Winter continues here at NUHS in the Chicago suburbs. While not
a normal winter for the Chicagoland area, the snow has been
beautiful in its ubiquitous falling, blanketing and build-up!
Clinic has chugged along through the weather, low temps and snow
squalls. Our interns and clinicians have battled through the
snarled traffic, snowdrifts and partially successful attempts to
start their vehicles to maintain the excellent level of care that
the NUHS naturopathic clinic provides!
On days that are not as busy because of the weather, those of us
who are in tenth trimester clinic are going through our portfolios
and check-off sheets to ensure that we have met our requirements
for graduation. When possible, we sit with a clinician and speak of
various ailments, maladies and injuries followed by the appropriate
triage, treatment and healing strategies for a patient with that
The portfolio includes everything from prenatal care to
geriatrics and all stages of life, health and illness in between.
Combined with our patient variety, over 450 or more total unique
visits and rotations with the Salvation Army clinic in Chicago, the
Naperville clinic and homeopathic rotations, we are well prepared
as we sit down to discuss these patient conditions and how we would
So, even though winter is keeping most of us indoors for the
next few days, we are quite busy with our clinic duties and
fulfilling clinic requirements...well, except for the occasional
midnight stroll through a nice little snowstorm!
Until next week, keep warm and talk to you then!
One of the many skills that we develop while here at NUHS, and
perhaps one of the more important, is taking an assessment of a
patient's typical diet. Once we have a good diet recall or diary
from a patient, we can determine the benefits and drawbacks of the
patient's diet, the impact (for better or worse) upon the patient's
health, and then we can make modifications as necessary to help the
patient return to a basis for health.
Intern Heather Bautista taking a dietary assessment from
Intern Jerrica Sweetnich.
We start by getting a log of a patient's typical weekday and
weekend diets as many people eat differently on the weekends than
they do during the workweek. After a review of the diet with the
patient, we consult with our clinicians regarding the patient's
chief complaint, review of systems, health stressors, and treatment
plan. Part of the treatment plan involves modifications in a
patient's diet and may include the following:
...just to name a few.
Dietary modifications are a key tool to help our patients return
to a basis for health. Our health begins with the nutrients we
provide our bodies for building strong muscle, bone, nervous
tissue, and preventing or fighting infection.
With that said, I'll grab a healthy bite to eat and make my way
to clinic for the afternoon shift. This evening its time to carve
pumpkins by the fire pit and make ready for Halloween!
Time to settle into the weekly routine again, albeit things are
a bit different this trimester. With class and clinic rotations 5
days each week, along with work on the side during some mornings
and each weekend, time is a precious commodity.
This is what a typical clinic schedule looks like for a 9th/10th
trimester ND Intern.
During clinic, we sit down for "preview" each day to discuss
upcoming patient cases and strategies for best helping our patients
in a roundtable discussion. This is a "safe zone" to bounce ideas,
debate the best strategy amongst peers and under the guidance of
our clinicians. The idea is to share knowledge through discussion
in a practical manner without judgment. This approach allows us to
discuss all treatment modalities, their benefits, drawbacks and
limitations, then move forward with the best overall treatment for
After preview, we see our patients, chart, research, develop and
bring our suggested treatment plans to our clinicians, who vet the
plans and approve or amend as required for the benefit of our
patients. We must complete all of these tasks during our shifts as
HIPPA regulations dictate that no patient records leave the
premises. We learn quickly to be accurate, concise and have all
work completed by the end of the day out of necessity.
Even though this seems like a lot of work, clinic is a fun,
nurturing environment that I look forward to every day. The smiles
on patients' faces when they begin to feel better, heal and share
is priceless! The patience, knowledge, skill and care that our
clinicians share with each intern on a daily basis set an excellent
example for all of us as future doctors.
Me with Carrie (left) and Juanita (right), both 6th trimester
The photo I'm sharing this week is of two friends and me. I was
printing something at the library the other day and ran into them
after having not seen either for about two months! This made me
realize that I was separated from the rest of campus now that I'm
in clinic and needed to visit my old friends still in their
clinical courses. Challenge accepted...
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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