Fatima Kazmi, Leon, Nicaragua, May 2014

Our first clinic day of the trip! There was a mix of emotions going through my mind while we drove to the clinic. I was excited to finally get the chance to take part in a surgery, but I was also very nervous since none of us knew what to really expect. The day before we had had orientation in which we were assigned our set-up team and also were given the chance to practice our suture technique. This gave us some idea of what to expect, but there were still many things that we did not know. I was worried that we would not work efficiently and would not be able to see enough patients.

Nicaragua2014D1.1Once we arrived at the clinic we split up into either in-take, surgery or recovery for set up. A group of vet students and I were assigned to surgery set up. At first we started out a little slow, but once people took charge of different roles and we got the hang of how things were supposed to work it went much smoother. Overall, setting up the clinic took the longest this day, but we became much more efficient as time went on. From here every veterinary student was paired up with a pre-veterinary student, which was an amazing learning opportunity. It allowed me to use the experience I have learned through veterinary school and teach it to someone. This allowed me to really think about what I was doing and why. I feel the best way to learn and test your skills is to teach it to someone else.

Our first patient of the day was a surgery, in which Meagan my partner monitored anesthesia, while I assisted in the surgery. During surgery I was able to practice my miller’s knot, which I had learned the day before and also got to use suturing skills that I had learned from school. The next patient we had was a consult where Meagan and I performed a physical exam, gave dewormer, and trimmed nails. During the physical

performed a physical exam, gave dewormer, and trimmed nails.  During the physical exam I was able to use skills I had learned in school to teach Meagan about the different components of a physical exam.  Overall, the first clinic day was a tremendous success.  In just one day I learned more than I ever expected!