Wednesday, January 30, 2008

School Frustrations

Ah the joys of school. I'm so frickin' exhausted and frustrated. The bottom line...I'm done. Technically I'm not done, but mentally I am. As time goes on I find myself frustrated not only with the busy work I must complete but also my profs. This program has been around for several years so it's not like I'm in uncharted territory being in the 4th level....but I sure the heck feel like I am. It just seems like a gaggle at times. I tried to contact one of my professors on the day she was to be in the office only to find that she wasn't in that day. Okay, not that big of a deal, but considering my paperwork said that any questions I had I should contact the school via phone, it put me in a rock in a hard place. I went ahead and contacted her through's what I said and her reply....

"Heidi Henry 1/28/2008 2:35 PM
Hello. I have a question in regards to the EP3 video project. Per the blackboard site I should call with questions but was unable to reach you. The person who answered recommended me to email, so here I am.
My question is about the nervous system examination. How in depth are we to go into the system? For instance, on a normal day to day examination you do not perform a thorough neurological exam, only when signs are elicited for you to do so. Should we be basic with examining ambulation, pain, and coordination and then go into disease conditions (such as herniated disk, etc) and then go into diagnostics (wheelbarrowing, reflexes, etc)? Or are we to talk about the thorough examination? Thank you for your assistance! Heidi Henry

The video assignment is not an every day exam. You are to perform an exam on each system to check for it's complete health. You only have to talk about the three disseases (sic) and diagnostic procedures.
Andrea Cantrell, RVT
Instructional Specialist"

Okay, so not only did I have to contact her via email but it took 2 days to get an email back and I feel her answer is quite vague. In my opinion she's basically saying, "You have to do an entire complete examination of every organ system," meaning when I perform the neurological part of an examination I am to talk about the 5 parts of the examination. In addition, those 5 parts each have about 8 sub parts. And that's just one system. I have to talk about every system of the body. This is crazy and asinine. I am a technician, not a doctor. I do not perform examinations, nor will I ever. By law I am not supposed to or allowed to. Oh yeah, and this is to be done on video with no notes and no breaks. So I already had anxiety about the video, but it's just been taken to another level. In my head I'm trying to break my task into pieces, which tends to give me peace of mind, but it is what it is and it's something that I do not feel confident in completing. I'm can memorize almost anything you give me, but this is asking a bit much. This is the type of thing that you must learn through experience not memorizing.

In addition to this situation I also had to take a quiz the other day. It noted one of my answers as being wrong. With me being a perfectionist I went ahead a retook the test with a new bank of questions (we can take quizzes a total of 2 times). I ended up having the same question that I got wrong originally. Knowing I got it wrong the first time I made sure to choose the next closest answer. It was still wrong! This called for an email.....

"Heidi Henry 1/20/2008 3:00 PM
Hello! I am a student in your EP3 class. I took the Unit 1 Quiz and both attempts I received the question: "The normal range for creatinine levels in the adult feline are:" My first attempt I answered "0.5-1.6 mg/dL" I wasn't clear as to why it was wrong but with my second attempt answered "0.6-2.0 mg/dL" knowing my first answer was incorrect according to the quiz. Just wanted to know what the correct answer is. According to the Mazzaferro text it states that the normal creatinine levels are 0.6-1.4 mg/dl. Thanks!

Heidi, According to the Ford/Mazzaferro text, page 577: Adult Feline Creatine (sic) 0.5-2.3 mg/dL
Andrea Cantrell,
RVT Instructional Specialist"

Her answer is accurate with pg 577 stating that those are the values. However, in a different location in the book it states that either one of my answers is correct. What's the deal? I think I should still get the points! This type of thing always seems to happen and I'm tired of trying to fight for my points.

At this time I just want to finish my schooling. My cumulative grade point is 4.0. What it comes down to is that I have to pass each class with a D or higher and then finish the entire program with a cumulative D average or higher. At this point as long as I pass my classes I'm in the green to graduate. You know me and I'm not going to totally give up on my school work but I must say that I'm leaning to the side of chilling out and getting by with what I need to get by with. The thing is I'm not the only one that feels this way. My boss, who is my preceptor and the owner of the practice feels what I have to do is just as asinine as me. He thinks it's busy work and pointless for me to "learn" half of the stuff they are requiring. For instance, learning 40 breeds of cows. Yeah, I understand the point but given that I am strictly into small animal and never will use the knowledge what's the point? He doesn't even know the breeds himself and he was a former large animal vet for God's sake. His thinking...."If you don't know what breed the cow is, ask the farmer, he'll tell you." How very true. You know what else he said, "Do you know what they call a person that graduates with a D average? A technician." Meaning, it doesn't matter what grades you long as you pass, you pass. Enough venting, I just needed to get it off my chest.


Mom said...

Ah, you are learning, yet, another of Life's lessons. Higher education adds to your overall education and increased information. You may never "need" that information, however you have exercised your brain and increased the amount of "Trivia" that will be stored somewhere in the recesses of your mind. As for the purpose...hmmm, I do have my opinion and that falls more on the side of monetary gain for those in the business of higher education. You just need to focus on your purpose and that is to obtain your certification which will be a monetary gain for you (hopefully).

On another note, cannot thank you enough for all the cleaning you did yesterday. I don't think you will ever understand how much I appreciate that. It warms my heart. Love you!!

Anonymous said...

Oh your post so reminds me of my schooling. I remember one time being deathly ill during finals and at that time we were taking 3 finals a day for 3 days. So on the last day I had an optics test that I calculated if I got a 28% on the test I would pass the class. Since I was so ill I answered 4 of the 10 questions 3 of which I knew were correct handed in the test sneezed and left. It must have been 20 minutes into a 2 hour exam, but I didn't care. We used to say the same thing... as long as you pass even if it's with a C you're still a doctor. Well not actually because you still had to pass boards, but it all turned out in the end. And for you the end is near so yes take a bit of a break. For you though I bet you'll still pass with B's at the least if not still A's. Enjoy your time in Texas and in the end know that you are doing wonderful things in the lives of animals even if sometimes they don't appreciate your help (reminders of the cat attack). I love that you are helping the defenseless. It's hard work. I can ask my patients what's wrong and you have to just rely on a look or a hiss and some blood work to know what needs treatment. Kudos to you and all of your hard work. It will pay off immensely in the end. It already has by the growth of your four legged family. Much love to you. Camie

PS On a work related question which do you prefer and why...Advantage combined with Heartguard or Revolution? I've heard conflicting things from 2 local vets and their techs as reguards to both my cat and dogs. Thanks for the help. :)

Heidi said...

Hey Camie! Thanks for your encouragement and reassurance….you don’t know how much it’s appreciated…actually, I’m sure you do.

As for your question…are you asking about cats, dogs, or both?

Believe it or not heartworm/flea preventative can be quite confusing with all the claims and trials that are out there. Of course these are my own opinions and as with anything, you can take my opinion or leave it.

For cats-hands down Revolution. It’s a “one shot, one kill” type of thing, meaning you only have to do one thing and they’re set for the month. Having to do both Heartgard and Advantage can be a struggle, especially with cats being picky eaters and oftentimes not wanting to eat the beef chew. You may not know if they eat it or not. In addition, the Revolution covers more with it preventing hookworms and ear mites in addition to what the Heartgard/Advantage combination covers (heartworm, roundworms, and fleas). One thing to be aware of…I cannot use Revolution on Natchez. She has an allergic type of reaction with hair loss. Not saying that will happen with every cat (Jax is fine with it), but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

For dogs- My understanding is that at this time although there is some proof of Revolution preventing intestinal parasites, they cannot make a claim (state it on the package) that it does per the FDA. My thinking is that it will come with time. With that being said, I would stick with the Heartgard/Advantage combination over the Revolution, mostly due to the intestinal parasite issue. Revolution treats sarcoptic mange and ears mites. This is something that I personally don’t feel is a huge issue (of course that can depend on where you live). It also controls tick infestations, which is a plus. Once again though, I’d still choose the Heartgard/Advantage combo over Revolution, from the intestinal parasite standpoint. If you’re looking for tick prevention you can always use a Heartgard/Advantix combination (A word of caution-Advantix cannot be placed on cats and it’s recommended that you keep your dog and cat separated for 12-24 hours post application). Now that I’ve probably confused you, I’m going to throw another wrench into the equation. We don’t even carry Heartgard in our clinic, and I’ll explain why. We use a product called Interceptor, which is made by Novartis. It’s a heartworm preventative and it’s basically the same deal as Heartgard, but in addition to the roundworm and hookworm prevention, it also covers whipworms. We have a high incidence of whipworm around here, so that’s why it’s important for us to have Interceptor as our preventative. Once again, it all depends on what issues you have where you live.

One thing that the flea preventative companies fight over is the fastness of killing fleas, with their products. To a certain extent you almost have to take this with a grain of salt. Each company shows their studies and claims, so it’s hard to decide who’s the fastest.

Another thing that is often addressed is their efficacy following bathing and swimming. With products such as Advantage or Frontline you do lose strength (no matter what they say), and you need to make sure you use a non-stripping, non-detergent shampoo that doesn’t wash off the product. Whereas, with Revolution, it’s absorbed systemically, meaning there’s no issues of washing off.

Hopefully this helps and doesn’t confuse you =) Let me know if I need to clarify anything or you have any other questions.