Almost done with clinic

Now that Boards are over most of my time is spent getting ready for precepting and moving across the country! We have two weeks left of classes for my trimester, and I still need to get two more physical exams to finish my graduation requirements. I have a bunch of paperwork to get turned in after I finish up those physicals.

I started packing up and cleaning out my apartment last night. I threw away a lot of things, gathered a lot of things for a garage sale and textbooks to donate, and started packing up the things that will come with me! My apartment looks too bare right now, but I have less than a month before moving day!

I am very excited to start this new journey. I’ve talked to the doctor I am precepting with, and we’ve set up a start date. We are both very excited to start working with each other. I am very excited to see the difference between how her office is run and how we run the clinic. I can’t wait to learn all aspects of how to run and operate an office, and I’m excited to start adjusting again! Having to take a month off from adjusting is going to be dreadful. I love adjusting, and when it’s been a long weekend or a break, I find myself missing it. I love that I’ve found a profession where I miss doing what I do when I’m unable to work for short periods of time.

I know I will be busy enough to keep my mind off it, though. Moving across the country is not an easy task. I’m glad I only had to do it once. I came to the Quad Cities from Burlington, Iowa, so it was a short trip to move here. Moving 18 hours away is a whole different story, but I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to be a short drive from the beach and never having to freeze again. I will not miss Iowa winters, that’s for sure. I will miss several things about Iowa, but maybe that will be my first entry once 10th tri starts!

-Allisha

What I did on my winter vacation

This is the trimester with our holiday break, which always makes the trimester feel super long. This break was nice because we got about two weeks off, and, being in a higher trimester, we didn’t have anything to study for over break and didn’t have a lot of homework. So I just got to relax and enjoy my break.

I remember in lower trimesters hating this break because there was always so much to study for over break and not wanting to study–because I wanted to spend time with family and do holiday things.

This break I did a bit of traveling around spending time with family. The first part of the break, I went to visit a friend in Minneapolis for a few days, just to get away and relax. On my way back from there, I stopped in Ames to visit my cousin then headed back home to spend a few days with the family. Then I went back to Ames so I could get a bridesmaid dress for my cousin’s wedding. Then I went back to Minneapolis for the New Year.

I ended the break by going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert at the iWireless center in Moline (right across the river in Illinois) the Sunday before classes started up again. It was a great show this year. This was the 11th time I’ve seen them in concert, but this year was the first year I had floor seats. We were in the 8th row, and it was an amazing way to end my break!

I spent a couple days in Davenport somewhere in there to get my homework done. I seem to work better in my own element, so I knew I would have to spend a couple days at my apartment or I would never get my work done. It was really nice to have a relaxing break with a bit of traveling and getting away before things pick up. Then when I got back to school in the New Year, I was able to start seeing outpatients, which was a great way to start the new year!

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

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

Who’s Spizzed up?

Spine prize

Spine prize

PSAF put on their trimesterly event last Friday, Spizz Night. Spizz stands for Spizzerinctum, a word B.J. Palmer made popular to mean enthusiasm or excitement about chiropractic. Usually the event includes two speakers from out in the field to tell the students about their philosophy and things they have come across in practice and get us all fired up as the trimester starts.

This Spizz Night had the same idea, but the first round of speakers were part of our own student body who are competing in the Talk the Tic competition. We had three finalists in this round and all did an amazing job. The winner gets sent to Life College in Atlanta to compete for the Talk the Tic title. This year we sent our very own Jenny Lane. I wish her great luck in Atlanta. I know she will represent Palmer well. We also had a doctor from out in the field come and talk with us. He is the father of another student here at Palmer. It was also a very great talk.

Earlier in the event there was a vendor fair. There were several groups on campus talking to students about their clubs. There were also booths set up for the undergraduate studies, Advocare and Standard Process. PSAF also provided everyone with dinner … a delicious taco bar.

There was a pretty good turn out this trimester for the event, and I had a very good time, despite not winning anything (prize give-aways). I don’t think I’ve won anything anytime I’ve gone to Spizz Night. That doesn’t stop me, though, because I always enjoy being there and always seem to get something out of the great speakers they bring in. I did have two friends that won prizes. One won $50 cash and the other won a goodie bag from Standard Process, equipped with a back massager, a cold/hot pack and some vitamins. They also had prizes of gift cards and various other items, and every year they raffle off a spine for one of the first trimester students.

More soon,

Allisha

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!

My addiction … cookies

imageI  need to take a minute to tell you all about one of my favorite things on campus. The chocolate chip cookies! Not the cookies in the cafeteria, which are also quite delicious but the cookies they sell in the Student Union Starbucks Cafe.

These chocolate chip cookies are the perfectly soft and taste exactly like cookie dough. I have no idea how they make them so perfect, which is probably a good thing because I would make them and eat a dozen a day. I already eat more than I probably should, and being as they are larger than the average cookie, I need to limit mysef.

It never fails, everytime I see them resting on the counter, I have to get one. Today, for example, I made an extra trip home to get money just so I could have one. I justified it today because I am going to step aerobics tonight, so I pre-earned it?

I may be crazy saying it, but I’m pretty sure they are probably the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. They also sell monster cookies, which everyone says are super good monster cookies. I personally am not a huge fan of monster cookies.

So whichever you prefer, I suggest you try one of these cookies. Everyone deserves a little treat now and then. Just be prepared to get addicted!

-Allisha