Drawing blood and discussing work habits

You’ll have to excuse the irregular blogging schedule lately. Wednesday I decided not to blog since I was in such a good flow working on my dissection preparations, and yesterday, I accidentally fell asleep before I had time to blog. And although having a 10 hour night of sleep was glorious, I still wanted to put up a blog post on all the things we did in vet school last week.

You see, this Wednesday was the first time I ever injected, and took a blood sample from a live animal. The thing is, we weren’t really supposed to be doing it this year, rather in the 7th or 8th semester. By the stress levels in the mice that we practiced on, I can understand why. While I wish I could say it was a purely exciting and fun learning experience, it ended up feeling a bit premature. With everything from the handling of the mice to the blood sampling, it was easy to feel like we were putting them through trauma for no good reason. I can get wanting to acclimatize us to doing procedures on live animals as early as possible, and for that reason, I’m glad we did this as early as the second semester. And I’m aware that mice are one of the most frequently used animals in research facilities, making it a necessity to know how to fixate them and draw blood samples from their hind legs. However, we are also scheduled to practice the same procedures on sedated rabbits and rats, so why not leave the mice until we’re a bit more experienced, or have had more time to practice on dummies?

Moving on from research animals, last Thursday we had a meeting with our cell biology professor, where we went over what was good and what needed improvement in the cell biology block. It ended up turning into a great conversation about work habits, and not letting perfection getting in the way of doing your work. This is a thing I’ve written about before at length, but I’ll say it again; you’re NOT married to your study routine! If something’s not working, abandon it, and figure out what does work. This is something I’ve talked about with a lot of my friends, and wanting your notes to look as uniform as possible should not get in the way of finding your best way to work. Note that I’ve written “your” best way since there’s no such thing as “the” best way. Try a few different things out, and see what sticks.

Our professor also talked about having some time to digest what’s been taught in the lectures and that the time spent reading through your notes on your own is far more valuable than you’d think. And on that note, I’m going to go read over my notes on the cardiovascular system. Be sure to check back here on Wednesday for a more regularly scheduled blog post, where I promise not to fall asleep for ten hours.

Here's a little easter throwback since I didn't take any pictures last week.

Here's a little easter throwback since I didn't take any pictures last week.