custer: (RVT AVTCP)
2010-06-30 07:19 am
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CE Classes

 Once you have a veterinary license, either as a Doctor or RVT, you have to do a certain amount of "continuing education" to stay current.   Sometimes a drug company with a new product sponsors these, and in order to get a lot of doctors to show up, feed you really good food.

The last one I was at was at a place called "Ruth Chris Steakhouse" where I probably got fed a $50+ dinner.  Best steak I've had in years, but the entertainment value was even better.  The presentation was on vomiting.  All through dinner there are big color pictures on the screen showing vomit, worms, various other parasites, finally a series of postmortem heartworm cases.

Now for the 40 or so veterinary professionals, we are all chowing down on really really good food with no problem.

The waiters are getting physically ill, to the point of spilling things.
custer: (Avalon)
2010-06-06 12:42 pm
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America loves Polo shirts (even though most people don't know what Polo even is)

 I wear a polo shirt to work.  So does anyone who works at Ralphs, Walmart, BestBuy, Petco, Kinkos, Starbucks or any other retail outlet around here.  When I worked for Homeland Security we had a polo shirt uniform.  The Coast Guard Aux has two, CAP has four (yes count them four different ones) even the sheriffs department wears them when they are using the unmarked cars.  Most LA City Services wear them.

While at my other job this morning (where I wear scrubs) I noticed we got a catalog from AVMA for custom imprinted workwear.  Was it scrubs?  Hell no, it was 30 pages of polo shirts with various AVMA logs on it.  Some were button up shirts in this case, but none of it was scrubs.

Excuse me "American Veterinary Medical Association" but what do you think we wear to work?  I suppose I could wear a polo shirt and a lab coat but I don't. and neither does anyone else.

At some point the world went business casual EVERY day of the week and not just Fridays.
custer: (Felix)
2009-08-22 11:00 pm
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(no subject)

  • 20:52 My assistant got all depressed when her slide broke in the Bilbous paper. It was stained perfectly and still usable though. #
  • 20:54 This was actually the first time I ever put a cat on anesthesia entirely alone. Previously blocked cat is now recovering very nicely. #
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custer: (T 3)
2009-08-06 05:24 pm
Entry tags:

Vet Tech CE

Its always pretty good at the semi-monthly City of Angels Vets CE class. This one was on Urinary Incontinence in dogs, interesting for me as I have worked at a cat only practice for years and have almost forgotten what a dog looks like on the outside, let alone the inside.

Only one cat was ever mentioned anywhere in the class - I get the impression cats are like Feraris and dogs are 1962 chevy pickup trucks.

Urinary fistulas were a fascinating thing for me as I've never seen one How something like that develops in the first place is just amazing. But thats from someone who is still amazed that ANY cow is actually alive.
custer: (Los Angeles Seal)
2009-03-03 06:56 am
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Procrastination paid off

I've been chastising myself over not applying for the LA City RVT job as soon as I got my RVT license as it paid a lot more than what I'm presently doing.

It now seems as though if I HAD left what I have to take it I would be unemployed myself at this point as they seem to have essentially let go everybody they could. Not the cuts they should have made, or even the ones they actually wanted to, as union rules kicked in. So it seems they just had to let go everybody they COULD, which amounted to everybody without tenure, which I of course would not have had after less than one year. And I would be worse off than I am at this point.

So looking at the proverbial "Silver Lining" - when they start re-hiring again I'll have a lot more documented experience
custer: (T 2)
2007-10-16 07:27 pm
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Monday will be interesting

My doctor has lots of connections and friends.

My only actual "Fixed" schedule at my clinic is weekends, the other three days float around. Apparently next week I'm being loaned out to a mobile vet in Tarzana, since that doctor does one continuous 18 hour day (!!) and I'm regarded as one of the few people available that will actually hold up to that.

So instead of my normal Monday & Tuesday, I'll be pulling a solid 18 hour shift on Monday and get Tuesday to sleep in and recover from it. My TSA workdays were 10 hour days bracketed by an 80 mile commute, with the workday spent mostly on my feet without breaks, so I'm actually well adapted for this. Should be fun.

I certainly wouldn't mind this becoming a regular thing either - pull half a work week in a single day?

I could make this a regular full time job but one of the two days (two day work week!) would have to be Saturday and that conflicts with one of the days. Still, stuff could be shifted around. Time will tell.
custer: (catdoctor)
2007-09-21 05:56 pm
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Goodbye big angry dogs and gangbanger coworkers

I had to go pick up a bicycle before work today, and as my original (and at the moment still part time) employer was located right behind the place, I stopped in to say hello.

Well two of the techs had left since I last worked there during the week. They once again had a full time position open.

I had only gone to SCAH since the school had essentially MADE me do it to get dog experience. I had stayed on at the conclusion of school as they really wanted to have an RVT there, but in name only, the UVA's treated me like dirt. At the time I was not in a position to be picky about employment.

I was always happier at The Cat Doctor. Its like going home.

I'm going to go outside and walk around in the rain now.
custer: (T 3)
2007-08-31 10:14 pm
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Busy Day!

This was the busiest day so far. Two MAJOR surgeries, One of which involved a 10 pound dog that had about a third of its abdomen as one huge tumor. Amazingly this dog survived the surgery and was even lively and active at the end of the day, though its gums were a stark white even after a blood transfusion.

Two dogs were brought in overheated, both pug / bulldogs. The first had a temperature of 107.5, but a rapid wetting down with cool water and a fan revived that one and he went home. The other has some temperature over 110 as thats as far as our thermometers can register. Needless to say that one didn't make it, and I'm glad to be a tech in the back rather than the personnel in front that had to deal with the screams, tears and accusations of the husband & wife blaming each other. For what, having the dog outside on a day when the temperature here hit 108?

Its obvious now why we wear scrubs that cost about $12 a set - mine are covered with blood (and various other) stains after this shift. I didn't get out of there until over an hour after everyones shift was over. Good thing I was an MCSE in a former life as I was also the only one there who could do the cornerstone data backup at the end of the day as well.

Its now 10:30 and still almost 90 here.
custer: (T 2)
2007-08-14 12:23 pm
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Little confusion cleared up

From reading [ profile] clipfox's journal, I can see that probably every veterinary clinic out there has internal drama. Its made worse when you walk into a place with an AAS in Veterinary Technology and no full time experience.

Well the head DVM had told his front office manager to call me to schedule work hours for me, and I had not gotten called in five days

Well first day there the head UVA had told me flat out "As an RVT you will make more money than I do and I will resent you for it". I'll give him kudos for honesty.

Anyway I had to legitimately go back there today to get my last degree coursework signed off, and the doctor asked me why I hadn't started yet. Hmm... plot thickens.

Stand by for part 2

Anyway, as of November 17 we will have health insurance again.
custer: (T 2)
2007-08-04 11:21 pm
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Sweet revenge

One of the front staff girls (really sharp pre-vet) brings a 9 week kitten to work with her that often is just running around. Never causes a problem.

We have a big pit bull and a big lab that are clinic dogs - used to provide blood for transfusions.

Yesterday the pit bull got loose in the clinic and went after the kitten. I did a football dive and grab and the pit bull bounced off my back. This endeared me to the kittens owner but convinced most of the rest of the hospital staff that I was nuts (Kitten Save!)

Well today for my pre-employment test the head DVM wanted to see me do an induction, intubation, cephalic vein catheter, cephalic blood draw from the other leg, saphenous vein blood draw, jugular vein blood draw, cystocentesis, and urinary catheter, and handle all of the anesthesia myself. All of it went off without a hitch except my first catheter got a flash and then stuck on something, but the second one went in fine. He also liked my taping job that now is the clinic standard.

Guess who got to be the test dummy for that?
custer: (T 1)
2007-08-01 07:35 am
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Classroom instruction at Pierce College ends - for me

Today is my actual last day of instruction, and I only have two more Thursdays on campus after this. Its actually over.

Got my microbiology final tomorrow, followed by my second to last RVT exam review prep. Next week I have jury duty, the last exam prep, and as much "volunteer student" time at the animal hospital as I can fit in before I turn in my AS480 book on the 9th.

Then I just wait for the actual graduation information to come in the mail, and set myself up for the state board exam. Till then I work as a "UVA".

California only defines three people at a vet clinic. You are a DVM, an RVT or a UVA. If you do not have state board certification you are a UVA by law regardless of what you want to call yourself. Most UVA's call themselves techs which is technically illegal, but done everywhere. Problem is the vast majority of them get to believing they actually ARE techs, and at the clinic where I am at right now there are two of them with 8 and 17 years of experience who I don't see as ever taking orders from me, board certified or not. So its possible that once I get my actual board certification I will move on to yet another place that will only know me as an RVT.

I actually ran into that same problem at the first place. I walked in as a no knowledge no experience newbie, and started out as a kennel guy. Problem was that after two years of formal schooling, only the doctor recognized the change, the other staff considered I should still be cleaning cages and mopping the floor for them. The Doctor actually gave me the keys to the clinic and has me doing rounds and treatments on Sunday morning and doesn't even call to check on me. So as far as I'm concerned, I made it to the person whos opinion actually matters.
custer: (T 1)
2007-07-27 09:10 am
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Coming down to "the wire"

[ profile] martes is still out of town for Comicon. I have one week left on my Microbiology course and then one lone Thursday after that for my last test prep class. As of August 9 I'll be done with classroom stuff.

I'll have one more week of my AS480 intern class, which originally I was going to attempt to cram into open days prior to August 9 but I figure if I have jury duty that week I may as well spread it out a little. It would be sort of bad to start a new job and have to be gone for jury duty on the second day. So I will be listing August 14 as my official first day to be available to work somewhere.
custer: (T 1)
2007-06-29 07:50 pm
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New clinic is a lot better

Just did a 13 hour shift to try and make up for the two missed weekends and catch back up. Place is MUCH better than the one I was at alst weekend. Still prefer my cat only practice, but this palce pays better, has better benefits, and as it happens, their only RVT left for a research job. They already want me to stay here.
custer: (Auschwitz)
2007-06-23 08:13 am
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One day at this clinic was enough

They wash (not sterilize) syringes for re-issue to clients for administering medicine.

They re-use paper drapes and gauze out of surgical packs that do not resemble anything I was taught in school or have even seen.

The shelves are full of suture material that expired in a previous century, and that is not an exaggeration. When I asked about that I was told it was perfectly OK to use that on animals.

The doctor performs internal surgery wearing only gloves. No mask, gown, or even washing his hands ahead of time. I think the gloves are just to keep the blood off his own hands. I even heard oen of them say the repeat business from internal infections was pretty good.

The people working there presently cannot even do toenail trims without needing to stop the resulting blood flow. I did not see them successfully do this even once.

They needed to do a jugular blood draw from a dog - I watched the other "tech" stick the needle in and then go fishing around with it - causing considerable tissue damage. Eventually he got a syringe full of bright red blood. I doubt he hit the vein.

Pain medicine following internal surgery costs $36 extra. Two of the three spay/neuters they did while I was there did not get it and I spent most of the day listening to them cry afterwards.

Their radiograph machine is in the middle of BOARDING. Every animal there is dosed about a dozen times a day. They had me do multiple radiographs with no badge.

Only one cat came in there. Apparently they don't see a lot of cats thank god - this one was an old hyperthyroid who was there for euthanasia. He sat alone in a cage between the two crying dogs until the end of the day, and then the DVM drew up some quantity of Beuthansol (never heard of this stuff). With no preparation, he did a cardiac stick with this then went back to his office. They left me to pronounce death and had the cat in the freezer in less than a minute afterwards.

Anything I might add after that would be superfluous. I am heading over there right now to tell them I won’t be back.
custer: (T 2)
2007-06-09 01:24 pm
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Graduated the RVT program today

Got a big gift box full of goodies. I should take pictures. Over 30 dog related items in it, and *one* cat toy.

Well when [ profile] furtech comes over with his collies he's getting a big box of free stuff!
custer: (T 1)
2007-06-08 08:52 am
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Graduating Tomorrow

Technically not really, I have an 8 week microbiology course that I need to complete the degree, so I don't actually fulfill graduation requirements until August 2nd. But they are nice enough not to make me wait around 10 months to graduate with the class of 2008, since all of my RVT specific education is now completed.

For the next 8 weeks I'll be still working part time at the clinic I did my work experience class at. Somewhere at the end of August or early September I'll take my State Board exam to get my official RVT license. The national VTNE exam is only done once a year so I have to wait until January 18 for that.

Its interesting how unrelated social events are marking all of these turning points for me - the Seaside Ball happens right after the pseudo-graduation, the Avalon Ball happens right after I graduate for real, and Further Confusion happens the week right after the national boards.
custer: (T 2)
2007-05-28 06:25 pm
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First full shift at an emergency clinic

You can tell a place is high end when 90% of their equipment is not only new, but still current and certified for human use. And the rest of it only isn't because it doesn't exist in a human version (like micro infusers for mice, etc). Night and day difference from what I'm used to.

Some of the equipment in there was so high end there literally is no other clinic in the country that has it. The technology level of my clinic is roughly the same or only slightly better than the school I got trained at, but this place was all state of the art everything. I'm going to see if I can go back to there for my second and final AS480 class, since I only have 5 weeks to do this one in and this is really the place to learn the current stuff.
custer: (T 1)
2007-05-04 12:04 pm
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I just did my first actual surgery


I need post op drugs.

The cat is just fine.

(P.S: As an RVT I don't actually cut anything. The doctor just steps back after the procedure is technically complete tells me to close up everything, which I did OK once she reminded me to reverse the knots on the simple interrupted suture I were using.)
custer: (Death)
2007-04-13 11:09 pm
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Laboratory Animal Class

Well We had 39 lab animals at the start of class. We had 34 at The end.

*Mine* are still alive.

No further comment. For allI know I was just lucky.
custer: (T 1)
2007-02-17 01:45 pm
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First actual blood draw

Done it plenty of times on models, but this was the first time I've done it on an actual animal.

So what do they give me? An ancient stray cat with almost no blood pressure and tiny little veins. But I still managed to do it, so I guess I'm ok. I also syringe fed her food, gave her 100CC of LRS and a couple of meds I forget the names of. Antibiotics & eye drops for a jaundiced left eye, but the right looked OK. She is getting the best possible care at this point.

Skin & bones, 18% PCV and the most ictaric (yellow) looking plasma I've ever seen from that test, so this old kitty isn't doing so well. Friendly purry old thing though.