It’s clinic time!

Student adjusting in the clinic

In the clinic, students adjust patients under the supervision of a staff doctor.

Right before break, we officially cleared for the outpatient clinic in the AHC (Academic Health Center). We had two days to be in the clinic before we left for break. I spent the first couple days and the week after break just observing other interns taking care of patients, so I had a better idea of what to do when it came time for me to start taking care of patients.

There are quite a few differences between the two clinics. In the AHC, we have Medicare, Medicaid and insurance patients, which means there are certain ways the paperwork needs to be done and filed that is slightly different then how we did things over in the student clinic. I wanted to make sure I had most of that figured out first.

Since we’ve cleared, I really just spend most of my time in the clinic seeing patients. Since I’m still a new intern, I don’t get to see very many, but I have been able to take over a couple patients and it has been an awesome experience.

In the CHC (Campus Health Center, the student clinic), our patients are primarily Palmer students, so most of them are wellness patients or have a general understanding of being healthy. So we don’t see a lot of patients with problems. In the AHC, you have patients from the community coming into receive care because they have problems. It’s really cool to get the different experience and start working with outpatients.

So that has been keeping me busy. We have fewer classes during this trimester so we can spend most of our time in the clinic. It has been a couple weeks, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of things!

As the trimester ends, I suspect things will pick up and we’ll start to get quite busy. With not having as many classes this trimester, I find myself with more free time than I’ve ever had before–so that’s been a pretty big adjustment. I feel like its been well-earned, though it’s nice to not have things to do constantly. So I assure you, it does happen!

Except Boards are right around the corner again, so it’s back to hitting the books again real soon!

I survived OSCE exams

Hang in there cat

Hang in there cat poster

I had the first part of my OSCE exams this week. In our 8th trimester, we have to take two exams that allow us to go onto Level II clinics and eventually graduate. One portion is a clinical aspect where you go in and perform a full evaluation on a mock patient. The second portion is a radiology portion. I had to take my radiology portion this week. It’s done on a computer, and we’re given 10 different cases with films then asked questions over the cases. Then we have to identify what the most significant diagnosis is and how we would manage that patient’s care.

It wasn’t so bad. I wish I had studied more, but life calls sometimes and you just run out of time. I don’t have to take the clinical portion until Dec. 4, so I’m going to start studying for that soon so I am more prepared for that one than I was for the radiology portion. Really, though, these two exams have been all I’ve really had to study for this trimester so far, so I’d say that’s not bad at all.

It’s weird going from having to study every night for multiple exams to only having to study occasionally for a couple exams weeks apart. So it actually does happen! You won’t always be swarming with exams. Don’t get me wrong, we are still very busy but it’s a different kind of busy, a better busy. I would rather be taking care of patients in clinic than studying constantly and sitting in class all day.

So it does get better, I wouldn’t say easier, I would say better with a different kind of busy. It will all be worth it in the end, just keep at it!

-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

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!

My first adjustment in clinic!

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day. We had an exam at 7:30 a.m. and then standard classes the rest of the day. I was not looking forward to it because we also have board review this week, which means I am in class from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. for the rest of the week.

Now I know you’re, like, “Uh, she said this was an exciting day. This does not sound exciting yet.” Well, the exciting stuff happened at the end of the day!

We have been working on reciprocal work in our clinical methods class, which is a class we take to prepare ourselves for clinic. Reciprocal work is doing everything we would do in clinic with a patient, except you’re doing it on a classmate.

Well, yesterday and today were the adjusting days. So we got into the AHC (Academic Health Center), which is where my partner and I were assigned, and it was the first time I had ever been down there. We were working under my AHC staff doctor, which was cool because I got to meet her and actually work under her for the day. It was the first clinical type adjusting situation I’ve been in.

So I took the history on my patient, did the evaluation, found her subluxation, called the staff doctor in and told her I was ready. She said, “Okay great, go ahead.” It was C3 body right. I did supine diversifed, and I got it in the first try! It was so cool!

I was nervous because it was the first time I was being watched by a staff doctor in the actual clinic. She seemed to have full confidence in what I was doing when I wasn’t 100% sure I had full confidence in myself. And I did it. My patient even told me she couldn’t tell that I was nervous. She said it was a great adjustment and was jealous that I got it on the first try.

I thought I was going to be a lot more stressed out than I actually was … just because when you’re adjusting in class on adjusting days, you’re in front of your teachers who you’ve spent a whole trimester with and kind of know and you’re still nervous to have them watch you. And, here in this situation, I’m working under someone I’ve never met who has more confidence in me than I do, and I don’t come off as nervous at all. It just shows that we’re getting more confortable in our abilities and our capabilities.

After class was over, I rushed over to the CHC (Campus Health Center, the student clinic) to observe an appointment for a patient I’ll be taking over once we clear. So that was even more exciting, getting to be in the clinic setting with your patients, seeing their care and knowing that pretty soon you’ll be adjusting them, too.

The appointment ran a little long, so I was about a half hour late to board review and starving. Luckily my wonderful best friend brought me Jimmy Johns so I could make it through the rest of the night. Tonight I have another patient to observe during my clinic shift and more board review. It’s a busy and long week here at Palmer!

-Allisha

I decide to join the softball team

Softball players

See these ball players who know what they’re doing? They’re not me. 🙂

This weekend, aside from the soft tissue elective, I also signed up to be on our class softball team! Saturday night was our first game.

We felt pretty lucky because it had been a really nice day it was warm we figured that it’d be great weather for the game.We played at 8 p.m., and it had gotten incredibly windy by the time we were suppose to play. You could see the dirt on the field blowing in the wind. But regardless of wind and temperature, we were going to play!

While we were all freezing, we started the game. And it started off pretty well. I should probably tell you, I’m not very athletic. The last time I participated in a team sport, besides cheerleading, was 5th grade, and I’d never played softball. I’m pretty sure before Saturday I had never even held a softball.

So being as I had never played before, I was appointed team catcher. I was apprehensive because I wasn’t too cool with the idea of the ball basically being thrown at me, but my team assured me that’s not how softball works so I took the position.

Turns out I am decent at being a catcher, besides having to use my whole body to throw the ball back to the pitcher (it made it to him most of the time). The other times I’m going to blame on the wind.

Anyway, at some point we were even winning the game! Then (I’m going to blame it on the wind again) it seemed like every ball that was thrown was not to the batter, and a lot of the other team were able to walk. Somehow we had gotten pretty far behind, but it was okay because we were up to bat and it was last bat and we could have come back from it! Except we didn’t. We lost 13-6.

The game was called either to weather or time limit, and we had to accept our loss. Regardless of the loss, we had a really good time. And for my first time ever playing softball, I’d say it was a success. I mean I made it around the bases once, so I’m taking that as a success story.

It was a lot of fun. Even if you’ve never played or you’re not that good it’s something fun to do and you should join a team! Just beware if you’re not very athletic like myself and you’ve never played softball before be prepared to be incredibly sore the next day. Good thing I had that soft tissue elective the next day, because I was struggling to move the next morning.

Clinic observations start next week!

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

(Note: This post is from last week)

It was nice to be able to take some time for family and relaxing during our long weekend (Easter). These next couple of weeks are generally pretty mild. I’ll need to use them to catch up on projects and homework assigments. It seems that you don’t really have homework or assigments until you get into the upper trimesters.

Tonight is Zumba again! I am quite proud of myself for actually only missing once since it has been offered this trimester. I remembered spine and go seek this week also!

This weekend is the first weekend for the soft tissue elective I am taking so I will be in class from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, but it should be really interesting. I am excited to be able to start taking electives. I think next trimester I am going to try and take Thompson and Activator. It’s starting to hit me that I really don’t have much time left here, so I need to start soaking up and learning everything I can.

We just went over dress code and requirements for our observations we have to do in the student clinic. Observations start next week! It has come so quickly, it’s hard to believe that next trimester I will be taking care of patients.

I was looking at my schedule for the rest of the trimester and I couldn’t believe April was almost over. And I realized how quickly this trimester is coming to an end! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it still feels like just yesterday that I moved to the Quad Cities. Doesn’t usually feel like it during the first year, but once you’re preparing to go into Level 1 Clinic, you look back and all you can think is, “Wow! That really did go fast.”

I think I will go buy my clinic jacket this week!

Soft tissue elective

This weekend was the first weekend for the advanced soft tissue elective I am taking this trimester. We were in class all day Saturday and Sunday learning various soft tissue techniques and appropriate clinical assessments for our future patients.

Generally when you’re told you’re going to be in class 8+ hours on a Saturday and Sunday your first thought is, “This is going to be a super long weekend and not in the way most of us want a long weekend to be.” Surprisingly, the time went very quickly. Although the first half of the class was more of a review from PT, it seemed we actually were getting more hands-on and working with our palpation skills. And actually doing some soft tissue stuff made Saturday go a lot quicker than expected. It was pleasant because we were to be in class longer on Saturday. We only got a little bit of hands-on on Saturday working mostly with the lower extremities.

It was a lot of fun, until you became the patient. Soft tissue work is effective but also quite painful. We were working with muscle adhesions and tight muscles, and the techniques we use aren’t exactly massages. They are digging into the muscle and really breaking down the barriers. Sunday, we did a lot more hands-on and covered all sections of the body. It seemed like each section we moved to just continued to be more and more sore, but it was definitely worth it because 9 hours later, I am no where near the amount of sore I was this morning before we started any type of soft tissue work. I haven’t checked, but there is a possibility I could be bruised! At the time of the treatment you’re cursing the person working on your muscles, believing there’s no way possible this is helping but it’s amazing how instantly you can see the results after a few minutes of having some soft tissue done on you. After I would get up and walk around I could tell my muscles weren’t as tight, and I had better range of motion and just all over generally felt better as a whole.

I really recommend this elective. It is only two weekends out of the trimester, and you come away with some really great information. The second half of the course isn’t until the last weekend in May, and we’re going to be learning Graston technique. I have heard really great things about Graston. People have really good results with it, but I hear it is quite a bit more painful than using your hands and doing soft tissue work, so we will see if I actually cry next time! No pain no gain!

Sorority and step aerobics

sororityhouse

The Sigma Phi Chi sorority house

I am a little late in writing these next couple of posts. Last Thursday there were a couple of events I went to that I just wanted to talk about a little bit.

The first was the step aerobics class I believe I had mentioned previously. Sofia, the same girl that teaches zumba started doing a step aerobics class on Thursday. This was the first time it had been offered, and it was the very first class. She said it was her first time teaching a step class and she was very excited. She’s such an awesome dance instructor, so energetic and she’s good at what she does.

This was also the first time I had ever taken a step aerobics class. I wasn’t exactly sure what step aerobics entailed, and, man, was I in for a treat. It was a whole lot of fun … but halfway through I was sure I was going to collapse! I still have no idea how I made it through the whole class. I’m also not sure I’ve ever worked out that hard in my whole life.

Even though I struggled to get through it, I had a lot of fun and plan on going again this week. Can’t get better unless you keep at it!

After step aerobics I had to be at the trimesterly welcome social at the sorority. We offer this get-together every trimester just to welcome the new ladies to campus and have beverages and snacks. We like to get to know the new students on campus, and we also welcome D.C. students wives to come join us. We had a good time and met a lot of great people.

One of our alumni came down for the event from Wisconsin to hangout and talk with us, which was really cool. We were able to talk to her for a while about all kinds of different things. She told us about the practice she built and retired from, what she’s out doing now, what it was like when she was at Palmer, and shared some insight into what to expect and watch out for once we’re out in practice.

It is really cool to be able to connect with alumni and get an idea of all the things we have to look forward to. All of the Palmer alumni I’ve ever spoken to have been super helpful and excited about helping students and still enthusiastic about Chiropractic. It makes me proud to someday be a part of that group and be able to talk to future students and tell them all the hard work they’re doing will be more than worth it!

-Allisha

My second adjustment!

I got one more adjustment under my belt! This time in thoraco-lumbar class.

Today was “find it and fix it” day where we did a work up on our classmates thoracic and lumbar regions to see if there was any fixation. We worked in a group of three and all of us got to adjust. It is always nice having adjusting days because it’s a good reminder of why we are here and what we’ve worked so hard for.

You always get little extra pieces of advice from the professors on how to improve your adjustment when you are actually giving an adjustment. It’s hard for them to really critique you or give you pointers when you’re just doing a set-up.

What’s good about the Technique classes I have this tri is that we have adjusting days sporatically throughout the trimester, so we don’t have to wait until the end of the trimester to finally get to adjust. I didn’t get the adjustment on my first try. I thrusted too soon, but I was able to get it on the second thrust.

The more and more confident and comfortable we get with each other and in our abilites to adjust it seems the easier it is to be successful in our attempts. Although having someone watch what I’m doing and critquing me still makes me slightly nervous. I have come along way since day one of palpation when we were even too nervous to touch anyone. I remember my hands shaking uncontrollably while trying to find structures and motion out segments. Now I don’t give it any extra thought; just have to jump right in, and the nerves are all gone. I thought I would never get to this point, and here I am. And within four months, I’ll be taking care of real patients in the student clinic. Oh, how first trimester seems like yesterday …

-Allisha