Mock clinic for Clinic Abroad

An example of one of Palmer's Clinic Abroad clinic in India

An example of one of Palmer’s Clinic Abroad clinic in India

We had our first mock clinic for Clinic Abroad. We met in the gym and went over a few rules and just discussed how a regular clinic day would go while we were in Bequia or India. Then we took our equipment up to the second level of the gym to set up our clinic the same way we would be setting up the clinics each day in the areas we were visiting.

We were given limited space, so we knew how it would feel while we were actually there. The clinic we are going to be working in, in Bequia, is actually going to be smaller than where we were in the Palmer gym. So we all will be working very closely.

This was our first exposure to the actual paperwork we will be using in the clinics. It is quite a bit different from what we use in our campus clinics, since there are different requirements that need to be met abroad, as we are not seeing patients that get regular care.

Bequia Clinic Abroad

A Palmer student intern adjusting a patient at an orphanage during a recent Clinic Abroad trip to Bequia (Photo by Taryn Foster)

We ran through the full exam exactly how we are supposed to with our patients to get some exposure, so we don’t get there and have no idea what we are doing. I think it just got everyone really excited.

We got to work through some actual patient cases so we knew what kind of patient care we would be providing and what some of the past cases had been. It was something fun and enjoyable to come back to after the Thanksgiving break. I am really looking forward to going.

-Allisha

My first set of X-rays

stock X-ray image

Random stock X-ray to avoid HIPPA issues 🙂

Last week, I had a week full of radiology. I got to shoot my first set of X-rays. We did a Palmer upper cervical series and a lumbar series.

It was fun to actually be able to get in and take the films. In class, we do the set-ups a lot, but we aren’t able to take films on an actual patient. It’s easy to shoot an X-ray on a phantom, they don’t move at all!

Our patient kept leaning to one side, so we kept having to reposition him so he would be centered in the film. After we took the films, we had to write a radiology report on them. We had to use the actual films for interpretation because the program we use on the computers wasn’t working that day. Then the next day we had to go to a radiology reading to make sure we didn’t miss anything on the film.

It went really well. Our diagnosis was right, and there wasn’t really anything we missed. We just didn’t word things well on our report. It wasn’t too bad, though. We were lucky our first experience wasn’t traumatic. Sometimes you hear horror stories about radiology review, but there was nothing like that for anyone that was analyzing films while we were there. I think some people must not be prepared when they go in there. Just be prepared, know your patient and do your best. You will come out all right.

-Allisha

AHC, here I come!

Academic Health Center, aka the AHC

Academic Health Center, aka the AHC

This trimester we have to complete a few rotations and do observations in the AHC (Academic Health Center) before we clear for Level II clinic. We have to go observe in the rehab department, the front desk and the outreach clinic. I have all of those scheduled for the first week of December.

I went in an observed patient care under my staff doctor this week for a couple hours. It was really cool getting in there and seeing the differences between how the clinics work. It’s weird to think in less than a month I’ll be over in that clinic working with outpatients. I think that was one of the most interesting things I observed. We get so use to being in our close-knit community here at Palmer surrounded by people that are on the same page as us and understand what we say and the things we’re doing. When you work with outpatients, they haven’t had the exposure to chiropractic that the patients in the CHC (Campus Health Center) have–because the patients there are mainly students. So they don’t always understand what’s going on, and it takes a little extra explanation that we’re not use to giving.

I am excited to start over there and get that whole new experience. It’s amazing how quickly things are going, and I can’t believe that I graduate in less than a year. It’s hard to think of this point when you first start, but now that I am here, it seems like the last two plus years didn’t even happen. Just enjoy the experience and take in as much as you can, because before you know it, it will gone.

-Allisha

Spizz Night and more

Chiropractic meme

What’s “Spizz”? It’s excitement about chiropractic!

We recently had Spizz Night. I was only able to stay for the vendor fair and the dinner before my friends and I left for a girls’ weekend in Wisconsin. Spizz Night went really well, from what I saw. There were a lot of people there. We got into the food line early, but when we were leaving, the food line went all the way to the other side of the building, which I have never seen before.

From what I heard, there were a couple phenomenal speakers there, too. I had a friend say it was one of the best Spizz Nights she had been to. The tacos were delicious, like always. There were several clubs there again. They were also doing a coat drive; if you brought a gently-used coat, you could get put in a drawing for a portable adjusting table, which is pretty cool.

I was there working at the Sigma Phi Chi information booth. We had a lot of people come by. There were several visiting potential students there, too. There must have been a campus visit going on that weekend (there was the next day). From what I heard from the visiting students, they seemed to be having a good time.

My friends and I left at about 5:30 p.m. to head to Wisconsin to do some shopping and just hangout with my friend’s family. It was a nice break before our OSCE exams. I have my radiology part next week and the clinical part the first week of December. So I have to start studying for that really soon!

Clinic Abroad is getting closer!

Getting ready to fly

Getting ready to fly

We had our first Clinic Abroad meeting of the trimester. We got information on where we’re going financial aid information and our itinerary. In total, to get to Bequia and back, we will be taking nine different flights and possibly a boat ride! A lot of people are a litttle uneasy about it. I’m excited. I love everything about traveling, even the airports.

We got to see pictures of the places we will be adjusting … and the place in which we’ll spend the most time overlooks the ocean! We will also be visiting a lot of schools during the day and taking care of a lot of preschool children. I am excited and nervous at the same time. We haven’t gotten a lot of hands-on experience with small children, so it will be a complete learning experience.

Whales

Whales

We get a couple free days to go and do as we please, and one day we’re going to go on a boat cruise! Bequia is also one of the last countries where whaling is legal, and we will be there during whaling season. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. I thoroughly enjoy whales, but this is part of their culture and they aren’t doing it for sport. We were told the island is full of whale bones and there are even restaraunts that have them on display. That I’m looking forward to quite a bit because, even though the fate of the whale was unfortunate, who wouldn’t want to see whale bones? I can’t believe we leave in 3 months! It came up so quickly. I really just can’t wait to be adjusting all day and changing some lives!

Planning for the future

Is Florida in my future?

Is Florida in my future?

I wrote this on the second day of classes of my 8th trimester here at Palmer. It seems hard to believe. My schedule this tri is also a little unbelievable.

Most days we’re done by noon. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’re done at about 3 p.m., and Monday I only have one class. I was told this time would come where we wouldn’t be in class from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. straight, but as I got further into the program, I got less and less hopeful that I would see it. But, alas, I have reached it and it’s beautiful.

The first half of the trimester we’re still in the CHC (Campus Health Center, the student clinic), so we can’t get into clinic until later in the day. So we are still in clinic until about 7 p.m., but it seems we’ll have a little more time to do other things this trimester. We clear for the AHC (Academic Health Center, where our outpatient clinic is located) in mid December. Then, whenever I’m in not in class, I will be over in the outpatient clinic, but I still get a couple months of smooth sailing.

Being in clinic is enjoyable and doesn’t feel like school, so I don’t mind being there. It’s also only the second day, so I really have no idea how the trimester is going to go. All I know is we are transitioning into clinic phase, and I am excited for that. We also have to start thinking seriously about precepting and finding doctors that are willing to host an intern.

I am Florida bound! I emailed several doctors yesterday in Pasco County. I’m just waiting to hear back, and if I have no success I shall look around Orlando. I’m excited to be able to start looking and talking with potential doctors in that area. I feel like I don’t have much time to get it done, though.

Trying to find time to get to Florida to meet with doctors has become an issue, since over our next break I’ll be in Bequia for the Clinic Abroad Program! That’s okay, though. I’ll get it all figured out, and I’m excited about it all. There are a lot of good things coming along in the next year and I can’t wait to see where my chiropractic journey takes me!

-Minda

Visiting field doctors is so important

Break has come to an end and classes have started back up. We are diving head first into class this trimester. We got about ten days off for break, and I spent a lot of time in Ames, Iowa. While I was there I visited with a field doctor in Altoona, Iowa (the same one I met at Homecoming and went to visit in August). This time I was able to see her practice in action. It was awesome.

I have visited a few other doctors office since I’ve been in Palmer and I have never seen an office like this one. She runs a semi-open adjusting office, which means that the tables are all in one room and separated by minimal walls. So patients in the waiting area can see the tables and see other patients being adjusted. It was really cool. It was one of those experiences that makes you realize that all the hard work you’ve put in is going to be all worth it. The visit got me fired up about chiropractic again. I left there just wanting to get out and start adjusting. I couldn’t have asked for it to go better.

Getting out and seeing offices is really important. Try and visit as many offices as you can because everyone does something differently and seeing all your options gives you a better understanding for what you would want for your own office.

I would love to some day work in or have an office like the one I visited over break. I had several patients come up to me and tell me how chiropractic has changed their lives, and it was just amazing hearing it straight from the patients and the excitement they shared for chiropractic and how thankful they were to have found it.

It was also really cool to see families of 5 or 6 come in, and the youngest kids running up to the tables and jumping on excited and wanting to be adjusted first. It was just really great to see everything in action and to get excited about this profession. It made me appreciate all the hard work I’ve put in and appreciate where I am and what I am doing.

-Allisha

Killer clowns and zombies … must be Halloween!

Last Friday my friends and I got into the Halloween spirit and hit up a haunted corn maze! It was in Princeton, Iowa, about a half hour from Davenport. It’s called Haunted Carter Farms

It's Halloween time!

It’s Halloween time!

, and they have a smaller haunted house and a haunted corn maze. We had a group of about 13 people come with us. It was $2 off with a student ID, too. Bonus!

So we got there, and first we went through the haunted house, which was clown themed–and several people were not too excited about that. (Luckily I’m strong and fearless and don’t scare easily.) That being said, I don’t like to be vulnerable, so I stayed safely tucked between two people who were more scared than I was.

The haunted house was really cool. They had a lot of special effects, so at one point you felt like you were in a hypnotic time machine tunnel. It was also 3D, which I had never seen before. The paint splatters on the wall were 3D everywhere, and there were 3D creepy clowns coming out of the walls. There were also real killer clowns jumping out and stuff, which wasn’t too bad except they had these really high-pitched awful laughs. I found that more intriguing than scary, I couldn’t figure out how they laughed that high-pitched and loud.

The next portion was the corn maze, not in 3D but still really cool. It was zombie-themed, I think. At one point there were giant porcupines and goblin type creatures, too. There were zombies, lots of zombies. And we had several people in our group that are quite scared of zombies. I just find they’re misunderstood. Although they weren’t too keen on talking to me. They looked at me like I was the crazy one.

We got to the goblin-like creature, and I was pretty sure he was a goblin. But every time I asked if he was a goblin, he shook his head at me and looked at me like I was insane. See the trick is to not let them know you’re scared; they target you if they know you’re scared. A couple people in our group were a little too scared, so we got followed a lot.

I was most impressed with the props and costume, though. They put a lot of thought and time into them. They looked really legit. It was a lot of fun, and I suggest it to anyone that likes the spirit of Halloween.

-Allisha

Flip! I’m going to be in clinic more than classrooms

We went on a clinic tour of the Academic Health Center (better known as the AHC) with our new staff doctors. This gave us an opportunity to meet our staff doctor and ask them a few questions. It’s a little weird already going into Level One clinic. Most days I forget I’m not in first trimester anymore. It’s weird saying I’m going into eight tri when people ask.

The great news is my schedule for next trimester is beautiful. Most days I’m done by noon except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have class until 2:45, which is still way better than 3:40 like the last seven trimesters! On Mondays, I only have one class and it’s a lab! It’s going to be sooo nice not having to be in class all day then go to clinic for four hours after eight hours of sitting in a classroom. This is the trimester where it flips. We’re in clinic more than we’re in class, which is definitely preferred.

So anyway we got a tour of the outpatient clinic and saw where we were going to be spending most of our time. It was really helpful, even though I’m sure when it comes time, I’m still going to have no idea where to find anything. So if you see me running around frantically, I’m probably lost. I usually am.

It was really cool getting a glimpse of what is to come. There is a lot to be excited about within the next year!

-Allisha

I’m going on Clinic Abroad!

We had our first meeting for Clinic Abroad last week. This was just a welcome meeting that gave us the basic information of our trip and generally what we needed to know before we leave. I got accepted to go to Bequia in February! We got to see who else was going to be going on the trips with us and sign up for roommates.

Bequia is a small island in the Grenadines, where we will be providing care to a lot of school-aged children. I can’t wait for this opportunity. I remember first hearing about Clinic Abroad and saying to myself, “No matter what, I’m doing that!” It’s a little unreal that it’s actually happening. Only one more trimester before we leave. I should probably start thinking about what to pack!

I’m just kidding. It’s a little early for that, but I did put a countdown on my phone until we go! 128 days 37 minutes and 9 seconds from right now.

I think what I’m most excited about is to see the excitement from the people of Bequia about chiropractic. Here in the States there is still negativity towards our profession, and it seems like on any given day you can get into an argument with someone on the topic. On Clinic Abroad they’re so accepting and excited that you’re there to help them and they embrace it fully. Or so I’m told. I can’t wait to be able to give them the care they have been waiting for. I know it’s going to be life-changing.

-Allisha