Sunday, 11 December 2016

Got to look out for those Trainees

Got to look out for those trainees


We’ve all been there, slightly fresh around the gills some would even say gullible. But we’ve all wanted to prove ourselves at some point or another. However even with all the above it still amazes me the situations we can find ourselves in. 

A few months ago during another really busy day in practice I remember one of the trainees being asked by reception if they could come and help with something. Said trainee dutifully disappeared and I thought no more of it. Until about 15mins had passed and I started thinking ok I hope reception haven’t nabbed her for the whole afternoon. So I thought I would go and investigate and she what they’d roped her into doing.  

I went to the front desk but couldn’t find the trainee, asking at reception if they’d seen her I was told ‘oh yes a client came in asking if she could help get the dog out of the car so I assume she’s still out there’ you assume...ok that bodes well, and she’s out there alone right? None of you thought to check she’s ok considering it’s been 15 mins (most of this is in my head because I know learn quickly in practice).

So I decide to venture outside to check – always a treat for a veterinary nurse. So once outside what do I find, a yellow fiat punto, 3 door (this will make sense in a bit) and the driver’s door open. I see two owners standing watching the front door. As I near the car, I now see the missing trainee. Wow ok. So here’s what I see, let’s call the trainee Kirsty. So Kirsty is in the car, well half in, one leg still out – it’s a 3 door car remember. The driver’s seat has been folded forward and with Kirsty’s body she’s trying to keep it from pinging back. There’s the practice stretcher on the floor by the door and Kirsty is attempting to manhandle a rather large ST BERNARD out of the car on her own whilst the two owners watch on....!!


You can probably picture my face whilst you don’t even know me. I’m astonished and that’s an understatement. The words health and safety keep coming to the front of my brain, but all I can say to Kirsty is ‘How you going there?’ her face is one of relief at seeing me at then probably reflecting on the situation horror ‘not so great’ she replies. I can’t help but say ‘Are you actually trying to get that dog out on your own there? Shall we give her a hand ladies’ I say with a slight urgency to my voice. And here’s the classic client reply ‘Oh we thought she was doing well, she’s really strong.’ OK OK I’m trying not to nervously laugh here and reply with ‘Are you actually kidding me’ but again I keep that in my head. So instead ‘Still, let’s give Kirsty a hand shall we, we don’t want her hurting herself manhandling YOUR pet, do we?’


So rather reluctantly they start to help, but the basic result is me and Kirsty manage to get the fog on the stretcher.... the collapsed dog. Ok well I mean it wasn’t easy, but there are four of us so whilst I’m starting to fear for my own back we should be fine. ‘Ok ladies, shall we each take a corner and get your pet into the practice.’ ‘I can help but my mother can’t she has a bad back.’ Right ok.....! So Kirsty and I and one owner lift the dog. I notice at this point that I’m going backwards, its fine I think as I have the owners help on my end (the heavier rear of the dog just to make clear). Then I notice that the owner has one hand on the she can’t be putting as much effort as my now shaking arms are. ‘I’m going to need you to take some of this weight Mrs .... if we’re going to make it into the clinic today.’ To which she looks at me like I’ve just asked her to lift it on her own, but complies and starts taking some of the weight. We make it into the vets consult room.....just, me and Kirsty still catching our breaths then leave the room.


Kirsty and I have a few moments of reflection, and then I tell her that next time it might be wise to call for more help and please don’t attempt to lift a St Bernard by herself again. ‘We’ve got to look after our trainees’ I say.

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