Start of 7th tri and patient care

I got to start off my 7th trimester welcoming members of Class 212 to Palmer on their Orientation Day. I love being a mentor, especially for Orientation Day, since I get to meet all the incoming students and help them with any questions they might have that day, and throughout their first few trimesters here.

Group of new students from Class 212 at orientation.

Welcome to the students of Palmer Class 212!

A lot of students travel from all over and it can be a big transition for them, so it’s always nice to have someone there to help you during the process. Each mentor is given a group of new students to follow through the tour and chat with during orientation. Throughout the future trimesters we usually get coffee with them, let them know about big events or help them get extra resources they might find beneficial when studying for classes. I had a great group to hang out with during the day. They were all chatty and seemed like they were having fun even with the abundance of information they receive during orientation.

This trimester always has a busy beginning due to St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming around the corner. I have enjoyed running the CASI’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k run each year I’ve been here in Davenport, but unfortunately due to some back issues I was having I was unable to run in it. I did get to celebrate and watch the parade with my friends! I love this parade since it starts in Illinois and then makes its way across the bridge to Davenport, Iowa. It lasts a few hours and there is always some yummy candy or necklace beads to try and catch throughout the parade. My friends and I decided to have a big breakfast at a friend’s apartment before heading down to the parade. Afterwards we stayed downtown in Davenport and celebrated at the bars for the rest of the evening. It’s fun to see everyone dressed up and enjoying the holiday.

Jennie and friend at St. Patrick's Day parade.

St. Patrick’s Day fun!

The start of 7th trimester came quickly and I started doing a lot of assignments that we had in our clinical methods course. This class helps us get prepared for clinic and seeing student patients under our assigned doctors. Some of the assignments included observing intern appointments, observing radiology reviews and practice taking notes and putting them in the system on the clinic computers. These all prepare you for clinic and help make you feel more comfortable for the first few appointments when entering clinic.

I really enjoyed going to the radiology reviews since you get to see how people examine X-rays, how to write a report and you get to see different cases that could possibly come into your future clinic someday. Our other classes have also been more clinically based with differential diagnosis, extremity adjusting, X-ray positioning for extremities and more. These classes have helped me take what I’ve learned over the trimesters and put it towards clinical situations to help me find out the problem and provide the best care for patients. It’s great to feel confident with what you know and apply it to real-life situations. These classes make me more and more excited to start see student patients in clinic in only a few weeks!

End of 6th tri and fun during break

The end of the trimester was filled with finals, practicals and a little bit of fun! We had a few practicals in our classes like thoracolumbar, pelvic, active care and more. In the technique classes we were tested on all the set-ups for listings that we learned over the trimester, and in active care they tested us on different stretches, exercises and more for working on the different muscle areas of the body. I really enjoy practicals because it makes me feel more comfortable on what I know and might show me different things I should work more on or focus on. Our finals week was pretty packed with exams, but we had two exams maximum on each day and Palmer always has a study day before finals start. This helps a lot for students to prepare for each exam but the week is still pretty busy and exhausting. Luckily at the end of the week we have a celebration for the graduating students in Women’s Palmer Rugby.

Student blogger Jennie with graduating women's rugby team members.

Me on the right with two graduating Women’s Rugby Team members in the center.

This celebration includes food, drinks, music and gifts at a local restaurant or bar downtown. This trimester we had three ladies who were either graduating, precepting or heading to a VA facility for a student rotation. It was so much fun to celebrate and reminisce on the good memories we have had with these players. Each one has had a huge impact on our team throughout the years and we are going to miss them so much. This night was a perfect way to end the finals week. Unfortunately I had one more final the next morning so I had to finish up at 7:30 a.m. and then I headed out back to Wisconsin. For break my family and I planned a trip to the Dominican Republic so we could all enjoy some time together and relax.

On Friday we drove down to Chicago since we flew out of O’Hare in the early morning. The flight was pretty long but we eventually got to our resort at the end of the night and boy were we hungry. We decided to put our stuff in our rooms and head down to the buffet so we could get some food in our stomachs! The food was delicious there and since it was all-inclusive, it was nice not having to pay for each meal.

We spent the first day just relaxing on the beach, soaking up some sun and walking down some paths to see the beach and other resorts. We took a few excursions to explore the area and have some fun. The first one we did was dune buggying around the area and a little bit of swimming at a waterfall. It was so much fun driving and we got so wet and muddy since there was a huge rainstorm the night before. We were so soaked afterwards that we had to take showers to wash all the mud out.

Student blogger Jennie on dune buggy.

Dune buggy fun!

Afterwards we took a little swim and enjoyed some sun at a little waterfall area at the location. The next excursion we took was to a cocoa, coffee and cigar plantation where we saw how these items are made and processed. I’m a big coffee drinker so I found this very interesting and I stocked up on some coffee they sold at the plantation location. The last trip we went on was a speed boat, snuba and snorkeling adventure on the Atlantic Ocean. I have never gone snubaing so I found it to be so cool and fun to swim with the fish and feed them. We were able to swim around on the ocean floor with our family and our guide showed us some sponges and coral reef areas. I had to get used to my ears popping but after a minute I felt comfortable swimming around. It was so much fun and it was a perfect way to end the trip.

Student blogger Jennie with family on boat on Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic Ocean adventure!

Saturday morning was our last time to enjoy the beach and some food before we had to head out. It was a long trip home again and we didn’t get back until about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. I was able to pack up and travel back to Davenport by Sunday afternoon to prepare for the start of 7th trimester!

Holiday break with family and looking forward to clinic experience!

With a busy winter schedule, it was nice to have a little holiday break with my family! We were able to celebrate Christmas with my whole extended family, except one of my cousins, at my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve. This was the most family members we’ve gathered in a long time, so it was nice to see everyone and enjoy some dinner and celebration together.

Student blogger Jennie's extended family Christmas gathering.

Our extended family Christmas gathering.

One of my favorite Christmas events is our white elephant exchange. Everyone brings a random gift that is usually funny or enjoyable. We all choose numbers out of a hat and go in order of choosing a gift out of the circle. You’re able to steal gifts from those who have opened a gift before you. This year there was a range of gifts like beer, car mats, army helmet, wine opener set, a weird stuffed bird and more. It’s so funny to see what people put in as gifts and what people end up getting. On Christmas Day I enjoyed a relaxing morning with my siblings and parents. We opened Christmas presents and had a delicious breakfast. It was nice to enjoy this time with family and take a break from school!

Photo of student blogger Jennie's family,missing one brother.

Family photo, missing one brother.

During this past winter break I also was able to get some hours in at work back at home. I covered a few shifts at the salon for some of the front desk receptionists. I even snuck in a few hours to study during work for a few exams we had the week coming back from break. I always enjoy coming back to work because everyone is so nice and friendly there and the extra cash is nice for extra activities I want to do here and there!

It was nice to come back to Davenport after a long winter break. We had a few exams a couple weeks in, but I was happy I prepared a little over break for them on my down time. January also is my birthday month, so my undergrad friends and I planned a trip back to our old campus to celebrate my birthday and another friend’s birthday. We were able to reserve a party bus, hotel rooms and dinner together. At the end of the night we spent the rest of the night downtown reminiscing on our old college memories. It was so fun catching up with everyone and seeing La Crosse again!

Student blogger Jennie and friends in front of party bus.

The birthday party bus group!

I had some catching up to do with school after that long weekend since we had a few exams that week. Some of the exams and practicals ended up being on the same day, but the professors were willing to change the date of one or two of them, so we didn’t have too many occur the same day. I really enjoyed having more technique classes with hands-on experience. We were able to look more into subluxations in the pelvic and thoracolumbar regions and learned how to properly correct them. Next trimester we are heading into the clinic where we will be adjusting students here at Palmer under a staff doctor. I’m extremely excited to put this knowledge into practice and be able to help my fellow students!

Rugby in the snow and a new trimester begins

Living in the Midwest, you don’t know what weather you’ll be hit with in the next week. This past weekend when we played our final game we realized while we traveled up to Minneapolis that it was going to be cold and snowy for the match. We knew we had to put our hearts, mind and every part of us in this game to succeed. From the start, we were letting the weather get to us and we weren’t running our system like we usually do. By the end of the first half, we were down by 10. We picked up speed in the beginning of the second half but eventually the Amazons overcame our defense, and eventually won the game. It was heartbreaking to see that happen but we later found out that the Amazons were going to forfeit their place in playoffs due to other obligations of a few players on the team. This gave us their place in playoffs in Grand Rapids, Michigan! We were so surprised, but at the same time, excited to continue our season and hoping to continue through playoffs. We are preparing this week during practices, working on our weaknesses and fitness to make sure we are at our top for this game this coming weekend.

With the start of our trimester this week, the first trimester students and the new undergrad students had orientation on Monday. Since I’m a mentor I get the opportunity to join them on their tour of campus and lunch to help them with any questions or finding things around campus. My group was a little more quiet than I expected, but after a trip around campus they talked more about where they’re from and asked questions about classes and material they will need. It was great seeing students from all over — not just the United States, but all over the world. There were quite a few students from Wisconsin, so we made connections there but usually the new students have so much information given to them in a little amount of time during that morning, which causes many to be a little overwhelmed. The first day of classes weren’t too stressful but I know I will have to get used to scheduled days again. A lot of the students in my group from orientation didn’t feel as comfortable with their way around campus yet, so during our club hour at 9:20 a.m. I took a group of them around campus to show them the different ways to get to each of their classes. Palmer has a few buildings but once you get yourself oriented, walking to class and around campus becomes easy. I can’t wait to get to know these new students more and see them succeed here at Palmer.

I’m very excited to be in my 6th trimester because I’m taking my first couple electives here at Palmer and we have more technique classes involved in our schedule. With my schedule for the winter I knew it was the perfect time to take SOT due to its time slot. Since we don’t play rugby during the winter, this allows this elective and practice to not interfere with the time of each activity. I also decided to take the activator elective to learn more about this technique and its benefits. My classmates and I will also be taking thoracolumbar and pelvic technique courses where we will learn about the set-ups, subluxations and more with the different techniques taught for these areas of the body. I’m excited to have more hands-on experience but I know this will be a crazy, busy trimester!

Playing rugby in the snow is a challenge overcome by teamwork.

Success in rugby and finals!

Our rugby season has been making history for Palmer with us being in the # 1 spot in the league so far. We even had an article in “ The Rugby Breakdown” about our success this season, in addition to a recent television interview and “practice” session with Channel 4 news here in Davenport. We showed the reporter the basics of rugby and he enjoyed learning about the sport and how our team is doing. We’ve had almost every Saturday filled with a rugby game and social with the teams this past month. Unfortunately, this season is coming to an end. We are in the Number #1 spot in our league currently, but our last game against the Amazons will determine if we stay in the top spot and go to playoffs. Since we just finished finals and we are on our break right now, we decided to have two-a-day practices the Wednesday and Thursday before the game. This allowed for a lot of players to head home or do some traveling for a long weekend. With our practices and the team’s energy, I feel like we can come out with a win this weekend and advance to playoffs for the first time in Palmer history.

Finals came upon us fast but I studied hard during the past couple weeks and did really well in all my classes. I’m one of those students who calculates their current grade and checks to see what is needed to maintain or raise my grade in each class. But I came out strong in each class of mine and this allowed me to enjoy my little break at home even more. I was able to spend time with friends and family and do a lot of relaxing. I even got to pick up a couple shifts at my job back at home as a receptionist at Studio 262 Salon in Middleton, Wis. I’ve worked there for seven to eight years now and I cover shifts for other employees during my break if they need a day off or want some vacation time. I love coming back to work because the employees always feel like family and they do amazing work for their clients. I love talking to the clients and seeing how happy they are with their finished results. But as always, break felt like it went by too fast. It’s nice to be back in Davenport for the weekend and I’m excited to finish it up with some rugby with my team!

 

My first adjustment, rugby and a wedding

The new term (or tri)  just started this week, but I’m going to tell you about the end of last tri.

The week before finals is always a little stressful with exams, practicals and preparation for our finals before the break. I started off the week by adjusting my friend in our toggle class! We did our scans, X-rays and palpation findings, which led us to find a pattern and a listing for each other. I was extremely nervous since it was my first adjustment but our professors had us practice ahead of time and helped us through the whole adjustment.

Jennie hold a small Palmer Crest pin she received or completing her first adjustment

My Palmer Crest pin for performing my first adjustment!

After I performed the adjustment, we did our post-scans and analysis. My friend’s fossa reading went down a whole degree, and his leg-checks evened out. It was amazing to see how much change occurred after performing that adjustment on him. Not only did the adjustment help him, but it confirmed the love and passion I have for the field of chiropractic. I can’t wait to have more hands-on classes where we will learn about different types of adjustments and different techniques that we will use in the future with our patients. After we did our first adjustments, we got a little pin to congratulate us on the accomplishment!

Otherwise, the rest of the exams and quizzes went well, especially since we have to start preparing for our finals. I was happy to get the best grade yet in my nutrition class on our third exam, and I hope to do even better on our final!

I have accepted a new responsibility in rugby for the next year! I was voted by my fellow players to be the new treasurer for the Women’s Rugby team. I will help with fundraising, socials and other events we host throughout the year. I’m excited to help not only on the field, but also off the field for this team and help make team decisions with the e-board.

Jennie (far right) with her friends from undergrad outside in front of a background of blue sky and trees. There are three other women and one man.

Celebrating with my undergrad friends at the wedding in Rockford.

In addition to this busy week, I attended a wedding in Rockford, Illinois, over the weekend. Two of my friends from undergrad made that next step in their relationship with marriage, and I was able to witness and celebrate with them–and many friends from our undergrad years. It was nice to enjoy the weather, some dancing and a lot of fun with old friends before my long week of finals! I had to head back pretty early Sunday since I had quite a bit of studying to do before my final exam Monday morning.

-Jennie

Heading into finals … and summer!

Photo of lots of colorful flower bouquets with roses, carnations and daisies.

Bouquets of flowers seem to go hand-in-hand with Mother’s Day.

As the trimester is coming to an end, we are getting a little bit more busy with final quizzes, exams and practicals. But there is always time to celebrate the holidays. For Mother’s Day I decided not to go home since my mom’s birthday was the weekend after, and my dad would be coming home from a fishing trip on her birthday. I still wanted to do something special for her, so I had a vase of flowers specially made for her. My dad was able to pick them up and bring them home for her. She loved the surprise so much she teared up a little. I think it made her more excited for my visit the next weekend.

During the week, we had a few quizzes and assignments in class. In particular for our toggle class. We were able to analyze our own cervical X-ray films to find our possible upper cervical listings. With this we are able to test other findings with scans, palpation and leg checks. At the end of the class our partners are able to adjust us, if the findings show a misalignment. My partner and I have been evaluating each other and will possibly be adjusting one another next week. These will be our first adjustments we will be giving, so we are pretty excited!

The next weekend I was able to travel home to see my family and celebrate my mom’s birthday! I invited my friend to join me since she is from New York, and her family is far away. I also knew her new puppy would love to visit Wisconsin since she had never been, and there is so much open area around my house.

During this visit, we weren’t able to do too many things outdoors due to bad weather with rain and cold temperatures. For dinner we did a traditional Friday fish fry in downtown Madison at one of my favorite restaurants in the area, Dotty Dumplings. The morning of my mom’s birthday I was able to make her breakfast in bed and help her start off her birthday the right way! Unfortunately, I had to head back a little early on Sunday due to the volleyball league I signed up for at a local bar in Moline.

Luckily I made it back right on time for the game, and I found out we were playing two games in one night. I was pretty tired from the car ride but we won three games and lost three games. All in all, it was a fun, good time with friends and volleyball.

This week was a busy week with a few quizzes and our last practical in toggle. For the practical we analyze sample X-rays, findings and scans and with this we will decide what we would adjust and if we could adjust. Then after all the analysis, we set up on a “practice dummy” whose name is Charlie. For the practical, we focus on the patient placement, doctor set up and thrust. Also we have to make sure we have the right adjustment when looking at the films, scans and our findings. I’m nervous but I plan on practicing beforehand so I feel prepared for the practical.

-Jennie

Do you know something Davenport’s known for?

Student blogger Jennie with two friends dressed up in green for St. Patrick's Day

My friends and I had a great time on St. Patrick’s Day.

One thing Davenport is known for is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. It is actually the third biggest location in the United States for the celebration, and this was my second time being able to experience St. Pats here in Davenport.

This year I made a last minute decision – literally three days before the event – to run the CASI Quad Cities 5k the morning of the big parade that runs along downtown. Since I’m usually playing some sport — if it’s soccer, rugby or volleyball, I thought that I was probably in good enough shape to run 3.1 miles, but I knew I was going to be aching after. But the run was a lot of fun and it was flat along the whole way, so the race wasn’t as bad as I thought! The next day, after the parade and celebration downtown, I was surprisingly not sore.

The parade is one of the bigger aspects of the holiday and it runs for an hour or two since there are so many participants and it has a long path. A couple friends and I watched half of it, which allowed us to collect a whole neck full of beads and quite a few pieces of candy! Afterwards, my friends and I were able to enjoy some “green” beer and some classic drinks like Guinness and “car bombs.” Since we were out since morning, we went home earlier than usual to get some sleep because we were all so tired. It was definitely a weekend filled with fun, friends, and tons of food and drinks.

In our classes we are already getting great hands-on experience and working with X-rays. In our physical diagnosis class, we have been working with taking a patient’s blood pressure, temperature and pulse. In our toggle class we have been analyzing real X-rays and finding the possible misalignments on our “patient’s” cervical vertebrae.

While classes have been going good so far, I decided to take another class outside of Palmer, which is taught by the Troxell intern program. This program is focused on the Gonstead technique and is there to help students get extra experience and understanding of the technique. In the past trimesters, I have taken the palpation and the X-ray courses and this trimester I will be taking the technique class. It will be nice to get hands-on experience and learn more.

We had our first rugby tournament, which was really excited. We worked really hard and made practices a little longer than usual so we could get as much practice in as possible. With the varying weather that we have here in Davenport, Iowa, our practices have been unpredictably cold, warm, wet and/or snowy, so we are ready for any weather that may come during our upcoming games. Our first tournament was in St. Louis. I had never been to Missouri before, so it was exciting to play together with my team and in a new place.

Starting 4th tri and rugby!

As always, I feel like breaks are not long enough. But it was great to relax over the last one and not have to stress over homework or exams.

This break I was able to go home and see some friends and enjoy a lot of family time. It was nice to see everyone, and they all got to meet my new cat Kaya! I came back to Davenport in the middle of break so I could play in our final indoor soccer tournament. Unfortunately, it was a tough battle in the first match. and we weren’t able to continue on. It was fun to come back and play some soccer. though, and it was a really good, competitive game!

Our last weekend of break my parents, my sister and her boyfriend were able to travel down and visit me. We explored a lot around Davenport looking at the different houses along the river and had some delicious meals. One of our favorite restaurants that we visited was Trattoria Tiramisu. It is a cute Italian restaurant, and the meal could feed you for dinner and lunch the next day! It was great being able to show them the great areas around Davenport.

So I have officially started my 4th trimester here at Palmer! I was able to join the 1st trimester students on Monday at orientation due to being a Palmer Mentor. I was asked to join last trimester, so this was my first group of students to mentor. It is a great program where we join the Campus Guides during the tour and help along the way with questions or extra information. We connect with the students within our groups when school starts, and then after school, so that they can always come to us with questions, maybe study together or even hang out outside of school. It was a lot of fun to connect with my group and find out more about them! Many of them are from different states around the country and one was even from Canada. I can’t wait to get to know them more this trimester.

Classes went great the first week! Fourth trimester really is set towards preparing you towards your first NBCE exam. There is a review class that covers and reviews most of the material you have covered in your classes from your 1st to 3rd trimesters. Two of my favorite classes this trimester are toggle and physical diagnosis. These classes are more hands on and involve practicals with doctor/patient scenarios. In toggle we will learn more about the upper cervical vertebrae, and we will be able to officially adjust our first time at Palmer at the end of the trimester!

Also that week, we started our official outside rugby practices, and I can tell already this will be a good season for our team. We are starting off strong, and a lot of the new players already have great skill and this will definitely help with during our upcoming tournaments and games in the future. We were able to do a lot of ball handing with playing ultimate rugby and some drills. We even got some conditioning in, but I think the team did really well and showed great endurance. I really missed seeing all the girls and playing rugby!

(By the way, the women’s and men’s rugby teams are playing this weekend! Come down to Centennial Park on Saturday at 1 p.m.!)

 

Returning to the balancing act

The first thing I noticed when I got back from home was the progress done on our gym here on campus! It has been under remodel this past year and should be done this in the spring. When I came back, all the main foundation was done, and they were starting to create the walkway that will connect it to one of the main buildings on campus.

When I came back from break, it made me realize how much I missed being in Davenport. Even though I love being at home with family, I really enjoy going to school here and I’m getting closer to becoming a chiropractor.

The biggest challenge after our holiday break was getting back on schedule. Luckily we didn’t have too many exams or quizzes thrown at us right away, but we definitely needed to prepare for the next couple weeks since we are getting closer to the end of trimester. It is crazy to think that I will have completed a whole year here at Palmer in a little over a month! Even with our busy schedules, it’s extremely important to go to classes due to the extra credit and/or participation opportunities, but also the professors really help students understand the material in different ways.

One class in particular that I really appreciate is Systems Pathology. Every once in a while, the teacher changes up his ways of teaching during class instead of just continuously lecturing. Sometimes he has us read over the slides, and we divide into groups and teach each other. Other times he has had questions for us to review or go over the material we have just learned. That said, it is important to be organized with your schedule here at Palmer with your academic schedule but also our extracurricular activities you participate in.

During my free time these past weeks back, I have tried to prepare for the rugby season with regular exercise and my weekly soccer game. We have had a couple wins and a loss, but all in all, the games have been fun and have had a good amount of competition.

During this past week I was able to score my first hat trick (three goals)! But we also have had a couple injuries within our team, so we are adapting to the change on the field. Last week we had a rugby team meeting discussing the upcoming season and the preparation for it. We are starting to condition two mornings each week right on campus! It will make sure we are trained and conditioned for when we are able to hit the field outside and start practicing. At the meeting we discussed attending an additional tournament during our spring season on top of the games and tournament we have scheduled already. It will be fun to play against some different teams, and it will allow us to spend more time together as a team!

-Jennie