My internship started on the first day after I returned from diving.
Internship this year is divided into two semesters. Each semester has six sessions, and each of them lasts for a month. The first session of the internship is small animal surgery, followed by autopsy, small animal internal medicine, economic animal and hospitalized animal, elective subjects, and lastly by clinical pathology and imaging diagnosis.
Our work in the small animal surgery department was divided into two parts, which were outpatient clinic consultation and assisting during operations. Students’ roles were assigned the night before. For the consultations in the outpatient department, students were required to know the basic information and conditions of the animals including the heartbeat and respiration rates, body temperatures, weights, as well as physical examinations, including checking their lymph nodes, ears, and skins. Regarding assisting in the operations, we had to contact the doctor the night before the operations to discuss the operation methods and dissection diagrams and drew them on the whiteboard in the operating room in the morning. We then acted as assistants during the operations and tracked the animals’ postoperative conditions by phone after the operations, etc. The first day of surgery started at 8:30 am and I left the hospital at 11 pm. Physical strength is my biggest challenge in this department.
We had to change our shoes to enter the surgical preparation room and the operating room. This is a very important rule.
Dissection diagrams that were drawn by the medical interns.
Being familiar with the machines in the operating room is one of the most important parts of the small animal surgery department.
An externship experience in the summer vacation before promotion to the fourth year is mandatory for vet students in NTU. While the plan in getting an externship in a veterinary hospital in the USA was upset by the epidemic all of a sudden, I had no choice but to stay in Taiwan to find a new one. Unexpectedly, this summer holiday turned out to become my most unforgettable one!
In the entire August, I worked for the Animal Disease Control Department, which is mainly responsible for inspection and prevention of animal as well as zoonotic infectious disease, and animal protection subjects. It is divided into 4 units, the first, second and third units are for controlling diseases related to pigs, aquatic animals and ruminants which consist of half of the externship time. In these units, we needed to go to various farms to draw blood from pigs, cows, goats, and chickens. I found out that species really make a huge difference. For me, cows are the easiest to draw blood from their blood vessels that I succeed every time. Even though chicken has got prominent blood vessels, they are the hardest since the vessels are so small that requires great stability in controlling such that the needle could be able to remain inside the vessel. Above all, it is simply fantastic to enjoy the astonishing views in Taitung while travelling to the farms, which just make the entire trip awesome!
The second half of the externship is working in the 4th unit, which is an animal shelter. At here, the only goal is to be able to carry out the entire ovariohysterectomy surgery (OHE) for the dogs on our own. To be honest, we would never have the chance to take part in an operation in Taipei, so this is the part that I was most looking forward to (also the part that I did learn the most) in this externship! At the start, we learnt the basic concepts, procedures, anatomy and how to suture from the vet. By the second time we got to the shelter, we had to really suture the real muscle of the dog! I could still clearly remember the soaring epinephrine and tremble in my hands. How nervous I was in my first trial! I was so afraid that I was going to ruin the life of this poor doggie… Still, practice makes perfect. As more practices went on, the parts that we could be in charge of increased and I also gradually started to master the rhythm of the surgery, hence eventually the situation improved a lot. Now, I could finally get in charge of the entire OHE process. I really feel like I have grown up a lot.
（my very first suture experience in the dog!）
I would like to express my gratitude for the patience and encouragement from the vets, warmth from the Taitung citizen and sacrifice of animals for sake of disease control. I learnt so much here and I know that all those memories would last ever in my mind!
I attended a seminar in Chiayi regarding dairy farmers. It was a 3-day trip involving lectures such as challenges faced by the farmers, the history of the development of dairy farming in Taiwan, and a visit to a dairy farm in Chiayi. From the seminar, I learnt that it is really challenging to be a dairy farmer with a stable income, because there are a lot of criteria to be met for the quality of the milk supplied in every collection, such as colour, smell, taste, bacterial count and many other requirements. And if any of the requirements are not met, there will be a penalty in the selling price of the milk, seriously affecting the income of the farmers. At the end of the seminar, we were given a few books regarding diseases of cattle, and many of them were not even mentioned in the course of my ruminant disease, so they will be very useful in my preparation for the national exam.