Another holiday break came around. It is kind of crazy the time that is flying by. I am currently in Toggle Recoil Technique class, and within the next year I will have taken the rest of the technique classes that will be the foundation of my whole future!
Toggle Recoil Technique is viewed by some as an old and outdated technique that we are only taught because of the historical significance not only to our school, but to the whole world! I have had some students from other chiropractic schools ask me if we were taught Toggle Recoil, and I would reply that it is a required class for everyone who passes through our program and graduates from Palmer. Their replies have always been almost apologetic.
From my point of view, I feel apologetic towards them because they are not being taught a technique that is rooted in the history of Chiropractic–one that is backed-up with lengthy research projects that were performed within the same clinic space where we have our first clinic experience during 7th trimester.
It is true that we are not suppose to live in the past or to hold onto events from the past as if they are everything and “it.” However, we are to revere events of the past and, as we embrace significant moments, we are to build upon them and to improve upon them to better society as a whole.
An interesting experience for me took place in the student clinic the other day (where the B.J. Palmer Clinic was). The Clinic doctor was trying to instruct the students in some hands-on training, and he stated that the thrust should be a “toggle-like” thrust. How often do we actually go through a class or an experience in life that at the moment we feel it is a waste of time, skill, money, etc.? On the flip-side, we need to look into these experiences with more long-term-vision spectacles to see how these can benefit our lives as well as those we will help heal themselves through not only our chiropractic care that we will offer, but also the healing as we take time to hear and communicate with our patients! (And please do not take this as something I have mastered … I am yet a peon in this aspect of enJOYing life.)
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!
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!