My equine fellows experience was with the Little Equine Medical Center. I was trained to be an ICU technician. Three other veterinary students (from different schools) also had this summer position. While I had grown up working with horses, I went into this experience with almost no large-animal medical experience. This was not a problem; I was always encouraged to ask questions and was trained one-on-one by the head technician. The staff eased all four of us into the position. We were trained to do many things, including drawing blood, giving medications orally, IV and IM, setting up fluids and performing physical exams. We were given guidance on each of these tasks until we felt comfortable doing them by ourselves. The position also includes tasks such as cleaning and sanitizing the stalls and feeding the patients. We were never working alone, there was always another technician on staff with us. This position was a lot of hard work, but they love it when you ask questions, and you can learn a lot that way. The first 2 weeks were spent entirely in the ICU, while we became comfortable with the position. After that, we spent at least 1 day a week (occasionally 2) in a different area, such as field calls, surgery, or internal medicine. Early on, they asked us what our interests were (for example: surgery, lameness exams, emergency calls etc.) and tried to put us in those areas. There were 3 different shifts, which we all rotated through, typically changing each week. The shifts were: 7am to 3pm, 3pm to 11pm, and 11pm to 7 am. We worked, on average, 5 days a week (occasionally we would work 4 days one week, and 6 days then next).

Littleton, Colorado is a wonderful city, it is less than 30 minutes from both Denver, and the mountains (in opposite directions). I lived in a room just above the clinic, making the commute to work very short. I believe that ordinarily students would share a room with another person (typically a rotating extern) but due to the virus, they did not have externs, and so I had my own room and bathroom (this is not the norm, typically you will share a room and bathroom).

In addition to the great experience while on the job, they also provided 4 labs for us 4 vet students. We were given hands-on experience/training on performing ultrasound, tubing a horse (NG), lameness exam and inserting an IV catheter into the horse’s jugular vein (using sterile technique). All of the doctors, interns and technicians were very nice and answered my many questions.