This trimester I’m taking a mixture of Tri 7 and 8 classes because I’m on the flex track. Every tri, the material gets more and more clinical, and I’ll not only be seeing patients for hydrotherapy treatments at the clinic but also treating simulated patients in one of my classes.
The ND program eases students into patient care through several steps. A few trimesters ago, one of my classes was a clinic observation shift for 4 hours per week. By observing, we can get a feel for the flow of clinic and gain experience in charting notes.
A class I’m currently enrolled in, Advanced Diagnosis and Problem Solving, gives students the opportunity to work with simulated patients – paid actors — who stick to a script and learn the patient’s story, prompting us to clinically think through a diagnosis and come up with an effective treatment plan. An accurate statement my professor said on the first day of class was that aside from very few students who are already nurses, none of us know what “real patients” will say, so we should never treat these patients differently. These scenarios were all created to be challenging and represent unexpected curveballs that real patients will throw at us every day.
As for the hydrotherapy rotation, I won’t be responsible for making treatment plans, rather, I’ll be following ND interns’ treatment plans and documenting the procedures and patients’ response. I’m especially excited for this new experience because the clinic has a brand-new, state-of-the-art hydrotherapy lab! I’ll follow up on a separate blog post with photos about that later this trimester.