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

Campus Guide Question of the Month:

What change did you hope to make by joining Campus Guides?

I hoped to change the perspective of some of my peers who only ever see the negative in Palmer. Campus Guides has allowed me to understand our history and appreciate the school more, which allows me to share all the great things about Palmer.

–Brian Hall

I was hoping to help people get real answers about Palmer and chiropractic from student’s point of view. Taking a tour at Palmer is what helped me make up my mind about coming out here instead of going to Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City.

–Ryan Etherton

Each individual personality has the ability to change and benefit a group. By joining Campus Guides, I hoped to add my experiences to the team’s dynamic, help prospective students enjoy their visit, and aid them in making the best decision for them in finding a chiropractic school.

–Jaclyn Andrews

I want to specifically reach out to those prospective students who are deciding if chiropractic is the right choice for their second career. I want to share with them that giving up the job, selling the house, and/or moving their family to Iowa, will be worth it the end when they think of all the lives they will change as a chiropractor.

–Brook Peters

During my Undergraduate Studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho, I was lured (by a tall blonde haired, blue eyed girl- of whom I never dated anyhow) in to a student-lead organization that was in charge of the new student orientation, Student Spirit Events. This luring was at first because of the networking of “future potential” dates, but eventually my drive to help with New Student Orientation came from within myself to help these new students become connected with a “new life” or a “new chapter” in their lives.

 

I brought this same drive with me in to the Campus Guide Organization. I want people to choose to come to Palmer College of Chiropractic. This needs to be their decision and I want to help them in their search to answer questions that they might have. There are always rough times in life and at Palmer this is no different! Every student has moments of “why am I really here?” or “Is this worth it?” At this point the student needs to reflect back at the time when they felt like they needed to be here and when they made the decision to come here. Referring back to these moments can give us the courage and the self-will power that we need to bear another hour, another day, another week until we find that answer once again- “THIS is why I am here!” “THAT is why I am learning these things!” “THIS is why I am becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic!”

 

As an organization, Campus Guides thrives on networking. I love that about this organization. If I do not have an answer, give me some time to write a few emails and to hear back. I will then have a good answer to your question or some good direction on what other students have done or accomplished.

 

Much like at Brigham Young University-Idaho, the vast majority of the student body knows that they are supposed to be here for the continuation of their education and many more need a support group. I want to be one who helps people feel “at home” and to be a support when they need/ want it. That is one great reasons I joined the Campus Guides Organization- to serve my fellowman (woman, too), to “help other people at all times,” and “To Do A Good Turn Daily” (Boy Scouts of America, Scout Oath & Slogan).

–Anton Keller

I wanted to feel the love from leading with service! I believe that energy frequency rises to the person in the room who is giving off the most positive energy. What effect does the collective group of positive guides have? What if a guide has a great feeling after serving and leading a tour and they bring that energy back to their classrooms? What if it lifts all of Palmer’s spirits? You never know how far reaching…

–Kalleigh Strath

I hope to make the student body appreciate more what awesome educational experience Palmer is offering us all. To help keep them focused on the positives and in working together, make better that which makes us feel gloomy sometimes.

–Afua.Adjei-Kwayisi

My goal in joining campus guides was to surround myself with positive productive individuals. By doing this I have grown in so many ways, the friendships we build within Campus Guides provides us with a group of peers in which we can rely on for support and continuous personal growth. I also hoped to get more involved in our Palmer community, which has happened in tenfold, being more involved has allowed me to appreciate Palmer on another level which I would not have seen otherwise.

–Jennifer Katzer

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

 

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?

Eye-opening experience: Clinic Abroad orphanage

Over the October break at the Davenport Campus, I had the opportunity to travel to Salvador, Brazil, for Clinic Abroad. It was nice to spend a few days on the beach upon arrival. But the whole group had a real wake up call on Saturday at the orphanage. The orphanage in Salvador is different than ones I have ever heard about in the USA. The people in the orphanage all have a physical or mental disability, so their parents or guardians just drop them off at the gates to this clinic. The workers take care of the kids for their whole lives pretty much. Most are dropped off as infants or toddlers. The orphanage doesn’t get government assistance, as far as we know, so it is all by donation.

It was great to be able to help all of the kids and adults that don’t get very much attention or personal touch. The whole orphanage was very grateful for our donations and chiropractic care. It was very heartfelt because the kids were all very nice and wanted to help any way they could. It was also noticeable that many of them weren’t getting a personal touch or the attention they wanted and needed. It was a big reminder to everyone of all we can be thankful for in our lives. It was great to have the opportunity to help the kids, who in my opinion, needed the care the most.

– Christa Schefler, Class 132, Davenport Campus

Yes, there IS life outside of school

With the start of the fall trimester I am renewed with a sense of excitement. I will likely lose some hours of sleep, spend many days doing observation and do meticulous calculations, but it will all be worth it. No, I’m not talking about my new classes. It’s prime time deer season here in Iowa!

As students at Palmer, it is very important to remember that there is life outside of school. Yes, it is extremely important to work hard in your classes, and you must make this a priority in your life if you plan on leaving this school prepared to be a great doctor. With that being said, you can’t forget about activities to rejuvenate and energize you for the task at hand. For me, hunting does just the trick.

Iowa has an abundance of public land and waters that are available for anyone to enjoy. As an experienced outdoorsman, please take my word that Iowa has a lot to offer compared to many other places. One of the things I have looked forward to all year was getting out in a stand to hunt the legendary Iowa whitetail with my bow. Now that the rut is about to take off, I am spending as much time as possible in the woods. Although I am going to be driven crazy by a 13 point buck that never seems to come closer than 100 yards, that’s not the real reason I head to to the woods. Hunting is an avenue that allows me to build relationships, explore the state and appreciate nature with all its beauties. Perhaps most importantly, it is a time to reflect.

Getting through Palmer is a journey that undeniably requires a large time commitment, but this fall I will be balancing that with a healthy dose of Mother Nature. I encourage everyone to think about investing time into themselves to make sure that you are more than just a student this trimester. Happy hunting!

-Brian Hall, 4th trimester, Davenport Campus

Finding my path

A year ago, attending Palmer wasn’t even on my radar. I had a successful career as a marketing manager, owned a home outside of beautiful Boulder, Colorado, and was living a life of adventure. I was exactly where society said I should be in my 30’s, well minus the marriage and kids part. You would think that living in such a beautiful place and having a great job would be satisfying enough, but it wasn’t. I felt a lack of purpose during the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m..

I can recall during the interview for my first job out of college how I got the feeling that the business world just wasn’t “it” for me, but student loans needed to be paid, and after I had just invested $20,000 in my education, it was time for a payoff. So for nine years I pursued marketing, knowing every day that marketing just wasn’t what I wanted to do. One would look at this scenario and tell me to just make a switch to something else. The problem is that I didn’t know what that “something else” was.

I looked at teaching, human resources and physical therapy. Yet, none of these felt like they were right. Then last summer I decided enough was enough and made a visit to a career counselor. It was through my visits with the career counselor, conversations with my best friend (a 6th tri student) and visits to my chiropractor that I decided becoming a chiropractor was the path I should pursue.

Why chiropractic? I’ve always had a desire to help people; to have a skill that will make a difference. Chiropractic gives me the ability to help people tap into their body’s innate ability to heal, with just my two hands. I can by no means heal someone, but I can aid him or her in achieving wellness. I can’t think of better way to spend my 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After finishing my first trimester at Palmer, I believe now, more than ever, that becoming a chiropractor is my “it.”  The search is over. I’m on the path I was meant to be on. Oddly enough, it was well worth the wait, and the risk.

Start of Seventh Trimester!

Today is Friday … ahhh Friday. I am sitting in the third floor library after finishing extremities class with Dr. Lipes. The first week is complete, and it went pretty well. I feel a sense of wonder as the new tri starts because I am excited to see what seventh trimester and entering clinic in a few weeks will bring about. I have been warned by many upper tri students and teachers to get organized and stay on top of things this trimester as early as possible, because it ends up being a busy one. It will be a challenge to our time management skills, just like first trimester was.

I was sitting in Visceral Diagnosis class with Dr. Tatum today, and my mind wandered for a second (ok, more than a second), and I was thinking about how much this trimester feels like first again to me. The key is having the right focus and mental attitude that it can be done and that this is where I want to be. The focus is on Palmer. The focus is with my teachers in every class. The focus is with each patient as I enter the clinic room with them.

This trimester, I want to learn as much as I can and really dive into adjusting skills. We clear for the clinic on November 30, 2012, when we have our Clinic Induction Ceremony in the afternoon. There are a few observations and assignments we have to accomplish before we can start seeing patients. We also get to do a complete work up and adjust a classmate before we see any patients in the lower trimesters. This is nice because we can be understanding of each other and forgiving if someone is slow or does tests in an inefficient order. We can use this time to help each other out. During Clinical Methods class yesterday, we had a tour of the Campus Health Center with Dr. McConnell. Even though I have been in the clinic several times as a patient, it felt different this time. I was on the other side now. Dr. McConnell encouraged us to take the opportunity and learn from the other doctors in the CHC if one arises. There will be more variety that way and more learning because every chiropractor is unique.

I just purchased a Palmer Planner from the Bookstore and a clinic planner from the Vet’s Club. I will be taking the advice of those who have gone before me and writing down all of my classes and assignments that are expected of me this trimester. The Vet’s Club clinic planner is really handy; it has time slots every day for patients, and it tracks numbers of adjustments, radiology credits and physical exams. It can be used for the entire time you are here at Palmer in the clinics to track every patient. It is also nice because you can look back and have a record all in one place of every patient you see from the start of your Palmer Chiropractic career onward! I guess I am still old school and like the paper version and I am not switching to iPad or electronic versions quite yet!

Good luck to those of you starting a new trimester!

My power has been turned back on!

The past few weeks have been weird for me because for the first time in my life, I experienced low back pain. It started at yoga one day. I am used to doing hot yoga, and I decided to do more in room temperature. I am not sure if that contributed to it, if it was bound to happen anyway, if it was the changing of the biomechanics of the posture, or something else. I tweaked the way I did one of the postures and felt a sharp twinge in my L5—a vertebrae in my lower back—when I stood up. I have found some postures that make it feel better and have been doing them throughout the day.

On Monday this week, I was not really in pain anymore but went for my biweekly chiro appointment and told my doc what happened. It turned out, when he scoped me, that I had a break at L4/L5. Then he did the arm fossa tests (because he is SOT certified) and a couple other functional tests with me. He found that my right hamstring was weaker than my left and showed me that these tests were the neurological component of my subluxation.

I could see it and feel it. He motion palpated my spine and found that my L5 was PL. I was placed in side posture in a Gonstead set up and my segment moved before he even thrusted! That’s how much I needed it, or it “wanted” to go, I say. After that, he blocked my pelvis with SOT blocks and re-checked my arm fossa test afterward. I was showing better reflexes instantly!

When I stood up, I felt like a new person. My pelvis felt so good! Remember, I didn’t even know, by how I felt, if I was subluxated because I was not experiencing any symptoms anymore. After my adjustment I knew I felt instantly better. This is just another example of why we can get chiropractic care for wellness and not just when we are in pain. Even I didn’t even realize the potential I had for feeling fantastic!

This lit me on fire again because I realized and experienced again for myself how chiropractic care works. I want to be a great chiropractor and share with my patients this amazing new level of wellness and function beyond what they will ever imagine, that they all have the potential to experience.

Kaileigh Strath
6th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Helping others cultivate a personal desire for wellness

“Arouse in the other person an eager want.”

 Walking the epigram-lined hallways on Palmer’s Davenport Campus, absorbing words of experience from professors and conversing with fellow colleagues, one quickly gets the message that we are all here to help the population at large.

This is a great endeavor, and huge strides are already being made with chiropractic patients in infinite ways. We know that there will be multiple chances for us to make a difference in others’ lives.

Most students at Palmer have already evolved enough in their thinking to realize that these changes made will only be as great as our patients want them to be. The real challenge is in learning what individuals want and need to elicit this positive change in their lives.

Fortunately we have several classes that allow us to explore diverse ways of interacting with patients.  Ultimately we all want the best for our patients. As doctors of chiropractic who spend hours learning about the importance of innate intelligence, hopefully we all can put our own wants aside to recognize the individuals’ needs before our own.

Let us be the tool for removing nerve interference, allowing innate to do the rest, thereby arousing in these individuals an “eager want” to self improve.

Jennifer Katzer
4th trimester student, Davenport Campus

It’s a small, healthy world

Within the chiropractic profession, it doesn’t take long to figure out that a lot of us know each other in this network of health-oriented individuals. A lot of us are at school because our lives were personally impacted by a chiropractor we know from home or somewhere else. We all have our stories of how we were introduced to chiropractic, as well as how we discovered it would be the right job for us to pursue.

Along this journey, I quickly realized that a lot of us Palmer students and alumni are interconnected based on where we’re from, whom we’ve met in classes, who we’ve met at clubs, who we’ve met at seminars and in other learning experiences.

In my case, my dad is a 1982 Palmer graduate, so this web goes back a little further in time. Currently at Palmer, I know of at least six students who are children of my dad’s Palmer rugby teammates. It’s cool to see these students in the hall now that we are here and following in our fathers’ footsteps.  It’s neat to think that all of our dads enjoy their profession so much that their passion for chiropractic and the lifestyle that accompanies the paradigm has influenced all of us to choose the same path.

I have had conversations with these six students as well as other “chiro kids,” and it has been great to say, “Yes! I was never vaccinated, either,” and “Yes, I was adjusted since the day I was born. I’m so lucky and I love it!” And “Yes, I was one of the weirdos whose lunch box contained grapes and carrot sticks instead of Dunkaroos and Doritos.”

Coming here and becoming a part of the “chiropractic bubble” has been an amazing experience because instead of being the oddball for trying to eat well, work out often and get adjusted, we are all encouraged to do so since these are part of the “norm.”

A recent Friday also reminded me of how it is a small world within the chiropractic realm. My friend from New Jersey came to Palmer for a Friday visit with his father since he is positive he will attend chiropractic school and is highly considering Palmer. It was awesome to hear that the reason he is so interested in the profession is that my very own dad has been his chiropractor since he was three years old.

It was a great weekend for my friend and his dad to visit since it was the Bix weekend, and there was a lot going on. I explained that every weekend in Davenport doesn’t involve 14,000 people running a race here and live music in the streets, so they picked a great one to be here! It was a great opportunity for my friend to meet my fellow classmates and get a feel for some of the summertime activities in the Quad Cities. Now if he decides to come to Palmer in Davenport, this network of interconnected chiropractors and chiropractic students will grow a little more!

Kelly Serra
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus