Clinic experience: Patient physicals

My first full physical in the clinic was awful. I love my patient, because they worked through it and came back for their next appointment. This day was when I learned that my mind goes completely blank when I get nervous.

I took her pulse about four times, because every time I went to write it down, I couldn’t remember what it was. Needless to say, that was a small matter of how much I forgot in that one appointment. The patient must have been thinking “How did this girl get this far?” but I really do know the orthopedic and neurological tests and how to perform them!

After you do certain parts of the physical, you go talk to your staff doctor and then come back to do other things based on the results of the first stuff. I left the exam room red and sweating like crazy because I felt like a complete idiot. I was able to work my way through my exam and get all the information I needed to diagnose the patient.

After the patient was done and had left, the doctor asked me why I was so red and sweaty. I explained what happened, and she just smiled and said “It can only get better.” This was definitely true. Everything has gotten better. I have become more confident, and I don’t let my nervousness get to me anymore. I mentally tell myself, “You know more than the patient, and they won’t know if you mess up.”

I have become very efficient and effective at doing physical exams the more times I have to do them. Thank goodness!

– Christa Scheffler, Davenport Campus

Clinic experience: Taking my first X-ray

My first X-ray that I shot was in the Campus Health Center, and it was of a knee. We hadn’t gotten through the whole lower extremity in class yet, so I was very nervous about taking them.

We get a partner to take the X-ray, write a report and do a radiology reading with. I chose an 8th trimester student, because they had already been through the class. It’s nice to have two minds working together, because if you don’t notice something or don’t know how to word something, there is someone else to rely on. I will be the first to admit that I forget things, so it’s nice to have someone else to help. After the X-rays were successfully taken, we had to begin our radiology report. It was easy to write because there wasn’t anything of significance on the films. The radiology review is what I was truly worried about. I had heard all sorts of scary stories about the different things that could go wrong.

We chose our time for the next day’s review sessions. My first radiology review was a great experience. Our report was well written, and we didn’t get “yelled” at for anything. I say “yelled” because that it what I had heard about, but really they just teach you ways to do things properly and make sure that you see all the important stuff on the film. I forgot to mention, radiology review is when you take your films and radiology report in front of a licensed chiropractic radiologist (DACBR for short) to make sure that you didn’t miss anything on the films and that the report is written properly.

I am glad that I have had many positive experiences in the radiology review, because you have to take 30 X-ray credits in order to graduate.

– Christa Scheffler, Davenport Campus

The first two years went fast

Well I’m officially in 7th tri now, and that means that I’m going to be starting into clinic! Everything that you look forward to from the day you step on campus is starting to come around. Funny thing is that it’s kind of nerve racking now that its actually here. You are officially starting to treat patients and beginning to mold yourself into a doctor.

I can’t believe that it’s been two whole years since I started Palmer. It seems like just yesterday when I was sitting in on orientation. It’s been a fast two years, and I can’t imagine how fast the next year will be.

I guess I probably should start looking into what I’m going to do when I get done. That is definitely something that is important but is so easy to forget during the beginning of our Palmer curriculum. The future is exciting and scary, and I can’t wait to get there and start making money for a change.  Until then, I guess I’ll just have to do some hunting. Darn!

– Ryan Etherton, Davenport Campus

Passed Boards and heading to the clinic!

November brings the beginning of a new trimester.  I am now in 8th tri and am thinking I will really enjoy this trimester.  With 8th tri, the class load is decreased so that we can spend more time in the clinics treating patients.  It is going to be really nice to be able to spend more time in the clinic versus the classroom!!

In December we will be allowed to apply for clearance to the AHC (Academic Health Center), meaning that seeing outpatients from the community is not too far away.  I can’t wait!! Also, all the classes this trimester have a practical application to real life practice, which makes them a lot more interesting and easy to pay attention to.

Also, a big weight was lifted off my shoulders two weeks ago when I got my Part II National Boards scores back and passed all of the sections!  That means two parts down and two more boards parts to go!! It makes all the stress and hard studying worth it!

Well, I don’t have too much to say since we have only been back in classes a week, but I am very excited to see what this trimester has to offer!

– Stephanie Tronnes, Davenport Campus

 

My first clinic patient!

My first patient in the Campus Health Center was very interesting. The prior intern was still in the room, which was helpful but also more nerve-wracking. I didn’t want to do or say anything wrong, even though everyone does things a little bit differently. The patient was understanding because I went a little slower and asked the previous intern a lot of questions.

Before the appointment, I thought I understood how to use the paperwork and what needed to be filled in, but at the appointment I was lost. The previous intern showed me easier ways to do things, and I became very efficient. The adjusting portion went very well for me, though. I hoped I had redeemed myself with my patient and that she would return for her next appointment. After the appointment, we rescheduled for a few weeks later, and she left. The previous intern stuck around and helped me with all of the computer work. I learned easier ways to type the notes and make sure they were placed in the correct file. I realized how much I knew and how much I forget when I get nervous. The upper trimester students are always a great help.

By the way, my patient did return and stayed my patient for my entire stay in the Campus Health Center!

– Christa Scheffler, Davenport Campus

Eye-opening experience: Clinic Abroad orphanage

Over the October break at the Davenport Campus, I had the opportunity to travel to Salvador, Brazil, for Clinic Abroad. It was nice to spend a few days on the beach upon arrival. But the whole group had a real wake up call on Saturday at the orphanage. The orphanage in Salvador is different than ones I have ever heard about in the USA. The people in the orphanage all have a physical or mental disability, so their parents or guardians just drop them off at the gates to this clinic. The workers take care of the kids for their whole lives pretty much. Most are dropped off as infants or toddlers. The orphanage doesn’t get government assistance, as far as we know, so it is all by donation.

It was great to be able to help all of the kids and adults that don’t get very much attention or personal touch. The whole orphanage was very grateful for our donations and chiropractic care. It was very heartfelt because the kids were all very nice and wanted to help any way they could. It was also noticeable that many of them weren’t getting a personal touch or the attention they wanted and needed. It was a big reminder to everyone of all we can be thankful for in our lives. It was great to have the opportunity to help the kids, who in my opinion, needed the care the most.

– Christa Schefler, Class 132, Davenport Campus

Yes, there IS life outside of school

With the start of the fall trimester I am renewed with a sense of excitement. I will likely lose some hours of sleep, spend many days doing observation and do meticulous calculations, but it will all be worth it. No, I’m not talking about my new classes. It’s prime time deer season here in Iowa!

As students at Palmer, it is very important to remember that there is life outside of school. Yes, it is extremely important to work hard in your classes, and you must make this a priority in your life if you plan on leaving this school prepared to be a great doctor. With that being said, you can’t forget about activities to rejuvenate and energize you for the task at hand. For me, hunting does just the trick.

Iowa has an abundance of public land and waters that are available for anyone to enjoy. As an experienced outdoorsman, please take my word that Iowa has a lot to offer compared to many other places. One of the things I have looked forward to all year was getting out in a stand to hunt the legendary Iowa whitetail with my bow. Now that the rut is about to take off, I am spending as much time as possible in the woods. Although I am going to be driven crazy by a 13 point buck that never seems to come closer than 100 yards, that’s not the real reason I head to to the woods. Hunting is an avenue that allows me to build relationships, explore the state and appreciate nature with all its beauties. Perhaps most importantly, it is a time to reflect.

Getting through Palmer is a journey that undeniably requires a large time commitment, but this fall I will be balancing that with a healthy dose of Mother Nature. I encourage everyone to think about investing time into themselves to make sure that you are more than just a student this trimester. Happy hunting!

-Brian Hall, 4th trimester, Davenport Campus

Chirogames!

This November, 20 Palmer West students literally traveled across the country to compete against other chiropractic schools at the Chirogames in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

We had teams playing flag football, women’s soccer and beach volleyball. The teams enjoyed playing the sports and competing on the beautiful sunny Florida coastline while being able to enjoy team sports, the warm beach and a little time away from home. It was a great opportunity to get to know new people around the school on a level outside the hallways.

Palmer West is one of the smallest chiropractic schools in the United States and had a smaller turnout than the other schools. But despite our low numbers, the teams put up a tough fight in all their games on Saturday and Sunday. The teams had a competitive mind set, but most of all wanted to go out and enjoy playing the games that they love.

The weather was hot, the food was fried and the nights were full of dancing. The nightlife in Cocoa Beach was filled with chiropractic students from across North America from both the United States and Canada, with a report of over 600 students on the small island over the weekend. This was a great opportunity to meet other chiropractic students that will one day be our colleagues.

Overall, the weekend was a blast, being able to play in the sun and compete.

Nichelle Francavilla B.S., ART, CSCS
Palmer College of Chiropractic, West Campus (9Q-Student Intern)

Carpe classes! Take full advantage of your classes

With every new trimester comes a new adventure. It’s always wonderful completing another trimester and getting one step closer towards graduation, but what is even more exciting to me is starting a new trimester with new professors. There is such a wide array of professors, and each has their own experience and specialty. You know that if you truly put the effort in to attend classes and listen to information they are sharing, you will take away a lot of information as well as life’s lessons from that instructor.

We recently had a professor hit home on the importance of coming to class and reminded us of the fact that although the subject may or may not be our favorite, that one class you missed may have pertained to the one fact you really wanted to know about. Our professors make it known they are not here to just read to you from a textbook but to teach how to apply this information now and in your future as a chiropractor.

Classes are back … and so is the smell of freshly sharpened pencils

I have a love/hate relationship with the first day of school. I have just experienced my fourth first day of school at Palmer, and our relationship status might read “it’s complicated.” If you are currently an undergraduate or high school student, you either stretch summer as long as possible and loathe getting into routine again, or you buy school supplies in July and pack your backpack two weeks ahead of time. I am the latter, therefore if you are the latter, don’t be ashamed.

You know the part in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan gushes about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils? That’s me. The part I love the most about beginning a new trimester is the refreshing intrigue of new classes and “can do'” attitude everyone has in their heart. Not to mention, students at Palmer look much nicer when they’ve actually gotten a healthy amount of sleep for the past 2 weeks.

The part I dislike about the first day of school is reading the syllabus and not lecturing. Get out of my way, syllabus, I have things to learn! This routine is the same in every school on the first day, and many people (many with more education and fancy letters after their names) have told me that this part is necessary, so somewhere in my brain I believe them. Love or hate, my favorite part of this particular first day of 4th trimester was the collective sigh of relief and pleasant smiles as my class welcomed some our favorite returning professors.

There are instructors at Palmer that you are allowed to–and should–adore. I genuinely believe I have had some of the world’s best instructors in my first year at Palmer, and I am excited to learn from what I know will be many more wonderful faculty in my next 6 trimesters.