My anesthesia rotation has started off great! It has been really fun and an excellent learning experience. It is one block I felt adequately prepared for from the previous years and rounds are pertinent and helpful. We receive a lot of hands-on experience too, no resident in our way. For each patient we devise anesthetic drug protocols and as long as we can justify why, we can experiment (safely) with new drugs and ways to use them.
I performed my first successful epidural on a live patient Friday and it was very rewarding. I used multimodal pain management for a jaw fracture and the patient's plane of anesthesia was very stable. It was amazing to see how effective multimodal pain control can be. Many people think anesthetic gas=pain control, but it doesn't. Better pain management before, after and during surgery decreases anesthetic complications, the amount of gas needed to keep the patient in a good surgical anesthetic plane, and aids in recovery. Anyway, I have been learning a tremendous amount and loving it. The aspects I like are very applicable to critical care medicine and are making me more curious about a residency in critical care. I feel like I am starting a new career exploration journey in that respect.
As I sat in the small animal OR monitoring anesthesia last week, however, I had a moment when I realized I only had 2 more weeks in the small animal hospital. A wave of sentimental feeling and sadness came over me. In fact, as I spend some of my last days with good friends, I find that this feeling of sentiment for Blacksburg, vet school, vet school relationships and all the nuances of the teaching hospital is very strong. I am doing my best to savor the great things I have experienced the past 4 years. It will be hard to leave. I really have despite the long distance marriage and all the obstacles of vet school, loved my four years. I would not want to repeat it, but it was an amazing life changing experience. I cannot imagine having to go through all that I endured in any other town than Blacksburg.
At the same time, when I think of graduation weekend, I become giddy like a school girl. It is hard not to be proud and happy at the accomplishment of a DVM. Transitions are difficult for me, even with a strong plan in place. I hope that taking the time to savour the next 82 days will help make the transition back to life in Washington, DC a little bit easier.