Ok, so what else should you do to prepare for your first day of work? There are SO many things...I know.
So guys, to start...did you see our post about Monica's book a.k.a. "the holy grail" she created? If you did not, swing back to read @vetsontherise Instagram post from 7/2/20. You won't regret it!
Prior to Monica's first day as a vet, she began preparing for cases by creating a notebook outlining common cases seen in general practice and corresponding doses, tips, client communication points, etc. to help as a guide when needed. She also put a cheat sheet section in the front with shock fluid boluses, a quick dextrose CRI calculation, emergency drug doses, etc. to have them all in one easy place. This strategy makes for a great, quick reference that you can always have by your side.
How do you create your own holy grail? Start by devoting a few pages to each specific case. As you go along, write in any tips you get from more experienced vet friends. Over time, you can put in specific cases you managed in there as well as any other tips you learn as you become more experienced. Having this quick reference by your side can make all the difference on a busy day.
Guys, the advice doesn't stop here! People always say that "first impressions matter," so listen up. Before entering an exam room, make sure to look up the pet's name, sex, gender, and owner's name. Walk into that exam room with confidence, introduce yourself, and use their name plus the pet's name. This means SO much to the owner, and who cares if you butcher their last name. I am sure you are not the first to do it.
This little tip goes a LONG way. As you are out in practice longer, make sure to look back and see if you have met them before. We always put some notes in the history or behavior section to remind us later. If you can remember information they told you last time, it is great to bring it up again. They may have told you about their daughter in college or where they were originally from. If you bring up these past conversations, you will see their face light up, and it shows just how much you care. It really stinks when you re-introduce yourself to the same owner, so remembering to look back will help you when you are busy seeing clients every thirty minutes.
Lastly, always peruse the patient history so that you can familiarize yourself with your patient. It allows you to enter the room prepared. You can ask the owner about their Boston Terrier Bruno and if he recovered ok from his HGE episode last month. Then, point out to them that you noticed the mass on his left hip has gotten bigger from last year. It always helped us to feel a little more confident in the beginning because you can also see that the patient had a heart murmur, for example, and be on the look-out for it.
These pro-tips go a LONG way. The little things are what make your new client trust you. It will set you apart immediately from others because you are attentive, engaging, and thorough. Now, go get 'em :)