Archive for tag: classes

Hobby and Hard Work

2014-09-17_garth2If there's anything I've realized about myself over the past year of my life, it's that I love live music! To those of you who keep up with my blog, you may have noticed a trend of country concert followed by country concert. To me, the combination of soothing guitar solos, compassionate lyrics, and a positive atmosphere of fans is a recipe for the perfect evening.

I packed my first couple weeks back with shows by Carrie Underwood, Craig Campbell, and the highly anticipated Garth Brooks 2014 world tour. Whew! Nothing could have prepared me for the energy and emotion that accompanied Garth's show up in Rosemont, Illinois, this past weekend, and the memories I made were absolutely irreplaceable.

2014-09-17_erinI'm thankful that I have found such a rewarding hobby for all of the hard work I spend involved in the DC program. With any luck, I'll find time for an opera or philharmonic concert this fall concert season, and I can then continue to expand my appreciation for music of all genres.

This trimester is looking to be an exciting, yet intimidating, series of classes and assignments! Last week, we encountered our first "simulation patient" in Tri 7's Advanced Diagnosis class. These actors and actresses are such a tremendous experience for us to interact with patients of various disease states, both physically and mentally, and react appropriately to the challenging cases we will encounter in practice. 

I look forward to perfecting my technique when it comes to history taking, the physical exam, diagnostic skills, and most importantly, building a relationship with the patient. No amount of knowledge can replace the necessity for a kind, understanding, and compassionate doctor, especially in today's age of "Doctor Google," when the most crucial component of a doctor-patient relationship is trust. Gaining these skills is my top priority both in this class, as well as over the next year before I am practicing on my own. I can't wait to take advantage of every opportunity to learn this tri!

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Until next week, take care!

Goodbye Tri 6

As the summer trimester rolls to an end, I've decided to reflect on the past 14 weeks to evaluate everything I've learned and the experiences I've had.

Trimester 6

Trimester 6 is a big deal, because it signifies the completion of your second year in the chiropractic program. I've walked away with the knowledge of performing a full physical exam on a patient, evaluating different types of lab work, and learning how to collect samples of my own for lab work. I learned about the protocol of performing blood, urine, and strep tests, as well as male and female sensitive exams. The jitters of "stab lab" eventually subsided and I began to appreciate the privilege that we have in our scope of practice to be able to perform phlebotomy. Holy moly, I punctured someone's skin and actually drew blood!

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Radiology

Between the three radiology courses I've taken, I've learned to identify and differentiate all the various types of arthritides that can occur, the various fractures commonly seen in trauma, and the red-flag signs of skeletal tumors and metastasis. We have been educated to not only perform orthopedic tests to determine what muscle or ligament is causing symptoms, but also how to identify these pathologies on imaging such as X-rays, CT and MR imaging.

Pharmacology

Our pharmacology courses have given me the skills I need to converse with other medical professionals about various drugs and medications, in addition to educating patients about the potential side effects of the pharmaceuticals.

Marketing

I learned first-hand how difficult is to develop a unique business plan, analyze the population demographics in a target area, and excel in marketing your brand and your practice to those people seeking health care.

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The Bottom Line

Of the many things I have learned from my second year here in chiropractic school, the most important take away is this: WE have the opportunity to TRULY change peoples' lives through the power of chiropractic care. We listen to our patients, we relate to our patients, we have the power of physical touch and interaction with our patients. We are going to impact the health and lives of so many human beings, and THAT hope in itself is worth waking up for each day. Despite the endless assignments, group projects, quizzes, practicals, and written examinations, I know in my heart this is where I belong: earning my Doctor of Chiropractic degree at National University of Health Sciences.

I truly hope you have enjoyed reading my weekly blogs and that I've helped influence your life in some way. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have! Until September, take care everyone! :)

Marketing the Chiropractic Practice

We are entrepreneurs. We are go-getters. We are representatives for the field of alternative health care. We are chiropractors!

A very critical aspect of the chiropractic profession is our community presence as both a health care provider and a business owner. We believe in a natural, more holistic approach to health care, and therefore, we do not fit into the traditional western medical model. I often describe our situation as "not having a plug-in" to an established health care system, and this requires chiropractors to wear both hats: the business hat and the doctor hat. We have such a unique situation with endless potential to grow our practices and create financial well-being, but it also comes with great commitment.

In our chiropractic program here at National, significant emphasis is placed on business and marketing training. I am in a course now where we created our own hypothetical business, designed a marketing theme, and developed a calendar of both internal and external marketing strategies to promote our practice.

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We titled our business "Women's Oceanside Wellness," placed in Oceanside, California, specializing in female and pediatric health care. This project required a demographic analysis of the area, various marketing tactics to reach our target population, and a handful of graphic designs to create a professional image for our practice. Our 45-minute group presentation required quite a bit of brainstorming and preparation, but we were so excited to present our hard work to the class, and our professor was pleased with our marketing presentation! This was perfect practice for opening up and marketing our own businesses some day! (View our business brochure.)

Unwinding on the Weekend

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After a long week of quizzes and presentations, I celebrated the weekend by attending Billy Joel's concert at Wrigley Field on Friday night. I have my older brother, Jed, to thank for my love for the legendary Piano Man. Isn't it bizarre to think about how much music has changed over the past 50 years?! Billy Joel is such a talented, inspirational musician, and I have no doubt his music will last throughout the years.

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On Saturday morning, I traveled to Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio to attend both a baby shower and wedding for two of my close friends from Ohio State. I loved the opportunity to connect with some of my sorority sisters and friends from college, and it's so exciting to see everyone progressing with their lives!

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Another busy week at NUHS has concluded, and I am eagerly preparing for finals! The end of the tri is near! :)

TAC, Tumors, and Travels

Ah yes, another busy week has come and gone as a student in the chiropractic program!

I began Week 9 with a larger level of anxiety and a smaller amount of free time. In our Physical Diagnosis class, we were expected to perform our Head-to-Toe physical exam in the Training and Assessment Center (TAC) of the clinic. Although we had been practicing for weeks, nothing can fully prepare you for the nervousness that accompanies a 50-minute physical exam, memorized in a specific order and graded for accuracy. Since the exam was held in the TAC, we performed the practical on a standardized patient, and what you don't realize is that giving sufficient patient instructions throughout the exam are half of the battle! The Head-to-Toe exam consists of an examination of the head and neck, EENT exam, cardiac exam, pulmonary exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, and a handful of other miscellaneous tests thrown in between. Whew, am I glad that practical is over, but I am proud to say I took away a tremendous amount of knowledge and practice.

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In Tri 6, the Imaging of Tumors course is the class that challenges many students. (It sure is tricky to differentiate 30 different types of skeletal tumors on black and white X-ray films!) Fortunately, I felt sufficiently prepared for both the practical and written portions of the midterm, so I was content with my performance and had a nice confidence boost to end the week. :)

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Thursday night, I took off for Bemidji, Minnesota, with my friend and classmate, Bethany. Having both grown up in the town and been a collegiate athlete at the Bemidji State University, I was excited to experience this scenic, friendly Minnesota city that she had so often talked about! We spent the 4th of July with her family on one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, and although the weather that day was not cooperating with the holiday festivities, we celebrated later that night by watching fireworks on the water. On Saturday, we made up for the previous storms by spending the day relaxing on the lake, jet-skiing, tubing, and most importantly, laughing. It was hard to say goodbye to her family and make the 10-hour drive home on Sunday afternoon, but the memories we made throughout the holiday weekend were worth it! My first trip to Bemidji was a terrific experience, and I look forward to (hopefully) going back to visit next summer!

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Back at National, we still have midterms and quizzes for the next couple weeks, but I can see the end of the trimester in sight! Summer sure flies by when you're having fun!

You Mean I Have to Study INSIDE

Another week of gorgeous weather in Illinois, and I am finding it more and more difficult to study inside for our upcoming exams. During the day, you'll often find National students eating their lunches or reviewing their notes on the many park benches and tables we have set up around campus, but this is only a temporary activity. Many of us realize that by sitting outside and "studying," it's much easier to find yourself people watching, staring at the swans on the pond, or wanting to close your eyes and daydream. All right, it looks like I'll have to keep the sun bathing in moderation until midterms have passed.

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Abdominal Exam

This week, we covered quite a bit of ground in classes. In our Phys/DX course, we continued to practice different regional exams of the body, specifically the abdominal exam and neurological exam. In phlebotomy lab, students are still perfecting their needling "abilities" and learning different techniques for drawing blood. Specifically, we are spending a lot of time on the butterfly needle technique and drawing blood out of smaller veins. It's definitely nerve-wracking, but a valuable experience none-the-less.

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Phlebotomy Lab

On Friday afternoon, Student Council hosted the summer's Tri Games competition. The sport of the season was flag football, and like any other trimester, each group of students sported their tri's respective color and played for 4 months of bragging rights. I unfortunately was not able to attend the event, but I don't doubt it was a great showing! Maybe my 6th tri classmates took home the trophy? :)

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My weekend was spent in Rochester, Michigan, for my older brother's wedding. As a Buckeye myself in a family of nearly all Ohio State grads, I never thought I'd see the day when one of my sibs married a Wolverine! Despite our differences, the two families came together and threw a terrific celebration.

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Congratulations, Ben and Jenny! I loved the opportunity to get away for a weekend and spend time with my family, but I miss them already! It's a good thing I have plenty of studying and work to keep me busy now that I'm back.

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