A ‘Disasterous’ Valentine’s Day

Each year, Texas A&M University hosts the nation’s largest student-led interprofessional emergency response simulation, known as Disaster Day.

 

This event allows students from the colleges of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacy, Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine to

collaborate with the Corps of Cadets and the Texas State Guard to practice emergency response on a grand scale.

This year (on Friday, Feb. 14) was my second time attending Disaster Day.

Each year, there is a unique catastrophe presented for students to manage.

 

This year’s simulation was an earthquake that resulted in
building collapses and a train derailment; last year’s event was a research plant explosion that devastated the entire
neighborhood.

 

With actors covered in makeup and bandages, as well as first responders, hard-hats, and mock animal cases, this “disaster” teaches students the appropriate response skills needed for

such situations and allows them to learn the interprofessional channels of communication required when an entire community is affected by crisis.

The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) provides some of their actual medical response units for day. These trucks are outfitted with medical equipment and supplies needed for stabilizing and treating animals in the field during a

crisis.

During Disaster Day, we had to triage animal cases according
to the severity of their wounds or diseases and then chose
treatment plans according to what supplies we had on hand. Sometimes these animals had diseases that were transmissible
to humans, requiring us to collaborate with the human medical 
doctors and public health
officials on the proper containment protocols as well as owner education or care.

 

As a third-year veterinary student, I am about to leap into my final clinical year before graduation.

I think it’s invaluable for veterinarians to receive training in emergency response and become better prepared to take leadership roles in the community when the unexpected happens.

 

Events like Disaster Day are fun and exciting ways for me to apply my knowledge and feel equipped to serve my community when it needs me most.

Thinking about Love on Valentine’s Day

Brandi M.Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone with a significant other is having a wonderful day and is taking time to cherish the person with whom they’ve decided to celebrate. As for the single ones (i.e. me), I hope you are also enjoying the day biding time for all the Valentine’s chocolate to go on sale later tonight.

I find it funny that popular opinions on Valentine’s Day are on opposites sides of the spectrum—the die-hard lovebirds and the nonconforming denouncers of the day. I think when I was younger I was more in the anti-Valentine’s group due to my lack of significant other. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that love and commitment aren’t things limited to just romantic relationships.

More recent conversations that I’ve had with my parents have shown me the extent to which they have gone to help me achieve my goals. They pushed me to do my best in school from an early age, encouraged my quirky interests in animal behavior or cellular processes, and supported me whole-heartedly in every way they could when I truly began pursuing veterinary school once I graduated high school.

My brothers and I have had countless spats over our lives, but if anyone were to ask if we love each other, the answer would be a resounding yes. Even though they have no interest in the veterinary field, they always offer pep talks when I need one.

My friends are wonderful human beings; they are amazing and precious and deserve all of the good things in the world. All of my friends, both here in College Station/Bryan, as well as around the world, mean so much to me because we’ve put a lot of work into maintaining our relationships, and I know I have an unwavering support system if I ever feel down.

I try to remember to be grateful for all these relationships all the time, but on Valentine’s Day, when everyone’s all aflutter about love and whatnot, I really want to take the time to say I appreciate my people. Without them and the encouragement they have given, and continue to give, I don’t know if I would have achieved as much as I have; I am sure vet school would be approximately 2,500 times more difficult without them.

So in the spirit and love of Valentine’s Day, a pro-tip if you’re aspiring to become a veterinarian: always keep your family and friends close and try to tell them you love them as much as you can, because they’re the people you can always count on to back you up.