Finals time

It’s almost finals time again on the Davenport campus, so while we get ready for these, I’ll tell you about the last trimester’s finals. The fall trimester felt like it went on for a very long time, even with all the breaks. When finals week came up, I couldn’t believe how fast that happened! Finals weeks can be a little nerve-racking with all the tests. But in all actuality, it isn’t too bad. Since you’re in classes, you have more time during the day to study.

coffee sinI spent the majority of study day (the day before the finals begin–no classes!) at a coffee shop in Moline with a friend so that I would stay focused on Spinal Anatomy. Depending on what I’m studying, sometimes it’s best for be to study in a public location so that I stay on track. Some people go to coffee shops all the time and study all day. Sitting in one spot for a long period of time is too difficult for me, and it gets expensive!

Monday was my most difficult day of finals, but once that was over, I felt so much more relaxed — even though I still had three more finals to go!

Some of the best advice I received my first trimester before finals was to calculate where you are sitting in each class before finals start. Then start prioritizing your time based on where you need the most points. Seems pretty obvious, but some people don’t do it and I think it raises their anxiety a little more. Most professors will also calculate it for you want to make sure your calculations are correct.

And then finals were over on Wednesday,j and I had another trimester in the books! Which felt amazing!


PASS sessions, yoga and pets

My dog, Guinness.

My dog, Guinness.

Saturday morning was a busy morning! With a general pathology exam on Wednesday, our PASS (Palmer Academic Success Service) tutor held an extra session this morning reviewing chapter two. The PASS sessions have been extremely helpful for me, mainly to hear the information for a second time and to hear it explained a different way. A lot of the tutors also have different ways to remember topics and tips for what the professors focus on! This makes studying for exams a little less stressful. Most of the PASS sessions take place during the week after classes or in between classes.

Right after PASS my friend picked me up from school and we headed to yoga in the park at Vander Veer Botanical Park. This trimester I’ve started taking yoga classes again at One Tree Hot Yoga as a stress reliever from school. There are a few different studios in the area, and there’s a free yoga class on campus Saturday morning, which I haven’t had a chance to attend yet. The yoga class in the park is free every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. through the summer. There are all different levels of people who attend, and the instructors are great at showing different ways to modify positions for all levels!

After yoga, I spent the remainder of the afternoon reviewing for my general pathology exam and spending time outside with my dog, Guinness. My brother, who is in 6th trimester, also has a dog. Since I have a fenced-in backyard, he’ll bring his dog over to play. I love having my dog at school, and it’s a great reason for me to take some breaks and spend time outside with him. There are also a few dog parks in the area. Since I have the fenced-in backyard, I tend to play fetch with him at my place. But I do know of some friends who take theirs dogs to those parks to run around.

For those of you wondering, there are a number of people who have pets at school. From what I’ve heard from others, people are more likely to get a pet after the first year is over so they have more time for them.




Picture of my dog, Guinness.

Redband and practicals

Redband coffee ... yummm.

Redband coffee … yummm.

Week four of the trimester flew by, and I can only imagine how quickly the rest of the trimester will go. Today (Thursday) we had our first palpation practical on the pelvis. Over the weekend and last night, a few of my classmates and I got together to practice finding specific landmarks (PSIS, ASIS, etc.) along with the testing (fluid motion, seated flexion, etc.). I am starting to find these landmarks much easier with practice and am becoming more confident with then!

I remember the first day struggling to find the inferior and inferior PSIS. I am sure that as I go further along in the program, palpating different features will continue to get easier. Then I’ll look back and wondering why I stressed out over these practicals.

During the practical, there’s no talking, except when you’re performing the test and showing the landmark to the professor. Palpation is probably one of my favorite classes because it’s all hands-on compared to sitting all day. The hour always flies by! Just like I know my time at Palmer will fly by, but I’m excited to have more hands-on classes.

The test only took each person about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. And then we had the rest of the time for ourselves. I walked to Redband with two friends. If you’re not familiar with Redband Coffee, they have two locations, and one is a quick walk from campus. And they have some amazing iced coffee! If you are a coffee drinker, I highly recommend checking them out. I also love their breakfast sandwiches!


Learning to palpate

Students learning to palpate in class.

Students learning to palpate in class.

We had a great night at the sorority house with Technique Night! There are six pledges this trimester and it’s great getting to know all of them. Only three are first-trimester students. I’ve met a lot of great friends through the house, even only being in Davenport for a few months.

That night we worked on palpating different cervical and pelvic landmarks. We haven’t worked on palpating cervicals in palpation class yet, so it’s nice to get some extra hands-on to find these landmarks. Different clubs and organizations will work on palpation to help students get their hands more familiar and sensitive to finding these landmarks.

One of the pledges is in 8th trimester and was willing to let me palpate her cervicals since she does this all day long. It was great getting paired up with someone who knows what she’s looking for and how to test the motion to make sure I was in the correct location. We also worked on listings, which was very new to me. I always hear about them but wasn’t exactly sure how they worked with what I was feeling!

We ended the palpation with pelvic landmarks, which was really helpful since I have my palpation exam tomorrow. I was able to find the PSIS, sacral ala, ischial spine, ischial tuberosity, and more! Any extra hands-on work is always helpful because I find you never know who you could be palpating during your exam, so just becoming more confident is important!