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Published: 21 February 2019

Benefiting from time out in practice

Fifth year vet student, Siobhan Holden, talks about the benefits of Surrey’s ‘hands-on’ approach veterinary education and training.

 

Being out on clinical training placements in year five of the course and working as part of a busy veterinary practice team, has taught me a number of valuable lessons, which go well beyond the skills and knowledge required to become a vet. 

Firstly, I’ve really understood the importance of a good nursing team within a practice; the value of spending time with them and really getting to know them.

Experienced nurses teach important practical skills and are constantly providing advice and guidance to ensure that things run smoothly, all of which will be important in our future careers. One thing that I was worried about was not having the skills needed to handle a consult, but the nursing team have all been understanding, patient, and happy to show me the ropes. It’s also important to be able to talk about things outside the workplace; it makes the day far less tiring! 

"I’ve been surprised by how much our dedicated Clinical Instruction Mentors (CIM) in each practice we visit, genuinely want us to do well."

Siobhan Holder

I’ve been surprised by how much our dedicated Clinical Instruction Mentors (CIM) in each practice we visit, genuinely want us to do well; if I wasn’t scoring particularly highly in one area, I have been given the chance to try again. Practice really does make perfect! 

The weekly feedback sessions scheduled into the fifth year of the course have allowed us to focus on areas which could do with improvement, particularly in larger practices where there are CIM mentors who may not know our individual skill-sets initially.

Our tutors at Surrey have also provided support where it is required, and friends and family have been really important during the many highs and lows.

Keeping up a social life outside of clinical training placements in year five has helped me to switch off; which is important. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been amazing! I feel like we are being extremely well prepared for life outside of vet school.

Finally, I’ve realised I’m never going to know everything no matter what area of veterinary medicine I go into. People (and sometimes animals!) will always surprise you, and that is okay.

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