This week's rotation was Critical Care/ICU. It is fairly laid back throughout most of the day, but is interspersed with moments of adrenaline and organized chaos when an emergency comes in or if an animal crashes. ICU is home to all the animals that require around the clock care, many of which are unfortunately knocking on death's door.
Students are assigned various cases for which we are often responsible for TPR (temperature, pulse, and respiration), organizing any diagnostic imaging, giving meds, and making daily calls to owners, updating them on their pet's progress or sometimes, decline. I was thankful and lucky to have all my cases go home this week, however, the rest of the members of my group didn't have the same luck. It's always sad when you've been working with an animal and it just doesn't get any better.
Despite ICU being an emotional roller coaster, it has an upside too -- You get to spend tons of time with the animals under your care and you are involved in each inch of progress! One of my feline patients was in because he was attacked by a dog. He had numerous problems, but thankfully made it home on Friday, just in time for his young owner's birthday! The owner's were very thoughtful and brought a bottle of bubble for the clinician, and one for myself as well! Double bonus -- animal goes home and I have a nice treat!