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Hello All!! It's been a while since I've written, and I have a lot to say so I'll try not to ramble and get to the point.
Well, I'm in my 3rd week of 2nd year, and things have been going good thus far! I'm getting adjusted to all of my classes and labs, and I'm finally getting into the swing of things. My summer state of mind is finally gone, which is a good thing since I have my first exam on this Friday. My schedule this semester is just as intense as the others, but I'm confident I can handle it. I'm extremely excited about my Clinical Communications and Patient Care class this semester because I'm getting my first real patient encounters! Yay!! This class entails doing pre-exam work-ups on patients in the clinic; observations in either primary care, vision therapy, ocular disease, or contact lens; and school screenings.
I had my first school screening on last Thursday, and it was my first real patient experience. School screenings are done at Memphis/Shelby county area schools, and on these screenings we perform certain screening procedures to see if the children have any major vision problems and need to be scheduled for a full examination. I performed direct ophthalmoscopy, and my job was to get the student to fixate on a target while I looked into the back of the eye at the optic nerve. I looked for any abnormalities of the nerve, and determined the cup-to-disc ratio. Considering these were 2nd grade students, and some screenings have even younger students, getting them to fixate can sometimes be a task. Fortunately, we were given a video to have them watch-a GREAT idea!! I really enjoyed the screening, and it is a very good way to better your skills and experience real patient encounters even before seeing patients in clinic. Plus, Dr. Rixon and Elizabeth, the staff doctor and 4th year on site to help us, were great in answering any questions we had and double checking any results that we were unsure of.
I'm really enthusiatic about 2nd year because I feel like I'm getting into the "heart" of my education, and I'm only one year away from clinic. I'm going to continue to take in all the information that I can so that I will be a good vision care provider.