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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Student Gets Lots of Practice On Summer Practicum

September 27th, 2018

Eilea Delgadillo, Class of 2021, spent her summer placing catheters, drawing blood, and baking rattlesnake cookies. Wait, what?

While spending the summer shadowing veterinarians at the Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic in Redmond, Oregon, Delgadillo developed a community engagement project that tackled the growing problem of pet danger in the urban/desert interface. Central Oregon has a rapidly growing population, and a corresponding increase in recreational activities that often put pets into contact with wildlife. Delgadillo researched and produced pamphlets outlining effective methods for avoiding contact with coyotes, porcupines, birds of prey, deer, and rattlesnakes. The pamphlets included information about common locations, active hours, local laws, and what to do when wildlife is encountered. To make the pamphlets more appetizing, she baked dog cookies in the shapes of those animals and attached them to the pamphlets, then distributed them to clients at local veterinary clinics.

The pamphlets were a side project while Delgadillo gained veterinary practice experience at Cinder Rock helping with patient care, scrubbing into surgeries, interpreting radiographs, and learning about practice management. She ended the summer with three big takeaways:

  • You can’t save them all.
  • Respect your techs.
  • Do what you can for those who come behind you.

When a young dog with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis died after many treatment options were tried, the doctor on the case felt bad. “She had only been in practice for four years. I could see that she was feeling guilty,” says Delgadillo. “I heard a senior doctor comfort her, saying a PCV of 80% was not sustainable. I hope when I am in practice, I remember what it was like to look at a situation from the outside, and be kind to myself when I can’t save them all.”

Delgadillo also observed many interactions between doctors and techs. “I could see that doctors who took the time to thank a tech, and acknowledge when they did something well, had techs who were willing to go above and beyond to provide support,” she says. “I could see how this made the day go smoother and I believe that patient care benefited.”

At Cinder Rock Veterinary clinic, owners Keith and Holly Sides have a long history of mentoring veterinary and pre-veterinary students that Delgadillo really appreciates: “On any given day, you can see a student hovering in the background. I know there are more than a few veterinarians who owe their careers to Keith and Holly, and that veterinary medicine will be better because of it.”

Delgadillo is grateful to them for her experience this summer and expects it to enrich her next three years of veterinary college. “The opportunity to participate in these medical procedures, and to read x-rays and ultrasounds and histopath results, will help make what we’re learning in class more real,” she says. “It was also helpful to listen to the doctors as they talked to each other, worked through problems, and came to conclusions based on tests results and clinical signs. I highly recommend participating in this program, especially with Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic!”

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