Path – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I’m on my anatomic pathology rotation right now, which is pretty cool actually. I like necropsy because I find it fascinating and I like discovering the pathology within the patient because it may give grieving owners answers. Today, however, was not fun. 

We start the actually necropsies after lunch, usually around 12:30 or 1. The morning is spent on rounds from the previous day’s cases and discussing the cases for that day. Since we only had 1 case yesterday (for 7 students!), and only 1 today, we had a two hour break – 11am-1pm. Then, once we hit the floor, another case came in. And then another. And then one came in at 5pm, which is too late for same day necropsy… except this was a calf with an infectious reportable disease and so the necropsy absolutely has to be done on the same day. Ugh. So we had a two hour break with absolutely nothing to do and then were all there until 8pm between necropsies (way more complicated and in depth than most people realize), cleaning, and writing the path reports. Of course, there have been many days I’ve been at the VMTH later than that, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain. 

I also cut myself today. With a dull scalpel. That was covered in deceased dog blood and joint fluid!! UUUGH. So I flushed it for about 10 minutes, then put antibacterial ointment and a band-aid on it and returned to the floor. I declined going to occupational health because there was so much to do. I was just told if I start to notice red lines racing up my arm to go to the hospital ;) 

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