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

The halfway point: new thoughts and welcomed changes

As I finish my halfway point here at Palmer West, I have certainly gone through ebbs and flows. This includes my general energy state, my view on chiropractic philosophy, and my forecast for my near future. Some quarters I have been full of energy and enthusiasm, while others I’ve struggled to keep my energy high under the weight of the program.

My overall view on philosophy of chiropractic has also changed throughout my time here at Palmer. As I think of my future practice, I am searching for ways to take care of patients that fit with my philosophy and the philosophy of chiropractic that I have found in my time here so far. This doesn’t mean my thinking won’t change over the next year and a half, and I truly welcome the change.

-Damir Simunac, West 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

‘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.

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

The first two years went fast

Well I’m officially in 7th tri now, and that means that I’m going to be starting into clinic! Everything that you look forward to from the day you step on campus is starting to come around. Funny thing is that it’s kind of nerve racking now that its actually here. You are officially starting to treat patients and beginning to mold yourself into a doctor.

I can’t believe that it’s been two whole years since I started Palmer. It seems like just yesterday when I was sitting in on orientation. It’s been a fast two years, and I can’t imagine how fast the next year will be.

I guess I probably should start looking into what I’m going to do when I get done. That is definitely something that is important but is so easy to forget during the beginning of our Palmer curriculum. The future is exciting and scary, and I can’t wait to get there and start making money for a change.  Until then, I guess I’ll just have to do some hunting. Darn!

– Ryan Etherton, Davenport Campus

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

 

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!