In 4th trimester, the technique class we’re taking is called Toggle. This is an upper cervical technique that B.J. Palmer used in practice.
This week in Toggle we are working on our X-ray line analysis skills. There are different views of X-ray we look at, and we draw a bunch of lines on them in order to determine if we should adjust and how we should adjust. At first we were looking at drawn outlines of what we might see on an X-ray, but this week we go to view real X-rays.
I have to say that even though we’d done the drawn outline ones, and I felt like I had a good handle on them, looking at the real X-rays still came as a bit of a challenge. The drawings are slightly misleading because they give the impression that the structure will be outlined well and easy to see. This is not the case. Most structures have a faint outline, or blend in with other things so it is pretty hard to see at first. But with a little help from our instructors, it got much easier to recognize the different things we were looking for.
It is kind of amazing how you can first look at something and have absolutely no idea what you are looking at or where to look to find something, and then as soon as it is pointed out, it’s hard not to notice it and it seems much more visible than before.
Our class the rest of the week will be in a classroom that is just filled with X-ray viewing screens, so the lights are turned out and all we have to work with are our X-rays, the lit up box behind them and our analysis kits to draw the lines and measure the angles. But it’s cool to go through the entire process and come out with a listing or a finding. It is like physically measuring and seeing that the spine is misaligned and in need of correction!
So June 14 was the first trimester social. This event was one of my favorite events from first trimester. I really felt like it helped me break the ice with students in my class and actually have a chance to talk and get to know them. There isn’t a lot of time in class to get to know someone and the 5 minute break isn’t that great either, so having a few hours dedicated to getting to know each other better over some snacks was great!
I feel lucky to be able to attend this event still as a 3rd trimester student in Student Council/Campus Guides to get to help them break the ice with each other and also just socialize with them myself! As I was talking to a few of the students, they pointed out my strong Canadian accent and were mocking me for the way I say some things, haha. To he honest I didn’t even think I had that big of a Canadian accent, but maybe having just been at home over the break surrounded by my “kin” my accent was heightened.
This year at the social, my rugby team set up a fundraiser to resell used lab coats, glasses and probes to the 1st trimester students at a discounted rate. I spent the majority of my weekend washing and bleaching all the used lab coats and everything so they would be at least clean and somewhat stink free for their new owners. Then we had a table set up where new students could buy the coats if they wanted to! This will be a great way to help us raise money for socials, travel and team equipment for the upcoming season! We only sold a few coats but we hope to improve the fundraiser and get it done earlier for the new students next trimester and have a table set up during orientation or the first week of school.
I think one of my favorite things about the social hour is just getting to answer questions and give advice on how to tackle the Palmer lifestyle. I remember being so nervous for my first quiz and nervous I wouldn’t be able to handle the workload or the stress, and talking with people who had been through it seemed to help ease my nerves. So I hope I can help do the same for them as well!
Thank goodness for Easter weekend! These last three weeks have been a grind … running on not enough sleep and more coffee than I thought I would ever have drank. This little break was exactly what I needed to help recuperate and prepare for the upcoming weeks.
Sometimes it just feels like you hit a wall, and you don’t think you can possibly stay focused or learn another thing, and right now that’s where I’m at. I cannot wait to take at least one night off and just not look at any books and turn the TV on and catch some playoff hockey! We do have an exam next week, but it’s only one and a whole six days away, so I don’t need to be cramming at all hours of the day and night.
The good thing about Palmer during these heavy exam weeks is that the professors communicate with each other, and many of them were once in our spots and know exactly how we feel. They know when to ease off the gas pedal in one class so we can put more focus on others by giving clinical lectures or going at a slower pace. It’s nice to feel like they are here to help us, reinforcing and encouraging us through a stressful time.
But I am glad last week is over. I am totally drained and cannot wait to get home to my couch.
Today in Palpation, we finally got to use our marking pencils and practice counting out the spinous processes. I feel like this is a skill that I will get to use every day in my career, and so it feels awesome to be getting to take this step in class and practice what technique works best for me.
The best thing about getting to do this in class is the variety of people to practice on. I get to palpate my roommates all the time, but I have gotten to know their bodies pretty well by now. So it’s nice to be in class and get to test out my tactile reception on some different backs. Some people are easy with very prominent features and some people are a little more difficult to feel everything on.
Today we were marking the inter-spinous spaces with a line, so everyone’s back had a bunch of lines all the way down at each of their inter-spinous spaces. Cervicals and thoracics tend to be easy to find regarding each spinous and its space, but down in the lumbars it gets a little trickier.
Once we had found all the spaces and had the correct number of spinouses counted up, we marked lines to where the transverse procceses would lie. If you didn’t know already, they are actually typically a little above where the spinous process would be for each segment. The transverse processes are the contact points for many adjustments, so it will be important to be able to find them and get to know where they are in relation to the spinous.
The transverse processes are not as easily palpable as the spinous processes, but you will know if you are on it by having one thumb on the spinous process and pushing on the transverse process to make the spinous move ever so slightly.