Clinic Selections

Well everyone, it's finally that time in the program that we've all been waiting for -- Registration Week in 7th Trimester -- when students frantically log on, racing the clock, and selecting the clinician that they are going to be working with for the last year of their education. We've speculated over this day since we entered the DC program, dreaming of being in clinic and reaching the end of this long educational journey. Finally, we're able to apply all the hours of studying, practicing adjusting, and practical examinations to good use. This registration process has been highly anticipated, and I know that everyone is looking forward to it being over.

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NUHS has clinic locations on our campus in Lombard, in Aurora, in downtown Chicago, and also at a non-profit clinic in a Salvation Army store in the city. Among these four locations, there are eight clinicians to select from when choosing where to complete your internship. I chose to visit and observe at the Salvation Army clinic downtown earlier in this trimester, which is part of the application process to be an intern at this location. After completing the remainder of the interview and application process, I am excited to say that I have been chosen to complete my internship at the Salvation Army Clinic for 2015!

I am both so humbled and excited to be an incoming intern under Dr. Erin Quinlan. Working at the Salvation Army clinic will be a very unique and eye-opening experience, and I am ready for the challenge! I have always found myself drawn to helping those in underserved populations and those that are less fortunate than others, and I know I will gain so much from this experience.

I've also decided to really get the full Chicago experience and move to the city for my last year of school! I'm moving to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, just north of downtown and right next to Lake Michigan, a perfect area for a young professional student such as myself. With so many changes ahead, I'm looking forward to enjoying my last few weeks of this trimester and then relaxing at home in Ohio over winter break.

Midterm Number ???

What week are we in? You mean we only have ONE MONTH until finals? Ah yes, it's that time of the trimester again, the time when students begin to realize that the end is nearing and the studying is only beginning!

It's funny that I say that though. Not only has 7th trimester been the fastest trimester I can recall (I feel like it's still September!), but it has also been one of the most hectic trimesters yet. Fall is always a lively time of year, when the leaves are changing, football is on TV four of the seven weekdays, and school is back in full swing for students of all ages. Maybe time has flown because I've been having so much fun?! In my last blog, I wrote about all my terrific experiences at Chiro Games in Florida, and I'm worried I left part of my brain on the beach. :)

Tri 7 has been jam packed with assignments, quizzes, papers, and best of all, midterms. We just finished Week 10, and I STILL have exams this upcoming week! I will admit that this program is quite challenging at times, and it really assesses your ability to manage time efficiently. It's also our last trimester of full classes, so the end is near! In 8th trimester, we split our week by spending three days each week in the clinic working as an intern, and the remaining two days wrapping up the curriculum aspect of our degrees.

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PT Modalities

As chiropractic students, we are taught about various physiotherapeutic (PT) modalities that can be used when treating patients. Things are always changing with the insurance companies, especially with the new health care reform that will be implemented over the next few years, and modalities are being reimbursed less often on many plans. Modalities represent passive care, which is starting to trail behind the active care and rehabilitation aspects of our profession. However, the various modalities still have very therapeutic and beneficial effects for both acute and chronic conditions, and just because insurance companies are changing their ways doesn't mean they aren't still valuable for patients!

This week in our PT lab, we practiced treating different electrical stimulation cases, primarily interferential current. We applied the treatment for conditions of lateral epicondylitis (pictured below), acute intervertebral disc pain, and chronic shoulder arthritis. Interferential current (IFC) is most commonly used for conditions with pain, edema, muscle spasms, or in order to re-educate and strengthen muscles. The best part is when we crank up the intensity on each other, to the point where the patient is feeling the sensory stimulation but ALSO starts to have involuntary muscle twitches! (Yes, I promise we are supervised when we do this!) Practice makes perfect!

Look out for my next blog, since all 7th tri students will be selecting clinic positions here in the next week! Have a great one!

Chiro Games 2014

Some of my favorite memories from chiropractic school have been made on the beaches of Cocoa Beach, FL. Every year, all of the chiropractic schools in the US (and Canada!) come together in late October to have a great time and maybe earn some bragging rights along the way. :)

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In the past, the Chiropractic Games traveled around to the different colleges, but in recent years, Cocoa Beach has become the prime location. Who wouldn't want to travel to Florida right when fall is setting in up in Chicago?

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This year, NUHS put together both men and women's soccer teams, a co-ed softball team, and a couple individual runners. Among other sports offered at Chiro Games are flag-football, swimming, table tennis, hockey, and beach volleyball. Although I participated in the volleyball team in 2013, this time we were able to put together a softball team, and so I chose to channel my inner 8th grade softball player.

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Saturday consists of pool play and casual games, and then the bracket is put together for Sunday's tournament. NUHS left Florida with a 3-3 record, which we were all pretty impressed with, considering some of the schools have teams that practice year round and we really just go for the fun! Both of our runners placed in the 5K race, Mike winning GOLD and Jenn winning bronze. They were very pleased with their medals and we were excited to come home with some National pride.

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Chiro Games is a terrific opportunity to meet students from other schools. Despite our different curriculums and different philosophies, it is fun to be around people who share your passion and excitement for our profession. We made great friends with the students from CMCC in Canada, as well as conversing with other people from all different schools. I am so glad to have represented National for two years now, and I hope that I am able to enjoy my third trip to Cocoa Beach next October as a 10th trimester student ready to graduate!

Fall Is Here

Nothing says fall quite like the changing of the leaves, the crisp afternoon air, or a good pumpkin spice latte from your café of choice. But wait, I'm sure you were thinking, "HOW could she forget pumpkin carving?"

This week, SACA (short for the Student American Chiropractic Association) hosted a pumpkin carving event for students and faculty. After a disastrous creative attempt last year, I channeled all my energy and precision into one artistic pumpkin, which also serves as a proud reminder of my home, Ohio. I was told that there was to be a contest for the best pumpkin, but unfortunately for me, this is college football season, and despite my artistic abilities, my allies are few and far between. ;)

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So what is SACA, you may ask? The Student American Chiropractic Association is a local, student-run chapter of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). This club is our opportunity to get involved in our profession early, and there are endless benefits for being involved while being a student.

Every year, SACA brings students from NUHS to the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC) in Washington, DC, where we meet with current doctors in the field, leaders within the ACA, and members of congress who will fight for our profession. Students join the fight to educate our country's political leaders about the benefits of chiropractic and why we deserve an equal place in the health care field.

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On a more local note, SACA holds weekly informative meetings open to students of all programs. Recent workshops include practicing "elevator speeches" to use when asked about chiropractic, discussing the role of ethics in health care and especially alternative medicine, interviewing new physicians about their experiences in practice, and many other valuable topics. Our student leaders within SACA have done a terrific job at encouraging student involvement and a sense of community among our student population, and I look forward to future opportunities the club will offer.

To learn more about what SACA has to offer, check out the ACA's website.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!