The Eagle Has Found Its Nest

All right, so my title is a bit silly, but it's also quite fitting. This week, students, faculty, and staff joined together to celebrate the grand opening of the Eagle's Nest at our Lombard campus.

2014-10-23_opening
Move that bus!

The Eagle's Nest is the new "student hub" here at NUHS, serving as a place for people to congregate for lunch, conversation, study-breaks, and relaxation. The Eagle's Nest is open 24/7 and is now the best location available on campus for students wishing to study at any hour of the day. Beginning the first day, students and faculty have been taking advantage of this gorgeous new lounge located in Janse Hall. This was a much-needed space for students, who have been looking for a casual place to relax between classes and gather with friends.

2014-10-23_prez
With President Stiefel in the Eagle's Nest

We also held a mascot-naming contest in October to promote school spirit and get students involved. Our official NUHS mascot is "Fitz" the Eagle, named after our institution's founding father, John Fitz Alan Howard.

2014-10-23_shirt
Eagle Pride

Integrative Pediatric Care

Over the weekend, I took a course offered by our Lincoln College of Postprofessional, Graduate and Continuing Education titled "Pediatrics for the Integrative Medicine Practitioner." The instructor, Dr. Robert Dumont, is an MD who realizes the importance of integrative medicine and utilizes natural therapies to help relieve children of illness.

We covered different therapies such as traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, and dietary modifications. All of these categories of therapies can be utilized and combined to naturally treat common pediatric conditions without intervention of pharmaceuticals.

One of the biggest concepts I took away from the seminar was the importance of diet and nutrition in childhood wellness. Food sensitivities to dairy, soy, and gluten can have a myriad of negative effects on different systems throughout the body, and they present as an incredibly diverse array of symptoms. Sometimes, a thorough lifestyle evaluation and simple observation of the child tell us exactly where the problem is arising, and exactly where we can intervene. It was a very unique and beneficial seminar that provided me with great reference material for treating children in my future practice!

Ambulatory Trauma

So I began chiropractic school, wanting to become a doctor, right? Here at National, many of us are taught and believe that the term "doctor" means primary care for patients. As chiropractors, we have a unique practice style, utilizing spinal manipulation, functional rehabilitation, and educating patients on beneficial lifestyle modifications. However, the term "doctor" also means being able to offer whole-body health and wellness, not just treatment to the musculoskeletal system. In addition to a portion of our education being focused on internal medicine, another course in our curriculum is about ambulatory trauma and emergency medicine.

2014-10-14_suturing

Although DCs are not authorized to practice some of the interventions that allopathic medical doctors are taught, we still are able to provide efficient and thorough first-aid care in emergency situations. The course "Ambulatory Trauma" takes first aid and advances it to the understanding of a medical student or doctor. We learn how to evaluate different types of burns, wounds, and even how to care for shock victims. In lab, we have practiced measuring and using different ambulation devices, so that we may accurately help patients keep active after injuries.

2014-10-14_student

One of my favorite parts of the course so far has been practicing suturing! Although suturing open wounds is not part of the scope of practice for chiropractors, it was still a very fun and interactive lab. (It also served as a reminder of my queasiness at sights of wounds and blood!) We learned about proper suturing techniques, the different methods of closing up a wound, and practiced these lessons on rubber arms in the lab.

In future weeks, we will be learning about assessing first-aid situations for spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, and learning how to splint and co-manage these victims in emergency situations. This course is excellent practice for those of us looking to assist on the sidelines of sporting events or simply in every day situations that may arise. Although no one wishes for injury to occur, it is better that we are educated and prepared to aid in emergency situations!

As many of us at NUHS prepare for midterm season, I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

"Your life will become better by making other lives better."
-- Will Smith

OSCA Convention 2014

One of the most crucial steps to success in the chiropractic profession is active involvement in your state and national professional organizations. Intending to move back to Ohio and practice after graduation, I recently attended the annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio State Chiropractic Association (OSCA). What a weekend! Myself and four other DC students, all from different stages of the curriculum, attended the convention to learn more about the future of our profession, why we need to maintain our presence in the field of health care, and what we can do as students to become more involved.

2014-10-07_group
Brent, Stephen, Jess, and myself enjoying a night out in Columbus

Our students attended a session about treatment of shoulder conditions, which are said to be the 3rd most common reason that people present to a chiropractor's office for care. We were taught by Dr. Brett Winchester, a well-known educator and instructor for Motion Palpation Institute, DNS, and other valuable organizations. He emphasized the importance of understanding the kinetic chain of movement, rehabilitating more than just the site of pain, and teaching patients correct lifestyle modifications they can make to prevent re-injury from occurring.

Saturday night was the beautiful gala for all attendees of the convention -- physicians, students and office staff alike. I watched in amazement as Bharon Hoag, the Executive Director of the OSCA and a dear friend, presented prestigious awards to members of the Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, Ms. America 2014 (who is a chiropractor!), and other incredibly influential people. Ohio is the first state in America to have passed legislation allowing chiropractors to be on the front-line for concussion care, which is PHENOMENAL. If it weren't for the hard work of the board members, directors and current doctors in Ohio fighting for our rights, we never would have achieved this monumental step for chiropractic.

2014-10-07_standing
Me with my brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Kelly

My brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Kelly, were in attendance at the convention as well, both also practicing DCs in northeast Ohio. Visiting with my family and discussing our profession was such a perfect way to spend my weekend, and I amsothankful to have them as role models and inspiration for my career! This weekend was also a tremendous opportunity to meet current doctors, hear their advice and success stories, and bring back this spirit to our fellow students at NUHS. I took away so much valuable information, leaving with an overwhelming sense of excitement and hope for our profession, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be attending the convention again next year!

Why Become Involved?

Participating in professional organizations such as the OSCA gives us a greater sense of purpose. We entered this healthcare profession to touch people's lives and positively impact our communities, but who says that our influence has to stop there? It is our duty to take pride in our career of alternative healthcare and therefore fight for it. At times, we are so unaware of the overwhelming sacrifice and dedication that our predecessors contributed to the advancement and success of our profession.

2014-10-07_osca
Photo booth fun with NUHS peers and Bharon Hoag, OSCA Executive Director

We are the future leaders of chiropractic medicine, and we are the ones responsible for the success and continuation of our craft. We are given the tremendous opportunity to change lives, so if we do not do all that is in our power to protect and preserve this right, we are selfish. Becoming involved in these organizations is not only of value for us and our future practices, but for the success of our profession as a whole.

Birthday Celebrations

This past week, I celebrated my 24th birthday in the company of my friends, peers and coworkers. I'm not always one to make birthdays a big deal, especially as I get older, but with the beautiful September weather and midterm season coming up in a couple weeks, I decided to splurge and have a few nights of fun!

2014-10-02_cake

Wednesday night, some friends and I went to Joe's Bar on Weed Street in Chicago, one of the most popular country venues in the city and a place I have frequented for many musical performances. Randy Houser was in town, so we jammed out to his country and blues music in the beautiful city of Chicago. The following evening, I celebrated with some girl friends at Bonton in downtown Lombard, enjoying tapas, appetizers, and fruity beverages. I loved having the chance to sit and talk with some of my closest girl friends in school, even though the conversation always somehow reverted back to classes and NUHS!

2014-10-02_girls

Friday night, I went out to dinner in the suburb of Oak Park and had the chance to catch up with NUHS alum Dr. Candace Gesicki, visiting from out of town. Candace opened up her own practice just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and was so excited to share her experiences in the real world. We discussed the details of opening an independent practice, drafting and presenting a business plan, and becoming involved in the local community. Not even six months out of chiropractic school, I am so proud of her for following her dreams! I'm fortunate to have such a great role model to look up to with all my concerns and questions about the chiropractic profession!

Physician in Training

One of the most exciting courses in 7th trimester is Advanced Diagnosis and Problem Solving, and I am definitely doing a lot of problem solving, that's for sure!

Two days a week, we are in the clinic with simulated patients, or "sim patients" as we have grown to say. We encounter a brand new patient, gain practice taking a thorough history, performing the appropriate physical exams, establishing a diagnosis or diagnoses, and reporting our findings with the patient. Nobody said becoming a doctor was easy, and this class is a representation of the challenges many students face when learning to interact with patients.

2014-09-24_friend

Sometimes, the patient's clinical presentation is simple, and you know exactly what steps need to be performed to establish the diagnosis. Other times, the pieces don't fit together and you find yourself researching a condition you studied a year ago, trying to ask the appropriate questions to ensure you are on the right track. This is the challenge of becoming a doctor: having the responsibility of someone's health and wellbeing, but also being able to think critically on your toes and establish a comforting relationship with that patient, all in a 30-minute period. I have a long way to go until I feel more confident during my patient encounters, but I accept the challenge!

Tri-Mixer

On Friday night, Student Council hosted its Fall Tri-Mixer at a local venue that we all know fondly as Rita's. Between the dancing, the photos, and all the laughter, I hope everyone had a great night out! It's important to spend time with your peers outsidethe classroom, getting to know people for who they are and as friends. To all of the new 1st trimester students who attended, we hope you got to know some of your other classmates and enjoyed a night off from studying all that anatomy! :)