Spring Quarter ’16: Week 4


Nothing exciting really happened this week. Midterms for Neuroscience and Integrated Endocrine/Metabolism are next week. I took two mental days this week, which were both nice. I’m definitely a homebody. I like to be alone and away from people most of the time. I do have my moments where I like to go out, have fun, and be social, but for the most part I just find it draining to be around a group of people for long periods of time. If I was given a choice to go out to the bars/clubs or stay in and read I would choose the latter 99.5% of the time. Plus, my new apartment has a fireplace so it’s really nice to sit by the fire and read or study (or watch Netflix…) at the end of the day. As for school, once I get my butt out of the apartment and into the classroom I absolutely love it and taking notes during lecture! Anyways, here are a few things I learned this week.

  • Neuroscience – discussed the trigeminal system. The trigeminal nerve has 3 branches: ophthalmic nerve (V1), maxillary nerve (V2) and mandibular nerve (V3). It provides innervation to the face and mouth, and is responsible for touch/pressure/pain/temperature sensation! For neuro lab we looked at the brain and spinal cords (which had been taken out of the cadavers and placed in separate bins). In small groups we went over the fissures and lobes of the brain, as well as the cranial nerves. 
  • Physical medicine – in lecture we learned about diathermy, which enhances soft-tissue healing through deep heating. Diathermy can be used for chronic problems, tightness, soreness, and individuals who are stressed out. This is similar to ultrasound therapy except for the fact that diathermy can treat larger areas. In lab, we performed TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) on each other – a type of electrical therapy. Electrical currents are delivered through the skin via single or multiple pairs of electrodes that have been placed on the target muscle. I had TENS done on my back. It was the weirdest feeling! It didn’t hurt, but if the electrical currents became too strong it was just really uncomfortable. I couldn’t see this on myself but I watched my classmates have this performed on their shoulders or arms and I could see the muscles contracting involuntarily from the stimulation. Pretty neat stuff! TENS is primarily used for pain management.

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  • Counseling – this week we focused on summarizing what the “patient” says at the end of a session. In lab we also had to try and solely reflect/paraphrase rather than reflecting AND asking open-ended questions. I totally flunked at this! Initially, at the beginning of my mock counseling session with my classmate I was doing well. I had a good reflection statement, but I took it a little too far when I should have said only a few words instead of a full on sentence. During the whole 5 minute session I was trying to retain the main problems or concerns of my classmate, which wasn’t that hard but finding the right wording for my summary was a little hard on the spot. Practice, practice, practice. Thank goodness we are introduced to this our first year.
  • Case Studies – this week I didn’t go to case studies…BUT I did enjoy the preview assignment we had to do! This week’s case study was about a woman who has insomnia, and is also hypoglycemic and stressed. Her insomnia has worsened within the last 6-12 months. She is an attorney, vegan, married to another woman, and recently moved “here” for her wife’s new job. This week’s preview was to chart the case study. I think I’m getting the hang of this charting thing …kind of. I used SOAP (subjective – objective – assess – plan) as a template, and plugged in the information from the case study to the appropriate sections. Subjective would include ONLY the information that the patient tells you about i.e. chief complaint (CC): struggles with insomnia. Objective would include any observations you as the physician see e.g. vitals, physical exam, lab results. Assess and plan would include a diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient. Here’s a good Youtube video that goes into further detail about SOAP notes!




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