It feels as if this trimester just started. And yet, Week 6 of classes has already arrived. This trimester seems to be flying by at a much faster pace than the previous trimesters. I feel generally busier—more class time, more studying, more technique practicing, and more assignments.
Last week, I had a couple of written exams and quizzes. But this week, I have two practical exams. I have spent plenty of time outside of class with classmates practicing various techniques and physical exams.
In my physical medicine in systemic dysfunction course, we have been learning several manual therapy techniques to generally promote health, and also to assist in correcting somatic dysfunction. To promote general health, we have been practicing various techniques that increase circulation and lymphatic flow across various diaphragms of the body. We also have been carrying out lymphatic pump techniques, which I have personally enjoyed. To correct somatic dysfunction, we have been developing our ability to perform soft tissue manipulations, indirect techniques, and muscle energy techniques to the tissues.
In my physical diagnosis course, we have been reviewing and refining our technique as we perform various physical exams. I have been practicing cranial nerve, neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary, head and neck, and abdominal exams. As a result, I have been getting more confident in my ability to not only perform these exams, but I am now thinking in more critical ways as I perform them (i.e. how to interpret and diagnose physical exam findings).
I personally think that it is essential to find a classmate to practice with who shares a similar learning style. It can definitely be helpful to practice on a family member, but I think that practicing with a fellow student allows you to refine each other’s techniques in a more direct and focused way. Learning goes much beyond merely following physical steps. Working with someone that has a compatible learning style is very beneficial for critical thinking and long-term learning.