‘Adjusting’ to clinic

Hello, everyone! I am not new to Palmer, but I am new to blogging so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brittany Garcia, and I am a tenth quarter student at the Florida Campus. I am a little less than one year from graduating—it’s so crazy (and amazing) to think that I am graduating THIS year! The past nine quarters went by so quickly, and I can only imagine the next year will pass by even more rapidly. Up until this point at Palmer, I have spent most of my time in class, which means I have done a lot of studying and exam taking (a necessary evil). Now, as a tenth quarter student, I have made the transition from the classroom to the clinic. It was five weeks ago today that I started working at the student outpatient clinic and treating people from the community.

My new role at Palmer as a student intern has been full of highs and lows. On a positive note, I already have nine outpatients! Some of them got passed to me from students who are graduating, some I recruited from the community, and one of them was given to me as a lottery patient who called in to receive care. Even though I am starting to accumulate patients now and becoming busier, the first few weeks were quite slow—as they are for most new interns.

Last quarter I began the transition by treating student in the clinic. I had already been adjusting in class for over a year at that point, so this transitional period was necessary to gain familiarity with electronic health records, exam forms and clinic protocols. The time I spent in the clinic in ninth quarter gave me the experience I needed to feel confident when working with outpatients. I felt a little nervous during my first new patient exam and adjustment, because it was the first time that there was a real person in front of me, with pain, who wasn’t a student, and I was expected to help make them well?! Of course there were a few hiccups—I would be lying if I said otherwise—but my first exam and adjustment went pretty well. It helped that I had another student in the exam room helping me along way. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that with every patient I become more efficient, and my confidence in examining, diagnosing, and treating goes up little by little.

I have a lot going on this quarter (as I do with most quarters), so I am really excited to be able to share my experiences with you all. There will be many interesting blogs to look forward to from me in the coming weeks. I am currently studying to take my Part II and III National Boards, as well as preparing to travel to India in March for a Clinic Abroad trip through Palmer!

Stay tuned,

Brittany

5th Quarter at West Campus

These past few weeks have been quite busy as a 5th quarter. We made it through our CCEPs and passed with flying colors! It was slightly stressful to be put in a strict clinical/testing setting, but in the end we found it kind of fun to demonstrate what we have learned in the past year. All of our professors from our first year of classes were the test facilitators, and it was kind of cool to show them that we’ve retained what they’ve taught us! It also gives us confidence moving forward. Seeing the now 9th quarters in student clinic is a huge reality check–we will be in that position in a year! And it’s motivating to really learn as much as possible in our classes, especially as we begin to learn more pathology and clinical related information.

With endless classes and tests it sometimes seems like it’s not possible to learn everything. But having so many classmates in the same boat makes the learning process much more fun and do-able.

A group of people from my class that are taking the Applied Kinesiology 100-hour course find ourselves particularly strapped for time with a sixth day of class each week. But after a year into Palmer West, you really start to have an idea of who you work well with, and studying together makes the process go much more smoothly. We’re all in this together to become the best chiropractors we can be!

– Tomilyn Thornberry, 5th Quarter, West Campus

Finding balance in a busy time

These past couple of weeks have contained exams almost every other day. Within about two weeks, we had an exam in each class except Philosophy, and practicals in Spinal Anatomy II and Palpation.  It has been quite busy. Being a Palmer student can be compared to a juggling act. 

When it comes to this kind of schedule, I need to decide which classes get more attention than others.  I need to work on priorities and then make a schedule.  As I look back to my past, I have done all of those, but I have not kept the schedule. I will be working on my own accountability to make sure that I do what I say according to my studies.

The exams that I have taken haven’t panned out the way I have wanted, but what do I expect if I do not study diligently?  It is true that for some professors, if not all, that you have to study for how they test you on the material.  Some teachers have different language it seems like when it comes to taking their exams, but we have to deal with it.

For the vast majority, the information that we are receiving even now in the second tri, is to not just prepare us for their exams, but to also prepare us for National Boards, which are used to dictate if we are ready to be called Doctors of Chiropractic.

So how do I deal with all of this pressure of exams, family life, and person reflection?  I take it a day at a time. I go to bed at a decent hour. I have found that I DO NOT perform well if I cram for exams. I go to bed because a good night’s rest is more therapeutic and resourceful for my exams than cramming unknown or unfamiliar information into my tired brain.

I make time for my family.  I have made a deal with my family that I will take two hours each day during the week to be with them—no homework.  That includes time for dinner and then one hour of play with my almost two-month-old girl before she goes to bed.  If I put God first, then my wife, then my baby, and then school, what can go wrong in the grand scheme of things? Well, I guess I will find out eventually, eh? I am sure that everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out. Lives will be touched, be they the lives of my family members, classmates, or even just my own as I watch my daughter grow and watch my knowledge unfold.

What have you seen in your “study life” that has helped you avoid distractions and “bear down” to “own” the material that you need to learn?  What are some of the distractions that you have overcome?

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus