Animal Referral Hospital Brisbane

Life as an intern (Part 3): What really happens at ARH

We´ve heard a lot about the ups and downs of internships in this series, here we ask our interns to spill the beans on the funny, sad and exceptional cases that are part and parcel of an intern year.
 
What is the funniest thing that has happened during your internship?
 
Dr Christopher Skinner, vet, holding dogOne day I was walking around in the hospital wondering where the poo smell was coming from. I checked my shoes and they were clean. I then went to grab a pen from my pocket about 15 minutes later and found a little present in my scrub top pocket. Oops! Always check your pockets.
Dr Christopher, internal medicine intern

Making a human pyramid in the middle of the ICU was hilarious AND successful – no one was injured in the process and I would try this at home. And, of course, the day that our surgery resident burned her toast and set the fire alarm off. The entire block of businesses was evacuated and the fire engine showed up to save the day. The piece of toast went on the wall in the hall of fame – never forgotten.

Dr Laura, surgery intern
 
What is your best client story?
 
Male vet with black hair, blue shirt, cream pants and large cream colored dogWe had a dog come in who wasn´t walking and ended up having bilateral scapula fractures, which is rare. Seeing him make a full recovery and walk out the door was pretty special.
Dr Kaartheg, surgery intern
 
Some of my favourite clients are the owners of an old, sad Labrador who presented unable to walk and very painful. He was suspected to have elbow disease, but he turned out to have instability in his neck with intervertebral disc herniation. He had a very complex procedure to stabilise his cervical vertebrae and was hospitalised for several days following surgery. Seeing him come back for his revisits was incredibly rewarding– he was bouncy, excited and full of energy! He looked five years younger and was just so happy – a completely different dog. His family were so grateful and incredibly lovely people who made us cupcakes and drew us a beautiful picture of their boy. I definitely won’t forget that case.
Dr Laura, surgery intern
 
There is a general theme which interweaves my interactions with clients. It is that of promoting animal welfare and wellbeing while maintaining a quality of life which is dignified for both the animal and the client. Unfortunately, our service deals mostly with geriatric patients and so working with clients to establish goals that do not compromise on welfare is what enriches my everyday. These are the experiences that I reflect upon and form a rich tapestry of interwoven client stories.
Dr Albert, oncology intern
 
How do you pick yourself up on the tough days?
 
Sometimes I go and pat a nice animal in hospital. Sometimes I take an animal for a short walk outside to get some fresh air and sunlight. Other times it’s as simple as having a chat with those around me, everyone supports and rallies behind you and then you’re able to continue on.
Dr Amber, Diagnostic Imaging Intern
 
There are certainly rough days. It often depends on how up to doing something I feel. If it is the latter part of the week I will focus on going for a surf on the weekend to blow off a bit of steam. Sometimes I sit up the top of the kangaroo point cliffs and look out at the botanic gardens and city. There is something incredibly cathartic about watching the citycats steam past on the river while the city and eagle street frames the view.
Dr Albert, oncology intern
 
First, I like to think about a case that was difficult, but in which we achieved a great outcome. Second, I like to get myself some comfort food on the way home. Third, I give my dog a good cuddle when I get home and then spend time with my partner and housemates. Mental health is a very important issue, especially in the veterinary profession, and we all have to develop our own healthy coping mechanisms as well as having a strong support network for the hard days.
Dr Christopher, internal medicine intern
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