I’m trying to recall the last time I pulled an all-nighter. It was the night before an anesthesia test, if I recall correctly. I was sitting on the couch with a stack of cards trying desperately to remember the effects on the respiratory system of propofol versus ket-val.I remembered it for a while, kind of.
We spend a ridiculous amount of time in vet school memorizing facts, but there is nothing- and I do mean nothing- like experience to drive that point home.
For example: We are taught that when you anesthetize a patient, they should have an intravenous catheter. They just should. There are too many things on that chart of stuff I had to memorize that can go wrong, and if they do you want quick access to the veins to try and fix it.
You learn this, and say OK, then you get out into the real world and perhaps you have a boss who scoffs at this idea. Too expensive! he says, and hands you a syringe with some drugs in it. He offered the owners a catheter, after all, and they said no. He tried and that is all he can do.
There are choices. You can say no, I’m not comfortable with that, and walk away. Or you can do it.
Either way you’ll learn something. One way you find out your limits- and that of your boss. The other way, you learn that propoflo does indeed cause significant respiratory depression, which could perhaps cause arrest when given too fast. And then when the blood pressure plummets and you can’t get a catheter in, your boss will be certain to blame you for screwing up although it was his crummy protocol that made it happen in the first place.
This happened to me one night early in my career. I chose route number one. My colleague, 2 months out of vet school and too needful of a job to say anything, took route 2. She learned lotsandlotsandlots that night.
The dog survived. She quit a month later.