Half-way there and almost in clinic

I am currently in 6th trimester and so excited for what lies ahead in my remaining year and a half at Palmer. I completed my first observations in the Palmer student clinic the other day and got a good taste for what my own clinic experience will be like. I can’t wait to have patients of my own and begin using all of the skills and techniques I’ve accumulated along the way.

I am currently in two technique classes, thoraco-lumbar and pelvic. Therefore, after this trimester, I will have officially learned the entire spine, which is so exciting! So upon entering the clinic in 7th trimester, the only technique class left to take is extremities. The progression of technique classes is very logical, and I love how we now get to start getting hands on in 2nd trimester.

Toggle Recoil … toggle-like?

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Toggle Recoil Technique is viewed by some as an old and outdated technique that we are only taught because of the historical significance not only to our school, but to the whole world!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.)

-Anton

Why I chose Campus Guides …

I joined Campus Guides during my third trimester because I felt
something was missing from my Palmer experience. While trying to
think about the things that could make my journey through school more
meaningful than solely taking classes, I looked around campus to see
who I envisioned making the most of their time. During that time of
reflection, I saw several Campus Guides giving tours to prospective
students, and I remembered what type of impact those tours had for me.
Then I realized that all of the Campus Guides I knew were the
students that strived to do well in classes, were generally positive
people, and absolutely loved Palmer’s education and history.

I had led prospective student events at previous institutions and
saw this being a natural fit for me to help engage students and
families with questions, meet the faculty outside of class, and build
connections with our awesome alumni base. Learning about the school’s
history in depth has given me a lot more pride in what I am doing here
and what the school has to offer. Like most things in life, because I
enjoy giving my time and knowledge to others, I actually reap the
benefits, too. Campus Guides was the perfect fit for my desire to
make a bigger impact, and I am glad I accepted the challenge.

– Brian R. Hall

My Palmer career is about to change … clinic!

As I lay in bed tonight, I feel a combination of excitement, nervousness and pure joy. I’m in 7th trimester, and my Palmer career is about to change tomorrow … we have our clinic induction ceremony at 2:50 p.m., and next week we start seeing patients in the Campus Health Center (CHC)! Wow, what an amazing feeling.

I have my outfit all laid out for tomorrow–I decided against a dress and am going with black pants instead. Haha, a few of the girls and I in my class were discussing what to wear to it today!

It is going to be held at Vickie Anne Palmer Hall, where Spizz Night and graduations are held, as well. I know of some classmates who have family coming to watch us be inducted, handed our white coats for clinic and our clinic badges on stage. My family members, however, are not attending this time because the closest one is 12 hours away. Hopefully they can come see us graduate in a year and four months instead.

This week was packed full of observing 8th trimester students in the CHC, a clinical psychology exam, a YMCA Christmas Family fundraiser, a spinography quiz, radiology set-ups, learning how to adjust wrists and deal with carpal tunnel, my roommate’s birthday celebration, yoga, my first adjustment and getting adjusted, making butternut squash soup, and learning how to tell what kind of anemia a patient has from blood work! (Haha, in no particular order.) I can say that my Palmer planner from the Bookstore is definitely keeping me grounded this week and able to sort everything out! Phew.

Seventh trimester is interesting because it is like two different worlds. We still have class from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a couple breaks, then clinic in the evenings. We really only are required to be in the clinic two hours in the evening per week, but we are encouraged, and most interns spend more evenings than one in the CHC to pick up patients, gain experience, do paperwork, familiarize themselves with the computer systems and get to know their staff doctors. I really appreciate the help from the 8th trimester students who have held my hand so far and showed me the ropes. I want to pay it forward and help those 6th tri students next trimester when they feel as confused as I did/do (though I must say, things really advanced and made connections in my mind today 🙂 Yay! ) upon entering clinic in 7th tri.

– Kaileigh Strath

The shadow knows – the value of shadowing doctors

I took off school for the whole week of Thanksgiving to go shadow offices. I have shadowed quite a few offices already, but I still don’t know what I want to do when I graduate. And graduation is only seven months away. Well, I’m getting more ideas of what I think I want to do.

Over Thanksgiving week, I was at one office Monday and one office Tuesday. I have learned so many new things while shadowing. You get the opportunity to see new techniques, different ways to evaluate patients, different paperwork, and different ways to run an office. The doctors are all very helpful about different hardships they have had while running their office. Seeing how different people practice has given me the opportunity to see who I may want to shadow next trimester.

– Christa Scheffler

Precepting – interning with a doctor

Oh … precepting.

Precepting is very similar to an internship at other colleges. During your last trimester at Palmer, you get the opportunity to go into an office and work under the doctor.

The regulations for each state determine what you are able to do while at the office. The doctors do not have to pay the interns, unless they choose. Each state has different requirements needed, if you can even precept with the doctor you want to. It can be difficult to find an office to precept with that you mesh well with and feel like you can spend 20 hours a week with. My deadline is quickly approaching and I haven’t found one that qualifies yet. I have found a few that would be fun, but don’t meet the Iowa qualifications.

-Christa Scheffler

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

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

Here’s to a great fall quarter!

We just began the second week of fall quarter and I must say it’s crazy to think that I’ve already completed one year here. It’s true what they say about how quickly it moves. I remember back in spinal palpation lab in first quarter, thinking that I would never be able to feel the structures we were asked to find. Everyone said that after a year our skills would improve dramatically. I’m sure it’s all relative, but I would have to agree that it’s amazing how much your hands-on skills improve over the course of your first year. It’s exciting to think how much more I will improve this coming year … and then a year from now it’s clinic time!

It was fun to welcome the new first quarter class last week at various events that were going on at school, such as SPIZZ Night, the all-school Welcome Assembly and the party that the 2nd quarter class always throws for the 1st quarter class. We are no longer the largest class on campus, and we also got to move into a larger room with a window! Small victories! As a Campus Guide, it was fun to see some of the prospective students I had on tours show up as a new students this quarter.

Currently, we 5th quarters have started the frantic rush of studying for our CCEP exam in three weeks. This test is a cumulative review of the material learned in our first year here at Palmer’s West Campus. It involves 14 stations: seven practical and seven written. We will be asked to perform clinical and adjusting skills, along with being asked to do basic diagnosis of common metabolic conditions, etc. It’s kind of overwhelming but at the same fun to review the information!

There are about 10 people from my class that are taking a 100-hour certification course in Applied Kinesiology with a local chiropractor. We have six sessions this quarter and six next quarter. Our first session was great and, while it makes for a long week, it is a great way to bring in a very different aspect to what we learn in school.

As for me, cross country season is in full swing with the team I coach, and we are hoping to have our boys’ team win their league meet in two weeks and move on to state! Here’s to a great fall quarter!