Veterinary Life in Alaska - 72 Hours

Posted: Feb 1, 2013
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Day 3 of the Great Alaska Experience.

I’m able to recognize people and call them by the right name. I’m doing very well. Today one of the doctors at Far Country asked me what I expect from my doctors. I’ve had a lot of questions asked over the last three days but this one took me a minute. What do I expect from my doctors? I thought about all of the reasons that I’m still at DoveLewis after 13 years and realized that a lot of those reasons boil down to the autonomy that I have in my job, and that is directly related to the respect and trust that exists between the doctor and technician staff. And that was my answer. I expect my doctors to trust me (and if they don’t trust me I expect that they will tell SOMEONE why and help me take steps to correct the issues) and collaborate with me to provide the best patient care. Trust and respect means I am comfortable asking questions and comfortable being questioned. I make suggestions, I receive feedback. I feel supported, I give support.

That answer put a little more weight on my job here in Alaska. I am assisting in the training of these techs and allowing them to increase the trust between them and their doctors. I am hopefully allowing them to build the same relationships that I have with the doctors I am lucky enough to work with. I’d better get on it!

Today things were relatively quiet in the hospital. Those poor techs and TAs… I made them listen to me talk about injectable drugs. We talked about all of the medications being administered to hospitalized patients. I made them do MATH. The overnight crew got a crash course in their anesthesia ventilator and we did ETC02 scenarios. Good stuff. How nerdy is that? I also got to look at some of the most disgusting urine I’ve seen in a long time (rods and white cells EVERYWHERE) and made everyone within shouting distance come take a look. I’m easily entertained.

I even got to leave the hospital and see scenic downtown Palmer. It IS more than one stoplight and a Fred Meyer. Don’t let anyone else tell you different. Tomorrow my day at the hospital doesn’t start until 11:00am so I’m going to head into the mountains a bit and check out the view (and hopefully glimpse a moose or two) in the morning. That means pictures of mountains! The chicken hat will make an appearance.

I found myself feeling “warm” when it was 24 degrees outside. I’m becoming one of them…

Editor’s Note: Here’s the chicken hat