My first clinic shift

I had my first clinic shift yesterday from 3:45 p.m. until 5 p.m. Right now we are just doing more observations during our shifts and trying to get a feel of how things are run and where everything is located.

I got to watch a workup and an adjustment while I was there. It was much like the observations we did last trimester, but once this set of observations are done we have to start doing more prep work to prepare for when we clear for the clinic in exactly one month from tomorrow!

I have another shift after class at the same time. Which means Wednesday and Thursdays will be my clinic shift time for the rest of the trimester so no matter what, I will be in the clinic taking care of patients, doing paperwork or just hanging out.

Today for clinical methods class we’re also in the clinic to start on our reciprocal work. That is going through a full evaluation and work-up on another student in our class just as we would do in the clinic all the way through the adjustment.

Things are moving along quickly, and I can’t believe I’ll be taking care of patients in less than a month. Months go really quickly here at Palmer because we’re always so busy! It’s been a long time coming, but  it looks like I will be seeing a lot of the clinic for the next year and I can’t complain.  🙂

-Allisha

Class outside!

We had beautiful weather here in Davenport yesterday. It was warm and sunny and the perfect day to not be in class. Unfortunately, we still have to be in class no matter how wonderful the weather is. Luckily my extremities professor also recognized it was a beautiful day, and we had class outside! We picked up our cervical chairs, dragged them outside and did set-ups on the shoulder in the newly-painted courtyard outside the Library.

We went over a couple of different ways to assess the shoulder and a couple of traction moves before we had to go back inside to go over a  supine set up. It was wonderful. I feel like I learn better when I’m in the sunshine and not freezing. Generally it’s pretty cold in the classrooms during the summer. Make sure to have a sweater with you.

Unfortunately, today we weren’t as lucky. It was about 65 degrees today. In mid July. So no class outside today. I didn’t want to go outside at all today. Hopefully the rest of the summer isn’t like this, and we get to have class outside more often. We were promised outdoor classroom as much as possible with weather permitting this trimester in extremities. It’s a nice change from being inside for 9 hours a day.

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!

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

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

X-rays of wands

X-ray of my Harry Potter wand!

X-ray of my Harry Potter wand!

Today was my first radiology lab where we got to learn about the X-ray machines then take an X-ray and develop it. So we went through the lab and played around with moving the equipment around to get a feel for how to work all the buttons and the placement. Then we went into the dark room, used for developing films. What is really neat about the dark room is, well, it has to be extremely dark. There is only one red light on the ceiling because the films can’t be exposed to light until they are completely developed. What is neat is that when you go to open the drawer to put out the films it shuts off the lights so you don’t expose the films in storage and ruin all of the films.

So the TA left us to get a film prepared in the pitch black room where we literally couldn’t see anything. Luckily we succeeded in our task and make it out without anyone getting lost or injured. Then we got to actually take the X-ray. We were able to use whatever we wanted as long as it wasn’t any part of a person. Well, my friend Jenna and I planned ahead and brought our electronic Harry Potter wands with us so we could X-ray them! Jenna’s is one that has sound effects and mine is a remote control for my TV.

We took the X-ray and had to go back into the dark room to develop it. This time I did get lost and almost ran into the opposite wall before I was grabbed and pulled the right way. We got the filmed developed and it looked so awesome! We took it to the library and cut it in half so we each got the picture of our own wands. We plan on framing them!

 

 

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

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