Clinic tour with Dr. Chad Hagen

A while back PSAF (Palmer Student Alumni Foundation) put together a clinic tour with Dr. Hagen’s clinic. Dr. Hagen’s clinic is a second-generation clinic in Bettendorf, where he integrates A.O., SOT and nutrition. He said that he doesn’t feel the need to only work with one technique and instead uses the technique that will suit the patient best.

Dr. Hagen's Chiropractic Clinic in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Dr. Hagen’s Chiropractic Clinic in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Besides SOT and A.O., Dr. Hagen also uses what he learned while at Palmer through the Palmer Package. The Palmer Package includes Toggle Recoil, Palmer Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson and Extremities. It is always great to hear practicing chiropractors say that they really use what they’ve learned through the curriculum in their offices.

Dr. Hagen said that he worked with a graphic designer to make sure the office had an earthy feel. His clinic has multiple fish tanks, which I really liked because it gave the office a more calming effect. Dr. Hagen also rents out two of his rooms in his office to a podiatrist to cut down on the overhead. I have shadowed a handful of different chiropractors and haven’t seen that before.

During the tour, Dr. Hagen adjusted his son and wife. I am always interested in learning more about pediatric chiropractic. But what I thought was probably one of the most interesting things was watching him adjust his wife with the A.O. technique. Before I started chiropractic school, I had seen it done but didn’t fully understand what was all going on at the time. Now that I understand more about the atlas, I think it’s a technique that I would like to learn more about. Dr. Hagen also completed some cranial SOT work with his wife as well to help with her sinus pressure.

I believe PSAF holds a clinic tour each trimester, but this was the first time that I was able to attend. I’m definitely looking forward to more clinic tours through PSAF!

-Jen

Shadowing with Dr. Skip and Dr. Julie Wyss

I am realistic. I expect miracles. - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Over the spring break I had the opportunity to shadow with Dr. Skip and Dr. Julie Wyss in Green Bay, Wis. During my first trimester at Palmer, I Googled “pediatric chiropractors in Wisconsin” and came across the Wyss’ website and then throughout the year at Palmer other students have mentioned them to me about how great they are. So I figured over a break would be the best time to visit them since they only practice about an hour from where I grew up.

Both, Dr. Skip and Dr. Julie are graduates of Palmer. When shadowing a chiropractor, I never know what to expect and they were so open and excited to have me there for the morning! I shadowed Dr. Skip with adjustments, and then Dr. Julie spoke to me a lot about the business side of things.

Dr. Julie talked to me about insurance and how they handle it. I’ve been under chiropractic care in the past with practices that took insurance and one that was cash-based. She was telling me that sometimes people who pay cash value their adjustments more. She compared it to a car that you’ve made the car payments on versus one that would have just been handed to you. People are most likely to take better care of the car that they have made the payments on. She said that chiropractic is so similar and that patients paying cash seem to listen more carefully to maintaining the adjustment. I thought this was such great advice and so easy to understand!

Dr. Julie also recommended looking into ICPA (international Chiropractic Pediatric Association), SOT and cranial adjusting for techniques. I’ve been debating between which techniques and organizations will be most beneficial for me to take and be part of while in school. It was great to hear more about these as they are on my to-do list while in school.

While observing Dr. Skip, I was able to see many different families get adjusted. They also have an open room for adjusting, although it isn’t open into the waiting room. I liked that while Dr. Skip was checking the patient’s spine that he was talking out loud for which vertebra he was on and then talked about the organ(s) o which the nerve supplied. I felt that it really solidified to the patient that he knew exactly what he was doing and talking about. Dr. Skip mentioned multiple times to me how important PNS class is, and it definitely showed throughout my time shadowing! I was so thankful to hear that just before starting the class.

One child came in for his second adjustment that had cerebral palsy. The child seemed to keep his head back and kept looking upward. After Dr. Skip adjusted his atlas, there was a noticeable difference that he was looking more straightforward. It was amazing and even the parents were super excited! Seeing something so noticeable was awesome and Dr. Skip talked to the parents about his muscles and the importance of continuing to get adjusted. At school I’ve heard a lot of D.C.s mention that they expect miracles, and this little adjustment will most likely change this child’s life!

Dr. Skip was so excited throughout the entire morning and being around his energy was great! I felt like I had learned so much information that morning. Dr. Skip also recommended coming back throughout my time at Palmer to continue to learn from them. I was so excited to hear that because right now it’s hard to fully understand exactly why and what they are adjusting. Since I’m in toggle class now, I still have so much to learn! I look forward to learning more from Dr. Skip and Dr. Julie!

-Jen

Shadowing with Dr. Travis Howell

Smiling baby loves chiropractic

Chiropractic is great!

Earlier in February I posted how I attended Dr. Travis Howell’s Perfect Storm Workshop. Well the next week, I shadowed Dr. Travis in his off, and it was such a great experience. His office is located in Bettendorf, and he is a Pediatric Chiropractor. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to shadow him right after his workshop, since I was able to see patients come in after they attended it, as well.

I had the opportunity to see two different families come in for their initial visits and see how Dr. Travis runs through his scans and questions. From what I’ve seen while shadowing, things can be a little more chaotic (but a good chaotic in my mind) when working with children. I love seeing how practicing chiropractors work with children and communicate effectively with the mothers/fathers. The room where the scans take place has a very relaxed feeling, with toys and a couch. Once the scans were completed Dr. Travis reviews the information from the scans and from the paperwork. With the two families I observed who had their initial consult, the questions ranged from about pregnancy to the birth process and what is being observed now.

There was another child who came in for his first adjustment with Dr. Travis as well while I was there. This child had been diagnosed with autism, and his mother had attended the workshop as well. Dr. Travis talked to me about working with children with autism and what has worked for him to make them feel more comfortable in his office. For instance, asking the parents if there is something the child really likes so that he can have it in his office. He told me about the first child with autism he adjusted and how the boy really liked Woody from “Toy Story.” So he made sure he had one in his office, and whenever the child would come in he knew where to go get the Woody character.

Dr. Travis’ office has an open layout for his office, other then the exam room. I liked that feeling for a family office so that children can continue to play while their parents are getting adjusted. Everything about the office seemed very calming and open.

Office visit with Dr. Corey Schneider

Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center

Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center

Over the spring break I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Corey and talk to him about chiropractic and schooling. Dr. Corey is cousins with my sister-in-law and is one of my older brother’s friends. So I have known him for a while but haven’t really had the chance to just talk about chiropractic with him. I had been very focused on observing pediatric or family clinics that I hadn’t taken the time to observe Dr. Corey, who runs a practice focused more on rehab. Which just so happens to be some of the advice that he had given me: to look at shadowing as many people as possible and learn what you like and don’t like.

He told me that there were some students while he was in school that were focused on only one technique or one method. I think it can be really common at school to only stick with your club that you go to on a regular basis, but there are so many different techniques out there and they all work. It just depends on what works for you and the patient.

Dr. Corey also recommended asking chiropractors in the area if you can volunteer in their office. He said that it’s such a great way to learn more about the business side of a practice.

Dr. Corey talked to me about how he bought his practice. He said that he knew he wanted to work in a specific area, so he mailed out letters to practicing D.C.s in that area to see if they were looking to sell or retire in the near future. This would give him the opportunity to potentially associate for a bit before buying the practice. I haven’t talked to a lot of practicing D.C.s yet, but hearing the full approach on how he handled buying the practice was a great idea to take note of! I’m not exactly sure what my plan is for after graduation, but I know that this first year went by so fast that I really want to start figuring out my plan.

After we chatted for a while, he had some patients to see, so I stuck around to observe three patients. Dr. Corey has private adjusting rooms and also has a massage therapist working with patients before he adjusts them. Hearing his approach to patients was a little different or unique then what I had seen from others I have observed. And it solidified my goal of observing as many chiropractors as possible. Since I had initially just planned to meet up with Dr. Corey to talk about chiropractic, I didn’t have a ton of time to shadow so I’m hoping over the summer break I’ll have the opportunity to shadow and see a new patient evaluation!

1st year (almost) in the books

Palmer College of Chiropractic campusMarch is coming up quickly, and that will mark one full year in the books at Palmer! In one year things have changed dramatically–for the best! I’m not actually sure where all the time has gone, because I feel like I was just taking the first round of exams in first trimester (although, I’m so happy that’s over with).

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I worked in the corporate world before making a leap and changing the direction of my life. For those who are also thinking of doing the same thing, let me tell you, the first trimester can be a little rocky. Getting back in the groove of being in school and not having a science background was difficult, but if you’re willing to put in the time (which will probably be more time than your classmates have to), it will all be worth it!

Last night I was at the sorority house and was talking to one of the girls whom I started with, and she agreed that this first year has flown by. Many people have already told me that their time at Palmer flew by, but when you are in the middle of it, sometimes it is a little overwhelming. But this is just like anything else, as long as you take it one day at a time, pretty soon you’ll be one year in and then, in no time, graduating.

In the past two weeks I’ve also talked to some previous co-workers and asked them how things are going at work. There responses were all pretty similar, that nothing had changed. As much as I miss those paychecks, I’m so happy I’m no longer working at those jobs and chose a career in chiropractic and Palmer!

I look forward to seeing what the next year at Palmer has in store for me!

My brother’s white coat ceremony

Jen-blog-brother-cliniccoat

My brother’s class at their Clinic White Coat Ceremony. He’s now officially a student intern!

The day after my birthday, my brother had his white coat ceremony, which is his official welcoming into the clinic as a practicing student intern.

It was nice that our parents were able to come down for it and celebrate this big day for him, as well as my birthday! Sometimes when you are in the trenches of all the exams, it’s hard to keep your eye on the target. It was so exciting to see him move on to the next step. Since Mike can’t work on family in the clinic, I’ll need to find another intern, but I’m sure he’ll do great!

The time sure does fly by at Palmer, even though some days it doesn’t feel like it. I’m sure Mike feels like he has been in school forever since he came straight from his undergrad program instead of working for a few years like me.

Class 171 is an average size class, and the ceremony took about an hour. Just over a year left for them! I’m looking forward to the day I have my white coat ceremony!

The ceremony took place on a Friday afternoon, and then after we did a little shopping around Davenport. In the evening we went out to eat at a German restaurant in Moline called Bierstube. The food was delicious, and they had some amazing desserts, which included Nutella!

-Minda

Dr. Lovejoy … Success leaves clues!

A while ago I attended an amazing event put on by SICA (Student International Chiropractic Association) with Dr. Alan Lovejoy as the speaker. This was the first time I had heard him speak. Two of my friends in my class, Katrina and Hira, spoke so highly of him from a previous event they attended that I didn’t want to miss this one! And, of course, they were spot on, Dr. Lovejoy was an amazing speaker filled with lots of energy and passion for chiropractic. Here are a few things that really stood out to me.

• Spinal care classes: Dr. Lovejoy recommended having spinal care classes for your patients. This is a great way to educate your patients on the benefits of chiropractic care. He recommended having a two-minute story to go along with the safety-pin theory with a small or large safety-pin and spine. I really liked this idea because it keeps things simple.

• Know your vision, purpose and mission: Understanding these three things is truly important because it helps you get through the more stressful and difficult days of exams. He recommended that as students, we should start living our “why” and mission now, so that when we get out in the field, we have our purpose down and we can explain this clearly and easily. This also goes along with keeping a clear vision and visualizing what you want your future office to look like.
• Success leaves clues: This was probably one of my favorite topics that Dr. Lovejoy talked about. He discussed keeping in contact with professors and current doctors practicing what you are interested in. For example, if you want to become a pediatric chiropractor, you should shadow those D.C.s and find professors that focus on this as well. I’ve understood this before, but one thing that stood out to me was staying closely connected with a professor and asking lots of questions.
I am very grateful for doctors like Dr. Lovejoy who take time out of their busy schedules to come speak to us. I think this is great information for me to absorb before graduating. In the future, I’m pretty sure I won’t have access to all of these successful chiropractors for FREE (which included dinner, too)!

Learning to palpate

Students learning to palpate in class.

Students learning to palpate in class.

We had a great night at the sorority house with Technique Night! There are six pledges this trimester and it’s great getting to know all of them. Only three are first-trimester students. I’ve met a lot of great friends through the house, even only being in Davenport for a few months.

That night we worked on palpating different cervical and pelvic landmarks. We haven’t worked on palpating cervicals in palpation class yet, so it’s nice to get some extra hands-on to find these landmarks. Different clubs and organizations will work on palpation to help students get their hands more familiar and sensitive to finding these landmarks.

One of the pledges is in 8th trimester and was willing to let me palpate her cervicals since she does this all day long. It was great getting paired up with someone who knows what she’s looking for and how to test the motion to make sure I was in the correct location. We also worked on listings, which was very new to me. I always hear about them but wasn’t exactly sure how they worked with what I was feeling!

We ended the palpation with pelvic landmarks, which was really helpful since I have my palpation exam tomorrow. I was able to find the PSIS, sacral ala, ischial spine, ischial tuberosity, and more! Any extra hands-on work is always helpful because I find you never know who you could be palpating during your exam, so just becoming more confident is important!

-Jen

I love the CHC!

One of my favorite things about being at Palmer is my weekly visit to the CHC (Campus Health Clinic) for adjustments. The students practicing in the CHC are normally in either 7th or 8th trimester, depending on the time of the trimester. I’ve had some amazing interns so far, and I’ve learned a lot from them as well. It’s nice to have a little time with upper trimester students to ask questions about professors and the techniques they like. I also like to see how the staff doctor interacts with the intern and how they provide guidance on the their techniques!

Before starting at Palmer, I worked at a desk job for a handful of years and had a lot of back pain (upper and lower). After working with my chiropractor back home, I decided to change my career path, which has been one of the best decisions of my life. Last trimester my intern introduced me to Graston technique and ART (active release technique) for my rhomboids. It didn’t take long for me to see results with both of these techniques! The Graston took place at the Chiropractic Rehabilitation and Sports Injury Department, and it was an amazing opportunity for me to see what the upper-trimester students work on besides working in the CHC.

I’m excited for the day when I get to start working in the CHC! Today I signed up for the lower extremity adjusting seminar with Dr. Mally, and I’m excited to get some more hands-on experience! I’m looking forward to learning more about the biomechanics, radiology and conditions/injuries of the lower extremity.

-Jen

Welcome to Jen, one of our new bloggers!

By week three of classes, the quizzes already started! I’ve been told this past summer break was longer than normal, which was four weeks. This was my first summer break starting at Palmer, and normally they summer breaks are three weeks long. The first two weeks back at school were a little hard getting back into the swing of things after spending the past month in Wisconsin with my family. But it feels good to be back and on a regular schedule.

Last trimester I joined the only sorority on campus, Sigma Phi Chi. With Homecoming just around the corner, we had to gear up the house for all of the visitors and graduated sisters to come back. I’m excited to be a part of Homecoming and see what it all has to offer! Stay tuned to see my posts within the next few days regarding Homecoming events I attend!

During the last weekend in Davenport there were the Bix and RAGBRAI events. There were bands downtown Friday and Saturday night, which was a nice break from studying and good to get out with some fellow classmates. Friday night we saw the band Electric Shock, which played AC/DC songs. I’m a big fan of AC/DC, so I thought the show was great!

I’m excited to share my journey with all of you!

-Jen