Stepping out into the real world

Third quarter has turned out to be the quarter of miscellaneous things, and I mean that in a good way!  In addition to our regular classes, in third quarter we take a CPR course (part of Emergency Procedures) and also go to one of Palmer’s Outreach Clinics to do our first “rounds” (part of our Chiropractic Clinical Evaluation I). Rounds turned out to be a pretty interesting experience, and definitely something to look forward to.

I was in the first group from my class to go to Rounds, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect; all I knew was that we were going to a homeless shelter and would be helping out with taking vitals before the patients saw the student interns for a chiropractic adjustment.  It turned out to be a really valuable and interesting experience, as it was one of my first experiences working with real people (instead of my classmates).  I saw four patients and took their blood pressure and temperature, then performed a few general hearing tests and also tested their vision.  I probably spent about 20 minutes with each patient and the questions they asked really validated some of the points I was learning. One patient and I talked about hearing via bone conduction and how that can differ from air conduction, why that matters, and what it means.  In turn, I learned the turning fork I was using to perform the test is the same type that’s used by some musicians, and it’s in the key of C (fun fact!). One patient had blood pressure that was on the higher side, and was really interested to know what all the numbers meant and what he could do to help make them lower.

Although at first, I was a little concerned about how this extra assignment was going to fit into the busy first couple weeks of the new quarter, I’m really glad it was set up as part of the course. All the patients at the clinic were really nice and appreciated the service we were providing.  For some of these folks, it may be the only health screening they have this year, so it was important to be accurate.  For me, it was a great opportunity to talk about what I was learning with patients and also really helped me get my clinical skills in order.

– Jennifer Nolan, West Campus

Remember: always take time to step back and enjoy the ride

Where has the time gone?

As I sit down to write this, I think about where the time has gone since I started at Palmer. I am almost done with my 6th quarter, just completed national boards, and gearing up for finals. I rarely take time to step back and look at all the time that has passed, all the exams I’ve crammed for, and all the memories I’ve made with my new friends. School has a way of doing that to you; it makes you focus on the moment, on cramming for the five tests you have that week, and not giving you much of a chance to look ahead. Before you know it, another set of midterms have passed and another quarter has come to an end. There are definitely times when I appreciate how fast the time flies by, but then there are others where I would like to just slam on the brakes and take this experience for what it is; a time where my friends will soon be my colleagues, where reading for pleasure happens only about twice a quarter, and making it to Friday without pulling an “all nighter” means it was a good week. Chiropractic school has a way of sucking you in; sometimes taking your focus off the big picture so you can make it just one more day. But, taking the time to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see that you will be a health professional who will be positively changing lives on a daily basis without drugs and with just the use of your hands is an important thing to always remember. I constantly remind myself that this is just school, the real reward comes when I graduate and get the opportunity to better the lives of those who come to see me.

Ajay Iselin – West Campus

7th tri and seeing patients!

I am currently in 7th trimester and seeing patients in the student clinic! It is so amazing to finally get to practice and apply everything that we’ve learned for the last two years. Seeing results in my patients structure, function and overall health is what chiropractic is all about, and it feels so great to start positively influencing lives!

I will be thrilled to open my own practice after graduation and reach as many people in my community as possible with chiropractic. With that being said, I have much to improve upon, and the next year will be crucial in my growth and development into the best chiropractor I can be. I am so excited for my future as a chiropractor!

– Lacey Pletchette, 7th tri, Davenport Campus

I am SO stressed! But that’s okay

Hello! My name is Courtenay, and I am almost halfway through my sixth quarter here at Palmer’s West Campus. Man, am I stressed! Midterms are hitting full force, and so is the realization that Part I boards are right around the corner (end of the quarter with finals). Trying to balance school, friends and health can be challenging, especially in times like these. However, the great thing about my class is that we are all in this together, and everyone is so supportive! It makes the endless hours of studying seem not THAT bad.

The deeper I get into the curriculum, the more I get to learn adjustments and the better I get at them–so that is honestly what is getting me through right now. Regardless of how much studying I have to do, exams I have coming up, or the fact I need a nap SO bad doesn’t deter me from practicing my adjusting skills every chance I get. Seven more quarters to go, but who’s counting right?

Those who can, teach

At Palmer, we have some truly amazing faculty. Many of these teachers are chiropractors (who also have their own chiropractic practices on the side) and give of their time so freely. They live and breathe chiropractic to their core and have so much knowledge, passion and philosophy to pass on to us students.

Just in the past week, I heard the “student favorite” Dr. Burns speak in pediatrics club about SIDS and the numerous research studies showing that nearly all babies dying from SIDS had atlanto-occipical subluxations such as an “AS occiput” causing upper cervical cord pressure. I also had numerous 1-on-1 conversations with technique professors regarding clinical situations and adjusting procedures. I couldn’t ask for better faculty-student relationships than I’ve had here at Palmer.

– Lacey

Half-way there and almost in clinic

I am currently in 6th trimester and so excited for what lies ahead in my remaining year and a half at Palmer. I completed my first observations in the Palmer student clinic the other day and got a good taste for what my own clinic experience will be like. I can’t wait to have patients of my own and begin using all of the skills and techniques I’ve accumulated along the way.

I am currently in two technique classes, thoraco-lumbar and pelvic. Therefore, after this trimester, I will have officially learned the entire spine, which is so exciting! So upon entering the clinic in 7th trimester, the only technique class left to take is extremities. The progression of technique classes is very logical, and I love how we now get to start getting hands on in 2nd trimester.

My Palmer career is about to change … clinic!

As I lay in bed tonight, I feel a combination of excitement, nervousness and pure joy. I’m in 7th trimester, and my Palmer career is about to change tomorrow … we have our clinic induction ceremony at 2:50 p.m., and next week we start seeing patients in the Campus Health Center (CHC)! Wow, what an amazing feeling.

I have my outfit all laid out for tomorrow–I decided against a dress and am going with black pants instead. Haha, a few of the girls and I in my class were discussing what to wear to it today!

It is going to be held at Vickie Anne Palmer Hall, where Spizz Night and graduations are held, as well. I know of some classmates who have family coming to watch us be inducted, handed our white coats for clinic and our clinic badges on stage. My family members, however, are not attending this time because the closest one is 12 hours away. Hopefully they can come see us graduate in a year and four months instead.

This week was packed full of observing 8th trimester students in the CHC, a clinical psychology exam, a YMCA Christmas Family fundraiser, a spinography quiz, radiology set-ups, learning how to adjust wrists and deal with carpal tunnel, my roommate’s birthday celebration, yoga, my first adjustment and getting adjusted, making butternut squash soup, and learning how to tell what kind of anemia a patient has from blood work! (Haha, in no particular order.) I can say that my Palmer planner from the Bookstore is definitely keeping me grounded this week and able to sort everything out! Phew.

Seventh trimester is interesting because it is like two different worlds. We still have class from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a couple breaks, then clinic in the evenings. We really only are required to be in the clinic two hours in the evening per week, but we are encouraged, and most interns spend more evenings than one in the CHC to pick up patients, gain experience, do paperwork, familiarize themselves with the computer systems and get to know their staff doctors. I really appreciate the help from the 8th trimester students who have held my hand so far and showed me the ropes. I want to pay it forward and help those 6th tri students next trimester when they feel as confused as I did/do (though I must say, things really advanced and made connections in my mind today 🙂 Yay! ) upon entering clinic in 7th tri.

– Kaileigh Strath

Oh, what a tri … I’m in clinic!

Ok, it’s been a couple weeks into the trimester, and I am here to tell you that 8th trimester is where it’s at. After seven trimesters of fairly grueling academic loads, I have been blessed with what is shaping up to be my most favorite trimester so far.

Why do I sing the praises of 8th trimester you ask? Well, let me share with you why I love it so. I now have one trimester in the clinic system down and am feeling a lot more comfortable with seeing patients and working with the clinic paperwork. And now that my nerves are a little more calm, I enjoy clinic more and feel that I am better able to serve my patients more completely.

I can also tell you that my excitement to move over to the Academic Health Center (AHC) is building. I really look forward to being able to interact with patients from the local community. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot yet to be done before graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything). I am starting to prepare for the remaining parts of boards and spending a lot more time in the clinic. And, yes, I can’t believe how fast my time here at Palmer has gone by. When you start here, you will here that A LOT and will think that everyone telling you that is slightly off their rockers. But before you know it, you will be starting 8th trimester and reveling in the excitement just as I am.

If you have any questions about Palmer and life as a student here, feel free to contact me via email at matt.sharples@palmer.edu. I hope you are having a great day and wish you the best in furthering your chiropractic aspirations.

Hopefully I’ll see you on campus before October 18, 2012. 🙂

– Matt Sharpels

Clinic Abroad: A world apart in many ways

While on my Clinic Abroad trip to Salvador, Brazil, we spent five days in a make-shift clinic at a hospital. The first day and a half were slow. Mid-day the first day, two news crews came and talked to the lead doctors. We ended up on Brazil’s news. The clips aired on our second day over the lunch hour. The clinic was super busy from then on. When we arrived at the clinic each day thereafter, there were usually 50-100 people waiting for us.

We all got to see many patients with many different conditions. I learned how to read spinal MRIs quite well.

Many people in Salvador had hypertension. It was a common condition to people of all ages. It was fun to adjust different people in many different ways. The hardest part of the clinic experience was getting the patients to relax. They didn’t quite understand what they were supposed to do.

There were people of all ages with different conditions in clinic so we were able to learn about many conditions. The elderly all had osteoporosis, so I mainly used activator and drops on those patients.

The doctors on the trip were also good at showing new or different techniques to help the patient in different ways based on their condition or different ways they could be placed.

– Christa Scheffler

Passed Boards and heading to the clinic!

November brings the beginning of a new trimester.  I am now in 8th tri and am thinking I will really enjoy this trimester.  With 8th tri, the class load is decreased so that we can spend more time in the clinics treating patients.  It is going to be really nice to be able to spend more time in the clinic versus the classroom!!

In December we will be allowed to apply for clearance to the AHC (Academic Health Center), meaning that seeing outpatients from the community is not too far away.  I can’t wait!! Also, all the classes this trimester have a practical application to real life practice, which makes them a lot more interesting and easy to pay attention to.

Also, a big weight was lifted off my shoulders two weeks ago when I got my Part II National Boards scores back and passed all of the sections!  That means two parts down and two more boards parts to go!! It makes all the stress and hard studying worth it!

Well, I don’t have too much to say since we have only been back in classes a week, but I am very excited to see what this trimester has to offer!

– Stephanie Tronnes, Davenport Campus