Busy week, more tests

This week is incredibly busy. Three practicals, two quizzes and three tests. We were fortunate enough to have two exams moved to next week, so we didn’t have five this week. We will get through it; we’ve done this before … we just usually end up collapsing on Friday. I’m also going to try and get a couple observations in this week among studying.

National Board scores also came out this week. I didn’t take them this time around. I’ll take them in September, but I have quite a few friends that had to take them this trimester. I’m rooting for them. I’m sure they all did awesome! But it just puts things into perspective that I’m going to have to start studying for Part II real soon.

Potentially the best case scenario is that I will make myself start gradually over the next June break, but I said I was going to do that for Part I and it didn’t happen. Sadly, you never feel prepared enough for the National Board exams.

A nice end to the week will be Board Game Club. We’re playing a Game of Thrones game that is pretty intense and potentially going to take us 4-6 hours to play. We haven’t played this one yet. We had to set up a special event to get together to get this one played because it takes so long.

I had to miss the softball game last weekend, since I had a wedding to go to. I heard our team didn’t win, but they played a good game. I’ll be there for the next game on Saturday, though! We’re gonna make a come back, I feel it. It’s nice that it’s getting warmer. There’s going to be a lot more going on in the Quad Cities, and the weekends will get a lot busier to match up with our busy weeks. We’re about a month from finals already–seems crazy. Times goes way too fast here. We’ve learned to manage time by the number of exams we have in a week rather than days.

Well, it’s time to get started!

-Allisha

It’s official … I have my clinic jacket now!

Clinic jacket

Clinic jacket couture. And, no, my hair doesn’t blow in the breeze like this model when I put mine on.

It’s all becoming so official! We got our clinic badges last week, and I picked up my clinic jacket in the Bookstore. We now have the option to wear a clinic jacket with our dress clothes or a clinic polo and dress pants. I like the idea of having the clinic jacket. Makes me feel more official.

So today I am going to go do my first observation in the clinic. We have to have three completed by the end of the month to be able to go on next trimester. I was going to wait until my staff doctor was back from vacation before I started to do them, but I figured why not just do it this week. He might actually be back in clinic, I have no idea. I shall find out today.

I am excited to be in the clinic as the intern and not just the patient! It’s also kind of terrifying. I feel like there’s no way it’s already time for me to be in clinic! And then I’m like, “Oh, I still have four trimesters left.” Then I realize how quickly the last six triemsters have went by, and then I start to panic.

So when you’re in first and second trimester feeling like you’re never going to get out and you are going to be buried by your tests and textbooks, remember that this moment does come very quickly. So quickly you’ll panic when  you realize it’s already that time! As terrifying as it is, it is also extremely exciting. All this time I’ve put in, all the studying I’ve done, and all the tests and practicals have finally paid off to prepare me for this next trimester that I never thought would come.

Our schedules for next trimester have been posted also. We still have a full course load but will have to be in the clinic after class hours seeing patients. It sounds like a lot right now, but I don’t know that it will be as bad as it sounds because the clinic is where we all want to be.So it may be long days, but we will be spending those long days learning in the environment we’re all working towards.

I am excited to get started and start changing lives.

-Allisha

I decide to join the softball team

Softball players

See these ball players who know what they’re doing? They’re not me. 🙂

This weekend, aside from the soft tissue elective, I also signed up to be on our class softball team! Saturday night was our first game.

We felt pretty lucky because it had been a really nice day it was warm we figured that it’d be great weather for the game.We played at 8 p.m., and it had gotten incredibly windy by the time we were suppose to play. You could see the dirt on the field blowing in the wind. But regardless of wind and temperature, we were going to play!

While we were all freezing, we started the game. And it started off pretty well. I should probably tell you, I’m not very athletic. The last time I participated in a team sport, besides cheerleading, was 5th grade, and I’d never played softball. I’m pretty sure before Saturday I had never even held a softball.

So being as I had never played before, I was appointed team catcher. I was apprehensive because I wasn’t too cool with the idea of the ball basically being thrown at me, but my team assured me that’s not how softball works so I took the position.

Turns out I am decent at being a catcher, besides having to use my whole body to throw the ball back to the pitcher (it made it to him most of the time). The other times I’m going to blame on the wind.

Anyway, at some point we were even winning the game! Then (I’m going to blame it on the wind again) it seemed like every ball that was thrown was not to the batter, and a lot of the other team were able to walk. Somehow we had gotten pretty far behind, but it was okay because we were up to bat and it was last bat and we could have come back from it! Except we didn’t. We lost 13-6.

The game was called either to weather or time limit, and we had to accept our loss. Regardless of the loss, we had a really good time. And for my first time ever playing softball, I’d say it was a success. I mean I made it around the bases once, so I’m taking that as a success story.

It was a lot of fun. Even if you’ve never played or you’re not that good it’s something fun to do and you should join a team! Just beware if you’re not very athletic like myself and you’ve never played softball before be prepared to be incredibly sore the next day. Good thing I had that soft tissue elective the next day, because I was struggling to move the next morning.

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!

Soft tissue elective

This weekend was the first weekend for the advanced soft tissue elective I am taking this trimester. We were in class all day Saturday and Sunday learning various soft tissue techniques and appropriate clinical assessments for our future patients.

Generally when you’re told you’re going to be in class 8+ hours on a Saturday and Sunday your first thought is, “This is going to be a super long weekend and not in the way most of us want a long weekend to be.” Surprisingly, the time went very quickly. Although the first half of the class was more of a review from PT, it seemed we actually were getting more hands-on and working with our palpation skills. And actually doing some soft tissue stuff made Saturday go a lot quicker than expected. It was pleasant because we were to be in class longer on Saturday. We only got a little bit of hands-on on Saturday working mostly with the lower extremities.

It was a lot of fun, until you became the patient. Soft tissue work is effective but also quite painful. We were working with muscle adhesions and tight muscles, and the techniques we use aren’t exactly massages. They are digging into the muscle and really breaking down the barriers. Sunday, we did a lot more hands-on and covered all sections of the body. It seemed like each section we moved to just continued to be more and more sore, but it was definitely worth it because 9 hours later, I am no where near the amount of sore I was this morning before we started any type of soft tissue work. I haven’t checked, but there is a possibility I could be bruised! At the time of the treatment you’re cursing the person working on your muscles, believing there’s no way possible this is helping but it’s amazing how instantly you can see the results after a few minutes of having some soft tissue done on you. After I would get up and walk around I could tell my muscles weren’t as tight, and I had better range of motion and just all over generally felt better as a whole.

I really recommend this elective. It is only two weekends out of the trimester, and you come away with some really great information. The second half of the course isn’t until the last weekend in May, and we’re going to be learning Graston technique. I have heard really great things about Graston. People have really good results with it, but I hear it is quite a bit more painful than using your hands and doing soft tissue work, so we will see if I actually cry next time! No pain no gain!

It’s National Library Week!

(written Tuesday) It’s Tuesday! Which is suppose to mean that it’s Spine and Go Seek Tuesday, but I left the apartment in a hurry today and completely forgot it was Tuesday … thus forgetting the squishy spine to hide!

Once I got to school and realized I had forgotten it, I was completely bummed. It’s National Library Week, though, so the Library has a lot of things going on. (Check out their Facebook page for details.) So hopefully people were too distracted by that to miss our squishy spine scavenger hunt.

Next Tuesday we will be back at it again! It will give me extra time to think of a good place to hide it! It was suppose to be getting nicer, so outside options were going to be available until it started to snow again yesterday. Maybe someday spring will show up here in the Midwest!

Tuesday also means Zumba day! If you haven’t come to check it out yet, I highly reccommend it. We always have so much fun!

I didn’t get a chance to check out the Libraries activities yet this week, but I think they are doing various trivia (prizes for just participating! so head over that way), I believe there is a drawing for a bigger prize for those that submit the right anwers to their trivia questions, and one day I read they’re looking for students to take selfies with their favorite resource tool. I study down in the second floor Library sometimes, and they have really cool cherry blossom decorations made out of book pages all over the library it looks great. They also have pictures with a little information about all Library staff on the front window, so head down there and check that out and thank those wonderful ladies for all they do for us!

-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

Study or learn about vaccinations?

Last Friday I was going to go to Animal Chiropractic Club but realized I had a quiz and decided I should probably study for that. Then someone told me Dr. Michelle Barber was speaking on vaccines for Pediatrics Club, so I was conflicted and decided to go listen to Dr. Barber.

She’s one of the professors on campus and teaches microbiology, public health and toxicology. She’s a wonderful speaker and always has really great information and great things to say. Every time I’ve heard her speak somewhere I’ve learned something new and always take away something really valuable. There was a really great turn-out for her discussion, which will be in two parts. The second part is Friday at the 9:20 club hour.

Vaccination is always a touchy subject among our profession, and all I want to say is make sure to gather as much information and learn as much as you can to back whatever your stance is on the subject. There’s always stuff to learn on any topic, and this tends to be one that people have very strong opinions about. It’s just important that you have good research and good knowledge to back your point of view.

But that’s beside the point. What is really awesome is that we have such supporting faculty that even in their spare hours they are still willing to come and teach us about things they have researched. What’s even more amazing is the amount of people who are on a break are still so eager to learn that they sit through more lectures, gathering more information to make them the best doctors they can be.

It’s just really cool to be somewhere where the faculty genuinely cares about the students enough to give up their free time for the students. Dr. Barber is also shaving her head to raise money for children with cancer, which is really cool. Palmer is full of remarkable people, and I couldn’t be more proud of where I am.

-Allisha

Sorority and step aerobics

sororityhouse

The Sigma Phi Chi sorority house

I am a little late in writing these next couple of posts. Last Thursday there were a couple of events I went to that I just wanted to talk about a little bit.

The first was the step aerobics class I believe I had mentioned previously. Sofia, the same girl that teaches zumba started doing a step aerobics class on Thursday. This was the first time it had been offered, and it was the very first class. She said it was her first time teaching a step class and she was very excited. She’s such an awesome dance instructor, so energetic and she’s good at what she does.

This was also the first time I had ever taken a step aerobics class. I wasn’t exactly sure what step aerobics entailed, and, man, was I in for a treat. It was a whole lot of fun … but halfway through I was sure I was going to collapse! I still have no idea how I made it through the whole class. I’m also not sure I’ve ever worked out that hard in my whole life.

Even though I struggled to get through it, I had a lot of fun and plan on going again this week. Can’t get better unless you keep at it!

After step aerobics I had to be at the trimesterly welcome social at the sorority. We offer this get-together every trimester just to welcome the new ladies to campus and have beverages and snacks. We like to get to know the new students on campus, and we also welcome D.C. students wives to come join us. We had a good time and met a lot of great people.

One of our alumni came down for the event from Wisconsin to hangout and talk with us, which was really cool. We were able to talk to her for a while about all kinds of different things. She told us about the practice she built and retired from, what she’s out doing now, what it was like when she was at Palmer, and shared some insight into what to expect and watch out for once we’re out in practice.

It is really cool to be able to connect with alumni and get an idea of all the things we have to look forward to. All of the Palmer alumni I’ve ever spoken to have been super helpful and excited about helping students and still enthusiastic about Chiropractic. It makes me proud to someday be a part of that group and be able to talk to future students and tell them all the hard work they’re doing will be more than worth it!

-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