Welcome to NUHS

During my [few] free hours of the school day, I work part-time in the Office of Admissions as a Student Ambassador for the chiropractic program. This position is a perfect opportunity to meet prospective students, field questions about the various aspects of campus life, and educate people about the many programs and degrees National has to offer. To those of you reading this blog who have been on a campus tour with me, I hope your experience was a pleasant one! To those of you who have not yet visited our campus in Lombard, give the Office of Admissions a call today (1-800-826-6285) for a personal tour! I hope this brief summary will entice you in the mean time:

"Hi, I'm Erin! Before we begin, please feel free to interrupt me at any point along the tour, because I know I can sometimes get carried away as I go! I'm currently a 6th trimester student in the chiropractic program, but I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have regarding the other programs we offer here, such as naturopathic medicine, massage therapy, acupuncture, oriental medicine, or our bachelor's program."

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Lake Janse

"As we walk through Janse Hall, you will notice an array of classrooms and labs, many of which have been remodeled and renovated within the past two years. We have three interactive classrooms for classes and meetings in conjunction with our Florida program. You can also see the changes to the campus store and new student lounge that will be opening up this fall!

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Biochemistry Lab

"Our newly renovated biochemistry and anatomy labs offer unique and collaborative learning environments for all of our students in the basic science phase of the doctoral programs. Downstairs, you will see our four technique labs, each room with different tables used for different manipulation techniques. Both chiropractic students and naturopathic students begin learning manipulative therapies starting as early as the second trimester of classes!"

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Technique Class

"Now, we're going to head outside so that I can show you around the rest of campus. We still have yet to visit our LRC, on-campus clinic, student center, and on-campus housing. As you can see, it's a beautiful summer day here in Lombard, so many of our students are enjoying their lunch hour outside in the sunshine. Don't forget to put on your sunglasses as we head out the door!"

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Relaxing Next to Lake Janse

This was an example of my 1-hour tour, condensed and cut off to less than 300 words! If you are interested in getting a FULL tour of our Lombard campus, sitting in on a classroom experience, chatting with current students, or getting more information about our various programs, please feel free to contact the Office of Admissions! I look forward to seeing you on tour! :)

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!

Is It Summer Yet?

When you spend 5 days a week inside of a classroom, it's hard to remember what's going on outside in the "real world." I always joke that professional school is a perfect transition from college into true adulthood. Many of us students still have the opportunity to learn every day and work toward our dream careers, yet we still don't quite have the full responsibilities of adulthood such as taxes, mortgages, or supporting a family.

Some weekends, I sit and gaze out the library windows, wondering what all my friends are doing on a beautiful sunny day. I sometimes feel as though I'm missing out on the "grown-up things" people are doing back home, and I definitely am a little envious of the free weeknights and weekends that those in the working world enjoy. None-the-less, I always take a step back and reflect on how fortunate I am to be in this rewarding program, and then things don't seem so bad. I'm in the company of other great people going through the same challenges of exams and practicals. Once midterms are over in a couple weeks, I'll be able to enjoy more of the pool, the warm weather, and the sunshine of summer. :)

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This trimester has flown by, and it's already half over. Most of my time lately has been spent studying, reading, and occasionally working. One of the biggest highlights of this past week was the Big/Little Reveal Night we held for Lambda Chi Sorority. This is my last tri as president, so I wanted to begin a small but memorable tradition for the next officers to carry on.

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The purpose of the Big/Little mentor/mentee program is to offer younger students the opportunity to ask questions about classes, board exams, clinic experiences, and other various aspects of the program. We believe that the ladies of our sorority would benefit from having a role model in their same program, and so we began the Big/Little tradition.

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One night after our weekly sorority meeting with Dr. Elder, we had the younger members participate in a scavenger hunt for clues, and then everyone met their Bigs! I hope the girls had a great time meeting their new mentors and are looking forward to maintaining this professional and fun connection with another student in their program!

I hope everyone has a great week ahead! Happy 4th of July!

NUHS Homecoming 2014

This past weekend, National held its annual homecoming event, marking the 51st year of our establishment on our Lombard campus. Attending as a student, I was so graciously sponsored by a National alumnus, Dr. Holly Furlong, who has been very involved with the chiropractic profession and our university since her graduation. The weekend was jam packed with clinical case presentations, vendors, and phenomenal speakers educating students and alumni about current issues of the chiropractic profession.

One great highlight of the weekend was watching the installation of a new time capsule into the foundation of Janse Hall. At last year's 50th anniversary, the administration removed the time capsule initially placed in the building during its establishment in 1963. This year, Dr. Charles Tasharski, who witnessed the installation as a new student in 1963, helped reinstall the time capsule this year, a tremendous milestone in our university's history.

President Stiefel did his best to get NUHS up to the 21st century by plugging #NUHShomecoming2014 throughout the weekend. Although we really appreciated his effort, I think current students were the only ones participating in "hash-tagging." :)

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Throwing up the hashtag with President Stiefel

The homecoming festivities were great networking experiences for many of our current students, as well as educational opportunities for our chiropractic physicians. We learned about using ultrasound as a non-invasive, non-ionizing diagnostic tool to evaluate the neuromusculoskeletal system, and it's even more exciting now that we have an ultrasound for student use in our clinic system! And one of my favorite lectures was about the upcoming change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnostic codes, a huge transition that will be taking place throughout America's health care system.

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At the banquet event with Dr. Cox

We also had the honor of meeting Dr. James Cox and learning about his Cox Flexion-Distraction technique that is taught in our curriculum and so widely used in the chiropractic profession.

Saturday night, we concluded homecoming with an alumni banquet/gala. What girl doesn't love getting all dressed up?

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Seeing our alumni have such pride in their alma mater was truly inspirational to me as a student. It makes me excited to be involved after graduation and gives me hope for a successful, rewarding career as a chiropractor. All of this hard work in school is worth it! A tremendous thank you goes out to our alumni department for putting together such a wonderful weekend for all our alumni and students. I look forward to participating again next year! #NUHShomecoming2014

Instant Human - Just Add Coffee

"We want to do a lot of stuff. We're not in great shape. We didn't get a good night's sleep.
We're a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup."
-- Jerry Seinfeld

Well, Jerry, you sure nailed that one right on the head. I never thought I would have seen this quote and known it to be true. Up until this stage of my life, I've rolled sluggishly out of bed, but always bounced awake with the first morning conversation or the sound of hustle and bustle in the hallways. Teachers and peers would often joke about how they didn't understand how I could have so much energy in the mornings! Unfortunately for me, those days are over. I have finally joined the other 100 million Americans who enjoy, and sometimes even require, coffee on a daily basis.

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The average coffee drinker in the U.S. spends approximately $164 in coffee drinks yearly. So, what is so great about this product? Many of us know about its tremendous capabilities to help us focus on tasks, wake up early in the mornings, and keep late nights studying. However, there are some great health benefits as well that have been studied.

Coffee is packed with antioxidants, which are powerful in scavenging the free radicals in your body to help prevent further cell damage in your many organ systems as well as your arteries (atherosclerosis, anyone?). By scavenging all these free radicals, the body is protected against potential mutations, which can in turn cause malignant cell growth, therefore leading to cancer. As with any food with antioxidant properties, they are great for helping protect against cancer.

Coffee is known to increase your basal (resting) metabolic rate, which may aid in weight loss or prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, although the research is not conclusive. It's also important to note that caffeine may enhance not only your physical performance for a workout, but also your mental and cognitive performance during exam time.

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A beautiful picture I took of a rainbow cloud to help brighten your week! The subtle beauties of nature!

Despite all the evidence out there rooting for or against this miracle beverage, the conclusion I leave you with is this: too much of anything is bad for you. It is important to note that when studies are conducted, they are done so based on coffee consumption habits, and not necessarily on the coffee itself.

If you're going to drink coffee on a daily basis, remember that 1 cup of coffee is only 5 ounces, not the giant Bubba Keg mug you see some people bring into work every day. Try to stay within the 2-3 cup range, and keep it as close to black as you can. The health benefits of coffee are in just that, the coffee. Be careful of the sugary creamers with all the hydrogenated oils that your body can't break down, or my favorite ones, the "instant creamers." Whoever said cream should be a powder?! Give your body the best building blocks to start its day, and I hope you enjoy the kick-start coffee brings you with each delicious sip! :)