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.


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. :)


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?


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.


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.



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. ;)


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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