Friday, July 10, 2009

VetSim - Day 4

The rest of the Marine Mammal Medic Course was today - the practical part.
Me, Chris and Jen were all in different groups today, but it was fine. I started off with the dolphin.
We talked a bit about the situation, what to check for and signs to look out for. We put some KY jelly over its eyes to keep them moist, put a sheet over it to protect it from the sun and then started to lift it. We rolled up the tarpaulin on one side, rolled the dolphin and slid the tarp underneath, we rolled the dolphin back and pulled the tarp out from underneath so the model dolphin was in the middle of the tarp and all lifted together.
I lay down on the tarp and people lifted me and walked a little bit to simulate walking to the sea ready to be refloated.
After the dolphin was the seal. Seals don't need KY Jelly on their eyes, or a cloth, but you walk up along the side of the seal with a towel and in one go you have to jump on its back, cover its head with the towel and hold its neck down so it can't bite you. Then you have to check it for lesions on its flippers, checks its mouth and eyes and then we lifted it. It had a knack to it and the seal was really heavy - I can imagine it being really hard with a live seal as it would be trying to wriggle out and bite you.
Next and last was the whale. The situation was that the whale had been stranded on the beach and we'd been given permission from the vet to refloat it. We had to do similar to the dolphin, and roll up the pontoon, roll the whale and put the pontoon under the whale and take it out from the other side. Next the pontoon sheet is clipped onto the floats of the pontoon and the pontoon is inflated with compressed gas. It needs to be done slowly as not to alarm the whale. A female sitting next to the head of the whale is meant to be calming for the whale aswell.
After it was all inflated, we lifted the whale. We took it all apart and did the same thing again without the instructors telling us what to do, to check that we all knew what we were doing.
We left Nottingham just after one o'clock and got back at around half past two.

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