Have you ever walked into complete chaos? Have you ever been in such shock that you just freeze?
Well, this is exactly what happened when I walked into my first day as an intern in Audubon’s Raptor Trauma Clinic. I arrived with an open mind and ready to learn. Baby season was in full swing on my first day, and there were so many birds in the clinic that almost every cage was occupied. The volunteers were holding birds, feeding them, and administering their medications all around the clinic. I felt so helpless and like I was standing in a hurricane too shocked to move.
I began to learn in the midst of the chaos how to safely hold the birds, how to feed, administer fluids and medications, clean and set up the kennels, and so much more. My head spun with all of this information and all of the activity. Not only were there so many birds already in the clinic as patients, there were more baby birds arriving daily. It seemed like I would never be able to catch on to how things worked in the clinic with the patient count continuing to climb.
As the days passed, I became more comfortable with how things operated and was able to assist the volunteers and technicians in the clinic without feeling so helpless. I was able to hold the birds, feed and administer the medications. Baby season unleashed chaos that I had no idea existed. I was warned before starting the internship that it would be crazy, but nothing can prepare you for baby season until you experience it in person!
Since that crazy start I have become much more comfortable in the skills needed in the clinic. I am comfortable with grabbing birds from their cages and able to feed and administer their oral medications like a pro. I have learned to perform diagnostics such as fecal tests that look for intestinal parasites and bloodwork that looks for infections.
Baby season taught me how to act quickly on my feet and apply the skills I have learned in the clinic and take action. I plan to use these skills to apply to vet school and help future classmates learn how to care for the birds in our exotics rotation. I would highly recommend this internship to others because it is so hands on; there are so many great things to learn that a student could never learn except if we were already in vet school.
If you are interested in applying as an Intern, Audubon is currently recruiting for our fall internship to begin September 1. Please visit our website to apply.