope that’s okay with you!  (Resist with every ounce of your being)

7.  What to do when you give someone a $500 estimate to fix their very ill pet and they say “okay…how can we do the same thing for $50?”.  (Sigh. Prioritize. Do what you can do)

8.  That even with a DVM, you should be prepared to scoop poop, scrub toilets, mop floors, and wipe bottoms for the rest of your life. (A fast and easy lesson. No one goes to vet school for the glamour of it.)

9.  How to sleep at night when you have a surgery patient recovering in your clinic (even the most uncomplicated, easy surgeries manage to infiltrate my psyche). (No idea how to sleep better yet.)

10. How to find a 5lb dog that has escaped from your clinic in a town of about 3000 people and 10 square miles.  (I’m not very religious, but I’ll chalk this up to prayer and miracles.)

11. How to stay awake after 8pm when you spend a long day playing multiple roles  (veterinarian, practice manager, practice owner, technician, assistant, kennel attendant, janitor).  (Still working on this. Having your husband poke you in the ribs every 10 minutes is not effective, however.)




2 thoughts on “Things I never learned in vet school

  1. Holly


    oh again.

    For many of the items listed above…..I’d say that a good office manager is worth her weight in gold, followed closely by an excellent vet assistant/kennel manager.

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