Clinic observations start next week!

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

(Note: This post is from last week)

It was nice to be able to take some time for family and relaxing during our long weekend (Easter). These next couple of weeks are generally pretty mild. I’ll need to use them to catch up on projects and homework assigments. It seems that you don’t really have homework or assigments until you get into the upper trimesters.

Tonight is Zumba again! I am quite proud of myself for actually only missing once since it has been offered this trimester. I remembered spine and go seek this week also!

This weekend is the first weekend for the soft tissue elective I am taking so I will be in class from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, but it should be really interesting. I am excited to be able to start taking electives. I think next trimester I am going to try and take Thompson and Activator. It’s starting to hit me that I really don’t have much time left here, so I need to start soaking up and learning everything I can.

We just went over dress code and requirements for our observations we have to do in the student clinic. Observations start next week! It has come so quickly, it’s hard to believe that next trimester I will be taking care of patients.

I was looking at my schedule for the rest of the trimester and I couldn’t believe April was almost over. And I realized how quickly this trimester is coming to an end! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it still feels like just yesterday that I moved to the Quad Cities. Doesn’t usually feel like it during the first year, but once you’re preparing to go into Level 1 Clinic, you look back and all you can think is, “Wow! That really did go fast.”

I think I will go buy my clinic jacket this week!

My first pelvic adjustment!

(Written Monday)

I got to do my first pelvic adjustment today! It’s so exciting to be in the classroom adjusting this early into the trimester. In Toggle and Cervicals, we weren’t able to adjust until the last couple weeks of the trimester, and here we are a little over a month into the trimester and we’ve been able to adjust in both of our technique classes.

I have said it many times before, adjusting days are just the best, and whether it’s the first adjustment you’re giving or the fourth, it’s still just as exciting.

Sixth trimester is a lot more hands on, so you’re not sitting in the classroom listening to lectures as much throughout the day. It makes the days go quicker. Tonight I have radiology lab at 6 p.m. I’m not sure what we’re doing in tonight’s lab. Then I have a couple exams and quizzes to study for this week.

It’s a short week with the holiday break, so that is always good news. After last week, a long weekend is needed, although I have to go to the dentist on Friday. But regular dental check ups are just as important as regular spinal check ups. Since I get adjusted once a week, the least I can do is have my teeth checked every six months. Overall health is the best kind.

-Allisha

An extremely busy week

Last week was an extremely busy one, but it came to an end and I survived it. I got my picture for my clinic badge taken this week. I’m one step closer to taking care of patients!

We had five exams last week, which was slightly stressful but now that they are all over, it doesn’t seem like it was that bad. I went to zumba again on Tuesday but didn’t make it to step aerobics because I needed to study.

Wednesday was adjusting day in our pelvic class. I was the patient this first time, and it was my adjusting partner’s birthday, so I let her adjust me as a birthday present. 🙂 I will hopefully get my oppportunity on Monday.

Friday we got to do a physical exam on some kids in my OB/peds lab. Which posed to be a lot more difficult than I had originally expected. Kids like to talk and move around a lot, and it’s hard to say (chiropractic) things in a way they can understand. The little girl we were working with was a trooper. It was good practice for realizing how you’re going to deal with these real life situations where people aren’t necessarily going to understand what you’re saying to them. We get so accustomed to talking to our peers that understand our chiropratic language that when we go out and talk to people outside of the Palmer community, we forget we have to change our word choices. Same goes for interactions with children, and I thought it was be easier than it ended up being.

Friday night I went to Board Game Club to wind down from the busy week. And we actually enjoyed some nice (though windy) weather this weekend!

-Allisha

My second adjustment!

I got one more adjustment under my belt! This time in thoraco-lumbar class.

Today was “find it and fix it” day where we did a work up on our classmates thoracic and lumbar regions to see if there was any fixation. We worked in a group of three and all of us got to adjust. It is always nice having adjusting days because it’s a good reminder of why we are here and what we’ve worked so hard for.

You always get little extra pieces of advice from the professors on how to improve your adjustment when you are actually giving an adjustment. It’s hard for them to really critique you or give you pointers when you’re just doing a set-up.

What’s good about the Technique classes I have this tri is that we have adjusting days sporatically throughout the trimester, so we don’t have to wait until the end of the trimester to finally get to adjust. I didn’t get the adjustment on my first try. I thrusted too soon, but I was able to get it on the second thrust.

The more and more confident and comfortable we get with each other and in our abilites to adjust it seems the easier it is to be successful in our attempts. Although having someone watch what I’m doing and critquing me still makes me slightly nervous. I have come along way since day one of palpation when we were even too nervous to touch anyone. I remember my hands shaking uncontrollably while trying to find structures and motion out segments. Now I don’t give it any extra thought; just have to jump right in, and the nerves are all gone. I thought I would never get to this point, and here I am. And within four months, I’ll be taking care of real patients in the student clinic. Oh, how first trimester seems like yesterday …

-Allisha

I got to adjust today!

Success!

Success!

Yay! I got to adjust today! Everything I have worked for these past five trimesters has  proved more than worth it for moments like this.

I am having a hard time coming up with the right words or explanation on how to tell you how I feel. They don’t lie when they say these moments make you feel like a doctor.

It took me a couple tries before I felt the bone move, but I got really good advice on how to fix my set up and my adjustment. After the fourth try I was able to feel the atlas move under my finger! After that first thrust I began to get nervous and started to shake a little bit. This tends to be the normal response when going to adjust for the first time.

Actually, for a while, the first time you even palpate or do set-ups you’re nerves will get the best of you and you will shake. That goes away the more you do it and the more comfortable you get. After I felt the movement I did post checks, and immediately my patient began to adapt. I got different readings on the nervoscope, my motion findings had improved and her leg check came up even. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing immediate results from your patient.

It was really cool to be able to do this right before finals because I feel ready. I am pumped, and I am fired up and ready to go into finals now. Nothing gets you fired up quite like doing exactly what you came here to do. After classes today I am going to go to the clinic and get myself adjusted so I can go into finals clear-headed and functioning optimally!

The quote my tea gave me today was: “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”  – Louise Smith

I love this quote. It can be applied to most situations, but I feel like it really applies here because some students I know tend to get stuck in a negative attitude. I feel like if you let that happen and you choose to let yourself go through this program mad and negative, then you aren’t going to be able to move forward and do better for  yourself or this profession.

What we do here is difficult; it is very challenging. To get the rewards of feeling awesome after giving an adjustment, you have to let go of the bad that may have happened the day before or even the negative attitudes that surround you each day. Go at this with a positive attitude so you can get the most of it and you will enjoy the process and appreicate your hard work even more. When you finally get to adjust you will feel unstoppable because you worked hard for it and you deserve it.

– Allisha

What it feels like to give an adjustment

Yesterday my Cervicals partner got to do a full work-up on me and adjust me for the first time. She was not able to adjust in Toggle because her partner was not in pattern, which is essential for upper cervical care. Being “in pattern” means that whenever you run a scan on a titron, the results come out the same on more than one day. So this was her very first adjustment, and I was more than happy to be her patient.

Since I wasn’t able to explain my first cervical adjustment to you on Monday, I asked her if she would share with me how she felt while she performed her very first adjustment. She was more than happy to share that experience with you today. Here is what she told me:

So how I felt about giving you an adjustment … all the work leading up to it made me excited and a little nervous. I was really hoping that I did everything right, and that I could accurately motion out a truly subluxated segment.

Then when it came down to which technique to use, I was like, “Oh, crap, I hate cervical chair, especially with the #6 contact point.” Then when I set up on you and you told me I had good contact, it really boosted my confidence! So then I was like, yeah, I can do this! And then when I brought you to tension and was about to thrust, I was like, “Oh, crap (again), I hope I still have good contact.” I was really scared that I was gonna sting you and just make things worse with the subluxation (so I hope you weren’t lying when you said it was fine!). But it was nice to be able to thrust twice, even though I didn’t really get the segment to move.

Afterwards, it was great to have feedback from you and Dr. Hynes. I couldn’t tell during the whole thing how well she thought I was doing, but it was very reassuring at the end when she said I was thorough and did a good job. Now I feel more like a soon-to-be doctor, and it’s fantastic! You were an awesome patient!

She couldn’t have said it any better. I felt just about the same way with my first adjustment. At first you’re really nervous because you’re not sure you’re doing it right. Then you pump yourself up and you’re like, “Yeah, I can totally do this!” Then you get ready to thrust, and you’re right back to thinking, “Oh no! I’m not sure I can this.” In the end you are always able to do it. It’s what we are trained to do and we are trained very well.

You work all trimester to lead up to this point, and it makes the whole trimester and first year leading up to these opportunities worth it. You get fired up and remember why your here. Hopefully I will have another story of adjusting on Wednesday when I will hopefully be able to give it another shot, because after all, that’s what I came here to do and what I enjoy talking about!

-Allisha

Finals are coming … and I almost got to adjust!

It’s been another busy week in fifth trimester. We’ve exactly one week of classes left before we jump into finals. I believe most of the lower trimesters are finished with most of their testing then. Our class has practicals and quizzes almost every day until finals. It probably wouldn’t be this packed had we not missed four days of classes. I had the majority of my practicals Monday and Tuesday, so the rest of the week is pretty steady.

It snowed a good chunk yesterday and last night, and it seemed like the main concensus from most of the people I talked to was they were not going to be happy if classes were cancelled again. Although there are still people that are on board with snow days. To their disappointment, we were in classes Thursday even though the surrounding schools were cancelled.

Another cervical X-ray!

Another cervical X-ray!

This Monday was supposed to be my first adjusting day in my cervicals class. I got through the full work-up in a timely manner, made sure my patient was in good condition and was even able to isolate an atlas subluxation. A full work-up includes having a detailed case history on your patient, finding out everything about them to make sure there are no contraindications. Visualization–looking at your patients posture. Leg checks–range of motion of the cervical spine and reflex testing cervical nerve roots. Then I had to perform a few orthopedic tests that were related to the cervical spine to make sure she didn’t have any significant injuries or pathologies. We did our first check for subluxations using the nervoscope then confirmed our findings with static and motion palpation.

Unfortunately, my patient’s X-rays were not marked properly so we weren’t able to adjust. She is going to get the proper markings on them this week, and we are going to give it another try the last day of classes. I will let you know how it goes.

I have only had one experience adjusting in toggle, but it’s exhilarating so I am really looking forward to hopefully getting that opportunity next Wednesday in cervicals. My partner gets her opportunity to adjust me during our next class!

As for now, there isn’t much else really happening this week. Everyone is just trying to prepare for finals!

-Allisha

Day off? No thanks!

Cervical X-rayWe had yesterday off due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but that doesn’t mean it was spent sitting on the couch watching TV and playing on the Internet–at least not for the most part.

My friends and I got together to practice some cervical set-ups and prepare for our practicals this week. We have offically learned all of the set-ups we will learn for cervical adjusting, and we are being tested over them this week to get ready for our clinical basic testing, in which we will do full work-ups on our classmates and hopefully get to adjust their cervical subluxations.

Sometimes there is no better help than your peers. There were six of us that got together. Two people doing the set-ups, two patients and two people asking possible questions we could get during the practical. This is my favorite way to study. You get advice from students that have been learning the same things you are and that have had the same complications with the set-ups, and they’re able to tell you what works better for them or critque you on what you can do to make your set-up better for your patients.

And, of course, getting together with a group of friends is always a good time.

-Allisha