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

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

What drives me

Now that I have one full trimester behind me in the Academic Health Center (which houses Palmer’s outpatient clinic), I wanted to share with you what really drives me.

Turn the power on!

Looking back over my academic career here at Palmer, I’d love to tell you that the purpose and drive that brought me here has always remained at the forefront of my focus. But the reality is that there were more than a few points along the path that I found myself derailed if you will. If you want more on those derailment details feel free to ask when you come to campus for your visit (I’m a Campus Guide). But let’s get back to the topic of this blog post.

Having been in the Academic Health Center now for a trimester and starting to feel more comfortable with seeing patients from the community, I can tell you that I have been reinvigorated with a passion to help those around me understand the power of chiropractic. I want everyone to know how it can help them to have a nervous system that is functioning at its peek and thus filling their entire bodies with life enhancing energy and wellness. When I see that light come on, even a little, I know that I am fulfilling my mission in life. I am so thankful to Dr. Scott Frogley of Integrated Wellness for helping to open up my eyes to the power of chiropractic.

So when you get here to Davenport (or to San Jose or Port Orange) and start your Palmer journey, don’t lose site of what drives you. Stay true to your passion, hang in there and go out to change the world one adjustment at a time.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Let me offer you some advice …

Wow, how time flies. I just finished 8th trimester, and as I write this, I only have two trimesters left as a Palmer student before I venture out into the real world once again.

So you are reading this and probably think that I just want to brag about where I am and that the road ahead looks so very daunting for you, but honestly that is not the case. It really doesn’t seem that long ago when I was in your very shoes thinking to myself that I will never graduate from Palmer. Well, rest assured, many have done it before you and many will do it after you are sitting right where I am.

I think the best advice that I can give to you is to follow your heart and your passion. Palmer is a great chiropractic college, and I love it with all my heart. But it is not for every single individual desiring to become a chiropractor. I would advise you to trust your gut. I didn’t need to visit every school before I knew where I was to go for my education. I visited Palmer in March of 2010 and knew before I left that it was the perfect fit for me. I would recommend that you start with a visit to Palmer, since we are the Fountainhead of chiropractic and where it all began. We are rich in history and tradition, but we are also preparing for the future of our profession. The college is actively making changes to ensure that they offer the best education for the student body and producing the best chiropractors out there.

If you come to Palmer and don’t feel the immediate click that I did, then look at other colleges. The road to becoming a chiropractor is a long and challenging one, but it is very rewarding. My time here at Palmer has flown by, and I say that with all seriousness.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, feel free to contact me. And if you find yourself in the Quad Cities anytime soon, drop by the college and lets get you adjusted in the Academic Health Center.

Have a great day and best of luck in your future chiropractic endeavors.

-Matt Sharples, 9th Tri, Davenport Campus

‘Adjusting’ to clinic

Hello, everyone! I am not new to Palmer, but I am new to blogging so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brittany Garcia, and I am a tenth quarter student at the Florida Campus. I am a little less than one year from graduating—it’s so crazy (and amazing) to think that I am graduating THIS year! The past nine quarters went by so quickly, and I can only imagine the next year will pass by even more rapidly. Up until this point at Palmer, I have spent most of my time in class, which means I have done a lot of studying and exam taking (a necessary evil). Now, as a tenth quarter student, I have made the transition from the classroom to the clinic. It was five weeks ago today that I started working at the student outpatient clinic and treating people from the community.

My new role at Palmer as a student intern has been full of highs and lows. On a positive note, I already have nine outpatients! Some of them got passed to me from students who are graduating, some I recruited from the community, and one of them was given to me as a lottery patient who called in to receive care. Even though I am starting to accumulate patients now and becoming busier, the first few weeks were quite slow—as they are for most new interns.

Last quarter I began the transition by treating student in the clinic. I had already been adjusting in class for over a year at that point, so this transitional period was necessary to gain familiarity with electronic health records, exam forms and clinic protocols. The time I spent in the clinic in ninth quarter gave me the experience I needed to feel confident when working with outpatients. I felt a little nervous during my first new patient exam and adjustment, because it was the first time that there was a real person in front of me, with pain, who wasn’t a student, and I was expected to help make them well?! Of course there were a few hiccups—I would be lying if I said otherwise—but my first exam and adjustment went pretty well. It helped that I had another student in the exam room helping me along way. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that with every patient I become more efficient, and my confidence in examining, diagnosing, and treating goes up little by little.

I have a lot going on this quarter (as I do with most quarters), so I am really excited to be able to share my experiences with you all. There will be many interesting blogs to look forward to from me in the coming weeks. I am currently studying to take my Part II and III National Boards, as well as preparing to travel to India in March for a Clinic Abroad trip through Palmer!

Stay tuned,

Brittany

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.

Toggle Recoil … toggle-like?

Another holiday break came around. It is kind of crazy the time that is flying by. I am currently in Toggle Recoil Technique class, and within the next year I will have taken the rest of the technique classes that will be the foundation of my whole future!

Toggle Recoil Technique is viewed by some as an old and outdated technique that we are only taught because of the historical significance not only to our school, but to the whole world! I have had some students from other chiropractic schools ask me if we were taught Toggle Recoil, and I would reply that it is a required class for everyone who passes through our program and graduates from Palmer. Their replies have always been almost apologetic.

From my point of view, I feel apologetic towards them because they are not being taught a technique that is rooted in the history of Chiropractic–one that is backed-up with lengthy research projects that were performed within the same clinic space where we have our first clinic experience during 7th trimester.

It is true that we are not suppose to live in the past or to hold onto events from the past as if they are everything and “it.”  However, we are to revere events of the past and, as we embrace significant moments, we are to build upon them and to improve upon them to better society as a whole.

An interesting experience for me took place in the student clinic the other day (where the B.J. Palmer Clinic was). The Clinic doctor was trying to instruct the students in some hands-on training, and he stated that the thrust should be a “toggle-like” thrust. How often do we actually go through a class or an experience in life that at the moment we feel it is a waste of time, skill, money, etc.? On the flip-side, we need to look into these experiences with more long-term-vision spectacles to see how these can benefit our lives as well as those we will help heal themselves through not only our chiropractic care that we will offer, but also the healing as we take time to hear and communicate with our patients! (And please do not take this as something I have mastered … I am yet a peon in this aspect of enJOYing life.)

-Anton

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

7th tri, check! Reflections on my first two years

Looking back on the last two years of Chiropractic school, I can see how far my classmates and I have come. At the beginning of 7th trimester when I was entering clinic, I could see how much further I still had to go. However, with 7th trimester now almost behind, I can wipe my brow and say, “I did it.”

Of all of the trimesters 1st and 7th are perhaps the most daunting. In first trimester you are wondering not only if you can do it, but if you can put forth the effort for three years. Then in 7th trimester, as you are asked to go from student to clinician, you ask yourself again, “Can I do this?” It’s a big leap from student to intern, from regurgitating information to critical thinking. At the beginning of 6th trimester if you had asked me if I was ready for clinic I would have said, “No way! I don’t know anything yet.” However, in those short four months I feel like I went through a metamorphosis and changed from just a student to a student doctor.

The same thing happened again during 7th trimester. I entered into it with doubt and excitement. Now that its almost over, I realize that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I was prepared. I just needed to learn to trust in what I had learned in my classes, apply it and have confidence in myself. After all, the root word of education is educere, which means “to draw forth from within.” For success in the clinic, let go of some of that learned knowledge and let your intuition guide you.

It’s amazing to reflect back on the last two years of school. I came to Palmer without a science background. First trimester was like traveling to a different country. I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know the people, and finding my way around was somewhat difficult. However, now that I am two years into the program with graduation on the horizon, I can’t believe the progress that I have made towards being a doctor of Chiropractic. So what do I know now that I wish I would’ve known then?

I can still remember 1st tri. It was overwhelming, and it took all I had just to keep up with my class load. Every week I would say, “I’ll go to club this week” or “that seminar sounds like fun.” However, I chose to stay focused on school. Now I wish I would have gone to more clubs and invested more time into trying out different techniques. I shyed away from technique clubs because I wanted to wait to learn a technique in the technique classes within our curriculum. I didn’t want to learn them wrong and then have to unlearn them. However, now that I am an upper tri student, I find it hard to make it to clubs due to other obligations. So now I feel as if I’ve missed a great opportunity to take advantage of the some of the extra things that Palmer offers.

On the other hand, I have taken three of the technique electives. Now I run into the challenge of choosing between techniques in the clinic. I also have the challenge of not only practicing and becoming proficient with Palmer Package, but also with the three other techniques that I have taken. Sometimes I wonder if I have spread myself too thin, but then I remember that education is a lifelong process. Once I leave Palmer I’ll be glad that I took these electives because I’ll have the rest of my life to become proficient at them. Learning does not stop the day you walk across the stage and receive your diploma. It really just begins. As inhabitants of the earth, we are life-long students. There is always something new to learn.

Even though I’m not completely through the program yet (only a year to go!), it’s been fun to reflect back on the last two years. I encourage you to do the same because no matter where you are at in the curriculum, it will surprise you how far you have come along.

– Annie Bernstein (Editor, The Beacon student newspaper)

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