Friday, January 11, 2008

Practical experience? Who needs that?

There's a highly respected guinea pig organization and animal hospital in the UK that I've heard of from time to time. Never paid much attention, not living in the UK and all that.

Got involved with a troll dance on a guinea pig message board last night with a person who kept insisting that according to the person she most respected, it was NEVER necessary to anesthetize a guinea pig for dental work. Okay, that's just too broad based a statement, delivered with righteous indignation for me to walk away from it. Never? Dental work? Never? Yikes.

She had a few other odd ideas, and kept telling us that things were different in the UK (people in the UK do actually use common veterinary procedures, I'm sure of it), and that we weren't qualified to refute her expert (Okay, maybe I'm not qualified in that I don't have a degree, but I can surely state that anesthesia is common practice here. Right?).

She flounced off a number of times, as trolls are wont to do, and then we started chatting about who this expert was she kept referring to, and by the way, what's a "rodentologist"? I thought it was a British term for an exotics vet with a specialty in rodents.

Uh, no. Someone posted a link to the certification course for rodentologists. (Click on the "Courses" section.)

Quick overview. 18 months of distance learning, no prerequisites necessary, and no animal care, medical, or veterinary experience necessary. Pass a written test at 80% and you're a certified expert. As of June of this year, they've added on additional course requirement. (Thank goodness. Let's hope it includes hands-on experience.) The new course includes three days of hands on internship with the designer of the course at her hospital.

Three days.

Three whole days of hands-on experience. Excellent.

I love this idea of setting up my very own area of expertise, based on my own thirty years of personal experience, developing my own certification course and professional organization, and then certifying others in my own interests. Wow. That's good. From the "Courses" page -- linked on the home page.

Apart from Veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses who's use of training is in conjunction with their existing occupations, qualified BAR students have to date gone on to achieve the following:

. Acquired Positions in veterinary practices, pet shop management and feed supplies stores.
. Free-lance animal care advisors, lecturing to private and state schools, giving demonstrations and forming rodent clinics at veterinary practices and holding advisory clinics at pet shops
. Set up their own rescue, boarding, grooming and health advisory establishments.
. Used their Knowledge to improve and sustain the health and quality of life of their own animals.

After paying for all the courses, get certified and you can work in a feed store. And with a small annual fee, you can have your name listed in their Annual Qualified Rodentologists Register.

Head slowly expanding. Danger of imminent explosion. Help.

Why bother to get an undergraduate degree? Why bother with residencies and graduate studies? Why bother with 24 hour large animal labs (overnight observations of colic and post-surgical cases, etc.)?

I have to set up my own certification house. I do.

The Political Retail Management and Knitting Credential. We can all be Retail-Political-Knittologists. Uh huh.

Problem is, this post is probably going to pull down some crap, because the founder of this rodentology thing is very well respected. No one says boo about her or her Cambridge Cavy Trust. I can't say that I really care, all things being equal. Besides, I need to go get some work done on my own course design.

(Last point. Professional organization: USE CORRECT GRAMMAR. "veterinary nurses who's whose use of" Gah.)


Chris said...

I didn't even know guinea pigs needed dental work, and I live with two of them. Guess I better sign up for that course ASAP, huh?

Suisan said...

Normally they don't. Teeth get ground down with lots of hay.

But, assuming your pig has some sort of dental issue, a malocclusion or a broken tooth, or an abscess or something, wouldn't you want to have the vet consider use anesthesia? I would.

But if you're seeing a rodentologist, well, then. They can't prescribe or administer medications, but they can file down edges and spurs on teeth. Excellent. Goodie.

Sorry, need to get back to my course design. Should it be only one year or perhaps two? Monthly semesters? Quarters? So many decisions.

Doug said...

And I need to open my own course for licensed Cerumenologists. We need an army of qualified Cerumenologists to fight back against all those ear candlers! And to keep people's ears clean, so that I don't have to, and I can actually start seeing patients for whom I get to use my brain.

Robin said...

Although this doesn't surprise me considering that many people still think it's sufficient to have a vet with maybe a couple hours of dental experience in vet school float a horse's teeth by way of actual dental care.

I knew one vet who adamantly refused to refer his clients to an equine dentist, despite the fact that he didn't even LIKE floating teeth, let alone that it's a crappy way to maintain equine dental care.

So, uh, yeah, not real surprising about the Rodentologist certification.

Suisan said...

Hi Robin!

Yeah, and when the horse has excellent dental care, they are more responsive to the bit, have less facial pain, and keep weight on better. But we wouldn't want someone who knows what they are DOING to come in and work on the horse, would we?

We were fortunate that our vets were pretty good at floating, but they were equally happy to refer to a dentist the INSTANT they felt out of their league. Same with farriers and vets. Lots of mutual respect.

I just have a thing about obstinate stupidity. It makes me cray-ay-ayzee when someone says, "Well I don't know what YOU'RE talking about, but I know that I've always done things my way and I will until the day I die. So there."

Want to pick such a person up by his/her neck and swing 'em around the room for a sec.

And then when there's a person creating not only her own certification, but her own professional organization? Seeing red. (Why BOTHER, when there are actual VETERINARIANS who are already doing the job???)

Gah. Whole thing makes me nuts.

(And just to bring plagiarism into it somewhere, turns out the "Rodentology Notes" from the courses are just notes from Veterinary courses that someone xeroxed like fifteen years ago. Which means they are fifteen years out of date.)

Suisan said...

Hi Doug.

Not using your brain much with your patients? That doesn't sound to fulfilling.

Have you survived the storms OK? We lost a huge section of fence, which is making the dog INSANE because he can't just be let out of the back door until we figure out a way to prop up the sections securely.