stimtothesky
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Ok so I'm doing work experience at a small animal hospital, but for an hour and a half the nurses are prepping and because I don't know where anything is I can't really help (I also messed up some resterilisation on my first day but that's a whole different thing). They sometimes give me jobs (if I see something I might be able to help with I ask) but I spend about half of it just standing there trying not to get in the way. Any suggestions for what to do? Do I just stand there all awkward like I do at the moment?
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username613045
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(Original post by stimtothesky)
Ok so I'm doing work experience at a small animal hospital, but for an hour and a half the nurses are prepping and because I don't know where anything is I can't really help (I also messed up some resterilisation on my first day but that's a whole different thing). They sometimes give me jobs (if I see something I might be able to help with I ask) but I spend about half of it just standing there trying not to get in the way. Any suggestions for what to do? Do I just stand there all awkward like I do at the moment?
I found at most of the vets I've been at that I spent a lot of time standing awkwardly somewhere. Keep asking if there's anything they need help with or if there's anything you can do. Maybe if an animal's been prepped, disinfect the table after it's done. Ask if you can see consults. Some vets are happy with this but others aren't.
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VMD100
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Asking questions about what they're doing, why they're doing it a certain way or even just general chat. If you can build up a rapport with them then your overall experience will be far more useful as they trust you to do more things than someone that sits there awkwardly
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Lizziefickling
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(Original post by stimtothesky)
Ok so I'm doing work experience at a small animal hospital, but for an hour and a half the nurses are prepping and because I don't know where anything is I can't really help (I also messed up some resterilisation on my first day but that's a whole different thing). They sometimes give me jobs (if I see something I might be able to help with I ask) but I spend about half of it just standing there trying not to get in the way. Any suggestions for what to do? Do I just stand there all awkward like I do at the moment?
The best thing to do is ask someone for some jobs to do. On a day to day basis nurses have a list of jobs which they do which are fairly similar every day, some of which are quite basic and don't require anything complicated doing. Ask them if you can tidy anything, prepare anything for surgery, wash any equipment up, wash any kennels/cages, theres usually something that you can help them with. Ask them if they would like a cup of tea/coffee/a drink making even. If they say there aren't any jobs ask if you can go off and sit in a corner and read a vet times or a surgical book they've got (most practices have a stash of books for reference lying around somewhere) and you can go and have a read in your spare time when there really isn't anything going on.

I was a nurse previously before becoming a vet student and I always tried my hardest to help students and give them jobs to do, but its a little bit awkward as often the jobs are pretty boring and I always felt bad giving them to students. If the nurses are busy are consultations going on during that time? Could you ask a vet if you can sit in on some consults? It is a bit awkward on days which are quiet but if you're proactive and just ask them if they need anything at all doing however mundane the task might be they will usually do their best to give you something to keep you occupied - plus everyone appreciates a cuppa when offered!
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stimtothesky
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(Original post by Lizziefickling)
The best thing to do is ask someone for some jobs to do. On a day to day basis nurses have a list of jobs which they do which are fairly similar every day, some of which are quite basic and don't require anything complicated doing. Ask them if you can tidy anything, prepare anything for surgery, wash any equipment up, wash any kennels/cages, theres usually something that you can help them with. Ask them if they would like a cup of tea/coffee/a drink making even. If they say there aren't any jobs ask if you can go off and sit in a corner and read a vet times or a surgical book they've got (most practices have a stash of books for reference lying around somewhere) and you can go and have a read in your spare time when there really isn't anything going on.

I was a nurse previously before becoming a vet student and I always tried my hardest to help students and give them jobs to do, but its a little bit awkward as often the jobs are pretty boring and I always felt bad giving them to students. If the nurses are busy are consultations going on during that time? Could you ask a vet if you can sit in on some consults? It is a bit awkward on days which are quiet but if you're proactive and just ask them if they need anything at all doing however mundane the task might be they will usually do their best to give you something to keep you occupied - plus everyone appreciates a cuppa when offered!
I think the problem is I don't really want to interrupt anyone- they all look so busy! When I see them doing something I could maybe help with then I ask if I can give them a hand (e.g. this morning Lauren a nurse was washing bowls so when I asked she said I could dry them after). It's just I don't know where anything is so I don't really want it to become more inconvenient for them when I do it- as in it takes so long to explain it they would've already done it.

One of the nurses has been trying to give me jobs, but I think sometimes there really is nothing for me to do. I don't want to leave the prep room because I don't want to seem like I'm uninterested or ungrateful for the experience- but I also don't want to get in the way!
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Lizziefickling
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(Original post by stimtothesky)
I think the problem is I don't really want to interrupt anyone- they all look so busy! When I see them doing something I could maybe help with then I ask if I can give them a hand (e.g. this morning Lauren a nurse was washing bowls so when I asked she said I could dry them after). It's just I don't know where anything is so I don't really want it to become more inconvenient for them when I do it- as in it takes so long to explain it they would've already done it.

One of the nurses has been trying to give me jobs, but I think sometimes there really is nothing for me to do. I don't want to leave the prep room because I don't want to seem like I'm uninterested or ungrateful for the experience- but I also don't want to get in the way!
I was personally grateful for whatever someone helped with. If they have a quiet moment themselves why don't you ask them to show you where everything is? You're not being inconvenient however, if you ask them if you can help with anything they will appreciate it honestly!

If theres a corner in the prep room where you can sit and read a vet related book get a stool (assuming they have some lying about, most practices do!) and just sit out the way in a corner so if there is anything you need to see/help with you are there ready and waiting rather than leaving the room. They will understand.
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stimtothesky
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(Original post by Lizziefickling)
I was personally grateful for whatever someone helped with. If they have a quiet moment themselves why don't you ask them to show you where everything is? You're not being inconvenient however, if you ask them if you can help with anything they will appreciate it honestly!

If theres a corner in the prep room where you can sit and read a vet related book get a stool (assuming they have some lying about, most practices do!) and just sit out the way in a corner so if there is anything you need to see/help with you are there ready and waiting rather than leaving the room. They will understand.
Thanks for your help!
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Lizziefickling
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(Original post by stimtothesky)
Thanks for your help!
No worries, If you need any help with anything else I've just finished my third year at Liverpool, happy to answer any questions if you pm me!
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Little Tail Chaser
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You could clean (wipe tables, walls... it never ends ), do laundry, clean kennels and prepare them for the next patient, clean food/water bowls, scrub surgical instruments, pack surgical kits, gowns and drapes for the autoclave, restock swabs, needles and/or syringes, do the filing, stamp/address/post letters or take dogs out to pee. If all else fails you might get very popular by offering to make tea

Others have given very good responses, my two cents are just a list of actual tasks to do. Obviously ask the first time before you do any of those, especially those that involve actually touching the animals, but use your common sense.

Enjoy the rest of your placement
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Viapurifico
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Take extensive notes on what's going on, what you've just seen and answers to questions you've had. Whenever I have dead time at work placements I'm scribbling away.
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