Thursday, January 12, 2012

816. First impressions of a new vet graduate


Yesterday, Jan 12, 2012, I had a chat with a new female vet graduate from Australia about bleeding in a neuter of a Labrador Retriever. Closed technique, 2 ligatures used by her but lots of bleeding. "A transfixing ligature and open technique may be wiser in big dog neutering to prevent ligature slippage," I said. The dog was OK after a repeat surgery at this practice I visited. For new vets, the tying of the ligature and the number of throws of the knot is important. I usually knot 5 times firmly using absorbable sutures. If you knot 3 times, you may find that the stitch breaks down and then post op return of the patient.

Keep surgery simple. Using intradermal or subcuticular stitching impress clients as they don't see the stitches which are hidden under the skin. However, your stitching technique has not been perfected yet. It the continuous intradermal stitches break down or irritate the cat or dog, there will be intense itching and post-op infections. Therefore, I usually advise one or two horizontal mattress sutures to close the skin. In the past 30 years of spay, I rarely encountered any return for post-op stitch breakdown or infections. Remember, your reputation is on the line. Clients will seldom refer you if your surgical outcome in a spay cause the client worries and return to be re-operated on due to post-op stitch breakdown and infections.


First impressions count for a new vet graduate. "Dr.... wears jeans and his staff wears sneakers," said one young male vet to me. For older vets, dressing may not be so important but it is still best to create a good first impression. For the lady vet, I noted that half of her left eye is covered by her falling hair, making it distracting to talk to her. She kept sweeping her hair to uncover her eye. Best to get a good hairstyle as clients may only see half of you!

In my surgery, younger vets and interns tend to dress casually. From 2012, I have stopped staff wearing sandals, sneaker, jeans and clogs to work. For those who persists, they will need to work or intern elsewhere. First impressions still count in a professional practice. Uniforms are sometimes used to ensure that the staff dress appropriately and create a good impression in some vet practices to resolve this tendency of the young to dress casually. I may implement this dress code.

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