Archive for tag: DC

Welcome Back

Hello all and welcome to my final trimester's blog! I can't believe that in 3 short months I will be a full-fledged Doctor of Chiropractic.

It seems like last week that I was sitting listening to Dr. Joe Stiefel warn us of how rigorous the next few years will be. He wasn't joking either. Now, as I look back on the trimesters past, it seems like it was all a breeze; but if I really sit and remember how my life was just a few years ago I realize that I was a hermit and slave to everything chiropractic. I would wake up and arrive on campus hours before my first class to study, duck out of lunch early to review material, and get home and read for another few hours before passing out to be ready to do it all again the next day. After remembering all of that, I still would not change a thing.

2012-09-10_party

The truth is, I love what I've gotten into and after working in the clinic for the past 8 months, and I can honestly say I have a passion for what I'm doing. For all the prospective DCs reading this, that is the key to not going crazy and being a successful student and eventual doctor. Have a passion for what you are getting yourself into, and please do not trick yourself into thinking that this program is an easy way get a doctorate degree, because it most definitely is not. Sorry, I'm not sure where that rant came from. Anyway, I'm stoked to get my final trimester underway and even more excited for graduation in December.

This is only the first blog of the tri, and I plan on hitting as many topics as I can regarding different treatment options, getting ready for graduation, what I'm planning for after graduating, and probably some embarrassing stories from the weekends or when something goes amiss with a patient. If anyone out there ever has a question, please shoot me an email (dexalvarez@student.nuhs.edu) and I will do my best to answer your query--and you may get a shout out on the blog--after all, this blog for is you guys, the readers.

2012-09-10_game

For anyone who may have missed it, my birthday was last week (yes, I am still accepting presents), which meant a weeklong celebration, all kicked off by a killer surprise from my fellow interns, Dr. Heiser, and Shirley Raychel. The remainder of the week was taken up by dinners with family and friends, a few drinks here and there (Ha Ha, "a few""), a weekend at the beach, and 3rd row seats to the Bucs season opener on Sunday. Not too shabby. I hope everyone is getting settled into the fresh tri and if there is anything I can help with please don't hesitate to ask.

Catch ya on the flip side,
Dex

A Scary Learning Experience

Good morning, all. I can't believe it's already Week 10 of the trimester; even more unbelievable is that I will be graduating in a little less than 5 months. It didn't seem like it at the time, but it seems as if these past 3 years have flown by. I can still remember sitting in orientation thinking, what the heck am I getting myself into? In hindsight, I am extremely happy with the decision I made to become a National student and to enter this field of health care.

Well, this past weekend was a stressful one for my family and I; my aunt suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurysm last Thursday. I'd like to share her story today, because her presentation was somewhat textbook, and also shows the importance of knowing about extreme conditions and how they are treated, because you may be the only one around that understands what is happening and why.

Last Thursday, my aunt and uncle were getting ready to leave for work when my aunt began to complain of an intense migraine that she described as the worst she has ever felt. After the onset of the migraine, my aunt was unable to move her neck and at this point my uncle called the ambulance. Very soon after the call was placed my aunt began to projectile vomit and lost consciousness. Thank God my uncle was present and had the presence of mind to call the ambulance when he did, because my aunt was at the hospital within 20 minutes of her episode.

A CT scan of her brain revealed fluid on her brain, and it was assumed she had a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. The next step was to have an angiogram performed to assess the integrity of the vessels of her brain, to find the exact location of the bleed, and to see if she was a candidate for aneurismal coils. Unfortunately, my aunt was too young for the coils to be placed, but the bleeding had stopped for the time being. My aunt was then moved to another hospital for invasive brain surgery Friday morning, where aneurismal clips would be placed about the aneurysm to permanently occlude the artery. After an intense 4-1/2 hours of surgery, my aunt's doctor approached us with a large smile on his face and good news for the family. My aunt endured the surgery well, which had a 60% mortality rate, had the clips placed about the site of the aneurysm, and the bleeding had ceased. The recovery process is going to be strenuous, but thank God she has the opportunity to recover.

2012-07-16_tia

Throughout the process, it seemed as if the surgeons or their nurses never explained to our family very well what was happening with my aunt. The information we were given was given in very technical terms, terms my family had a hard time understanding. All eyes turned to me at that point to explain what was happening and what the next steps would be. Fortunately, I loved neurology, and have a decent understanding of aneurysms and their treatment. I came to find out this weekend that knowledge has an incredible calming ability, and my family was relieved to at least know what was being done to help my aunt, and what the next steps would be. It is very important to have a base knowledge of many different conditions and be able to explain these conditions to someone in laymen's terms.

Enough story time, I hope the learning message was clear enough. You never know what crazy ailments your patients will present with, but being able to explain what is happening to them in terms they can understand is very beneficial. I hope everyone's week goes well. Be thankful for all the special people in your lives and the time you get to spend with them.

Catch ya later,
Dex

You Only Get Out What You Put In

Good Morning all, I hope everyone had a killer weekend.

I did my best this weekend to make up for losing a weekend to Boards last week. Aside from having to write a paper and answer a few homework questions, I set the books aside and took a break from NUHS and hung out with friends. I've said it over and over, if you work hard, you deserve to play hard. The demands of this program are intense and the stress builds up fast. If you don't have a few days to blow off some steam here and there, you'll gas out before hitting the finish line.

2012-03-36_hockey
The view from 7 rows up on center ice at Saturday's Tampa Bay Lightning game
where my pals and I were blowing off some steam from the week.

This past week I was talking with some 7th Trimester Florida students at lunch (yes, I humor them and eat lunch with them every now and again; it gives them something to look forward to HaHa), and I was asked if I thought we had enough adjusting time under our belts before hitting Student Clinic.

This question was asked as we were recapping some of the points Dr. Mark King, from the Motion Palpation Institute, made a couple of weeks ago. Dr. King made the point that as chiropractors we should master the trade, and part of the trade that stands out to most is the chiropractic adjustment. True, National instills in us the tools for becoming a primary care physician, but our patients will almost always associate the "DC" after our names with an adjustment. Dr. King made the point that now, as students, is when we should master this skill, before we hit the real world and real life expectations of patients.

So, back to my answer to the 7th Tri students' question--yes, we get enough time! We have 2 years to practice before patients hit our table in Student Clinic. We as students often forget that we are not in an undergraduate program any more. As a doctoral student, a lot of what we learn comes from the classroom, but there's much we have to learn ourselves on our own. Now I'm not saying to hit the streets with a portable table and start handing out black-market adjustments. Just as we take advantage of study groups for exams, or going to see teachers after class to review material, we need to make time to do the same for adjusting.

Yes, our E&M courses eventually stop, but there is ample opportunity to practice your skills. Students should take full advantage of the open lab times set aside each week for supervised adjusting practice. Motion Palpation Club, every Wednesday from 1:00-2:00 p.m. (shameless plug), is also a great time to review and hone your skills on palpation, and just get more time for some hands-on experience. No one is going to hold your hand here and force you to practice, and they shouldn't have to. We became physicians to help people, and the only way to provide the best care possible is to master the skills we're being exposed to here at school.

OK, OK, enough lecturing for this week. I can't believe this trimester is drawing to a close; seems as if it was a blur. I know as these trimesters start to wind down, so do we. Do your best to keep those heads up and make the final push to the end of the tri a hard one. You can only get out of something, what you put in, so put your best foot forward now, it will only pay off in the future. 

Oh, and if you find yourselves in Orlando with some time to burn this weekend, stop by the Sheraton Orlando from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for one of National's information sessions on the Florida DC program--and, you can listen to me speak around 11:25 a.m.! Register online at /landing-pages/hotel-info-session/.

Later,
Dex