As a 10th-trimester chiropractic student at NUHS in Florida, I recently attended a panel presentation that featured a distinguished panel of professors, each with their own unique expertise. The central focus was on managing a complex patient case involving comorbidities, such as localized low back pain, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. This patient was prescribed Warfarin and Propranolol, making the case more intricate. The panel presentation provided an educational understanding that I believe is helpful in preparing us for the multifaceted world of healthcare.
One of the key takeaways from this presentation was the significance of radiological imaging in patient assessment. Dr. Martensen, our radiology professor, delved into the crucial role of X-rays and MRI scans in identifying the underlying causes of the patient’s low back pain. Understanding how to interpret these diagnostic images is vital for formulating an accurate and effective treatment plan, particularly when comorbidities are in play.
Dr. Jordan’s expertise centered on physical examination procedures and laboratory tests. She guided us through a comprehensive examination process, emphasizing the importance of tailoring it to the patient’s unique circumstances, taking their comorbidities into account. We learned how laboratory results, especially for a patient on warfarin, provide essential insights that can significantly influence our clinical decisions.
Then Dr. Freeman discussed the intricacies of recognizing “red flags” and “yellow flags” in patient care. These signals indicate potential complications or warning signs related to comorbidities. Knowing when to make referrals to other health care professionals or specialists is a skill that cannot be underestimated. As Dr. Freeman said, “It’s crucial to know when NOT to adjust.”
This presentation was a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and real-world application. Presentations like this offer a holistic view of patient management by integrating radiological imaging, physical examination, lab testing, and referral processes. This practical exposure equips us with the skills and confidence needed to excel in our future roles as health care professionals.
Learn more about National University’s Doctor of Chiropractic program and its commitment to integrative medicine here.