July 26, 2014

SLU AT Students Start a Year-long NFL Experience with Summer Internship

Summer Internship Blog Post - St. Louis Rams
By: Hilary Stepansky and Jose Mendez (MAT Class of 2015)

Working with the St Louis Rams has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We still find it unbelievable to be given the opportunity to serve as athletic training interns for the 2014 St. Louis Rams. Through countless hours of hard work and observation, we have learned about new treatment protocols, performance enhancement, and sports-specific rehabilitation progressions that has expanded our knowledge from textbook learning to real world application. The St. Louis Rams are without question a high-level organization from top to bottom.  We have been lucky enough to work with the great athletic training staff headed by Reggie Scott ATC, James Lomax ATC, Byron Cunningham PT, ATC, Tyler Williams ATC, and 2014 SLU Alum Nick Gastorf ATC. Each and every member of the athletic training team has taught us so much and the relationships we have made as athletic training interns are invaluable.

Back Row: Byron Cunningham, Tyler Williams, James Lomax and Nick Gastorf
Front Row: Jose Mendez and Hilary Stepansky
In the days leading up to our May 20th start date, we were not exactly sure what to expect. The first couple days of “information overload” were overwhelming, but soon enough the routine became natural.  From day one, we worked long hours until it felt like our legs would fall off, but we left everyday excited to come in the next day.  Rams Park has a way of making even the longest days fly by. The phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” applied to our experience at Rams Park.  Even with the early morning workouts, we could not help but wake up ecstatic for the opportunity and lessons that waited with each new day.  We have worked every OTA (organized team activities) and were recently extended through the rest of the season including training camp! So far we have worked alongside four of the six training camp interns, one seasonal intern, four full time staff members who amass over 29 years of NFL experience combined.  Our days as athletic training interns consisted of preparing the athletic training room for daily treatments, monitoring the recovery room for HRV (heart rate variability) readings each morning, pre-practice set up and post-practice breakdown, performing daily treatments with therapeutic modalities and therapeutic exercises, and taping the players prior to all practices.

With the amount of time we have worked with interns from other Athletic Training programs, we have grown personally and professionally by expanding our view of the profession outside our specific spheres of education.  This has been a valuable takeaway to us, as we can learn just as much from each other through simple observation and communication as we can from our textbooks in the classrooms.  Many of our weaknesses as clinicians may be strengths of other programs.  At the end of the day, we all want to leave as successful and confident athletic trainers; helping one another is essential to our success as a sports medicine team. Not only was knowledge exchanged, but also new connections were made that, otherwise, would have never been possible without this experience.

Always remember...it’s great to be St. Louis Ram!

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience.

SLU AT Student Experiences Professional Baseball with Future Colleagues

Summer Internship Blog Post - River City Rascals
By: Eldon Reid (MAT Class of 2015)

My internship this summer was with the River City Rascals. The Rascals are an independent professional baseball team, which play in the West division of the Frontier League. The Frontier League consists of 14 teams primarily from the Midwest. The Rascals play their home games at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, MO, which is about 35 miles west of Saint Louis.

Eldon Reid, Jordan Schaeffer ATC and Melanie Burkholder
I worked along with 3 other interns this summer. I got to work every day with Melanie Burkholder, an athletic training student from Missouri State. Chris and Aaron, who attend school at Lindenwood, were the other 2 interns that would come and help out. All of us worked under Jordan Shaeffer ATC, who is the athletic trainer for the River City Rascals.

 Melanie and I would get there usually about 4 hours before the game started. Our day usually started with us making the water and ice coolers for both teams. After that, we would administer treatments before players went to batting practice.  We would go out and watch the players take batting practice. Then we would perform pre-game treatments before the game started. After the game was over, we would do any post-game treatments to players if they needed it.

It was definitely a fun and challenging experience working with the Rascals. It was challenging due to the limited budget and number of resources, but we made do with what we had. The team was great to work with, and they would let us do some extra stuff like take batting practice or help shag balls during batting practice. I would like to thank EXCEL Sports and Physical Therapy and Rascals for allowing me to have this opportunity.

Good luck to the Rascals on the rest of the season!

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience.

July 25, 2014

Golden Gopher Hockey Gives SLU AT Student a "Cool" Summer Internship

Summer Internship Blog Post - University of Minnesota
By: Angie Vitale (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer I had an amazing internship opportunity at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Under the direction of athletic trainer Jeff Winslow ATC, I spent the summer working with the Men’s hockey team. Having never worked in a D1 environment before, I was not sure what to expect.  I quickly learned that a higher level of performance means a much higher degree of dedication, commitment, and hard work.  Even in their off season, these men come in everyday bright and early ready for whatever work out their strength and conditioning coach has made up for them.  Even after these rigorous work outs, many of them spend time on the ice, getting prepared for the coming season.

This level of play comes with it many perks in the athletic training room.  Many sponsors supply additional advanced modalities that I have never personally used before.  With all this advanced technology, however, the main thing I have learned from Jeff is that what we as athletic trainers do is primarily done with our own two hands.  Given all that he has to offer his athletes, his favorite techniques are still active release therapy, massage, and joint mobilizations.  As he has shown, it builds a higher level of trust and interaction with the athletes.

This has been a very eye opening experience into the world of D1 collegiate athletics.  In these past few months I have seen many chronic issues, some acute, and many athletes performing daily rehab. Athletes come in the training room to work, knowing that it will better their future performance.  They trust Jeff’s advice as well as the advice of their other superiors, and do what is requested of them.  I am very grateful for my time here and look forward to seeing what Golden Gophers hockey brings in the coming year!

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience. 

July 01, 2014

SLU AT Program Has a Busy Week at the NATA Meeting in Indianapolis

The National Athletic Trainers' Association 65th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo took place in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 25-28, 2014.  In addition to participation in professional development and committee work, SLU AT Faculty participated as presenters in the event.

Dr. Kitty Newsham presented a poster entitled "Three Minute All-Out Test as a Diagnostic Challenge for Exercise-Induced Dyspnea, A Pilot Study" in the Free Communications Session on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

Dr. Kitty Newsham
Dr. Anthony Breitbach participated as a presenter in a Feature Presentation entitled "Interprofessional Management of the Diabetic Athletic" along with SLU AT Medical Director Dr. Tyler Wadsworth, St. Louis College of Pharmacy faculty Dr. Amy Drew and SLU Nutrition and Dietetics faculty Dr. Katie Eliot on Friday, June 27, 2014.

Dr. Katie Eliot, Dr. Tyler Wadsworth, Dr. Anthony Breitbach and Dr. Amy Drew
Dr. Drew and Dr. Wadsworth were interviewed on "NATA-TV"'s recap of the Friday activities.  See the video here (starting at 6 min mark): NATA-TV, Friday June 27, 2014 Highlights

The SLU AT Program, along with the Alumni Office at SLU, hosted an event on the evening of Friday, June 27, 2014 for SLU Alumni and friends at Ike and Jonesy's Restaurant in Indianapolis.

SLU AT Alums Sarah Hall, ATC Derrick Neuner ATC, Lizzy Kienstra ATC and Jacob Blasingame ATC at SLU Alumni Reception.
Overall, it was an outstanding week of scholarship, service and fellowship!

We look forward to welcoming the 66th NATA Clinical Symposia and AT Expo to St. Louis on June 23-27, 2015.

SLU MAT Class of 2014 - 100% First Time Pass Rate on BOC Exam!

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program in the Doisy College of Health Sciences is proud to announce that the Master of Athletic Training Class of 2014 has achieved an 100% First Time Pass Rate on the Board of Certification Examination.

The SLU MAT Class of 2014 has 18 students, 14 took the the April exam and 4 took the June exam.

Congratulations to our most recent graduating class!

Angelo Bongiorno
Claire Botting
Abby Breseman
Jessica Buschjost

Cat Costello

Michelle Cybulski

Kelley DeGreeff

Nick Gastorf

Emily Grace

Dan Herrin

Blake Hudspeth

Heather Koch

Jay Maturan

Kelly Peck

Mary Rhatigan

John Runde

AJ Vander Vorste

Tyler Wood

June 21, 2014

Staying Busy...Feeling Blessed!

Spring semester seemed to fly by with activities such as the Iota Tau Alpha initiation and the Bowl-A-Thon. And, of course, there was graduation.  The MAT class of 2014 is now out among the population, many already with gainful employment.  I’m certain the MAT class of 2015 is looking to get through this year quickly and turn that BSES into an MAT degree.

It has been exciting welcoming six new post-baccalaureate students to our program.  They enter the program in the MAT 2016 cohort.  Along with their fellow PY1 students, they are braving the summer of Gross Anatomy and MAT 501, Principles of Athletic Training.  This is a transition summer where students first experience the professional phase.  It is challenging for certain, but there are many people and resources available to help the students not only make it through the courses, but really get a good grasp on what they are learning.  I have noticed numerous students taking advantage of these resources.  Keep up the good work!

Meanwhile the PY2 students are busy at their internship sites across the country—and beyond.  One of our students is in Madrid!  It is great to know that our students are afforded these opportunities.  I’m can’t wait to hear their stories when they return.  A student always seems to have a great fervor for Athletic Training after a summer internship.

I have made it my goal this summer to learn the names and faces of every student in the professional phase as soon as I can.  It’s not that I don’t already know who the students are.  I know them very well.  I am just very bad with names.  So, as the students make flash card to learn various parts of anatomy, I have made flash cards of the students’ names and faces.  It’s going well so far, but I must say that several of the young men resemble one another considerably.  So, if you are a student, especially a young man, please forgive me if I look at you a little more closely when you come in the office.  I am simply considering what your name is.

Speaking of the students, I have always said that I have the best students in the world.  Once again that was recently demonstrated when my brother lost his battle to leukemia.  The faculty members first jumped in with unparalleled support.  Then, as word spread, the students each individually signed a sympathy card for me.

It was all very touching.  I cannot say enough how much I love this job.  If it weren't for this job, I wouldn't be able to be around all of these wonderful students and faculty members each day.  As I've said before, I am blessed.

"News From the Front Desk" by Jennifer Baine is a regular column that features a look inside the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program.  Jennifer greets all of the program's visitors and works with the faculty to make sure our students have the best possible experience.

June 19, 2014

SLU AT Faculty and Students Team Up to Provide Care at Prestigious Basketball Camp

Faculty and students of the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program teamed up to serve as the medical team for the Nike Elite One Hundred basketball camp on June 12-15, 2014.  This year marked the 15th year of the camp at SLU, which takes place at the Simon Recreation Center on SLU's Frost Campus.

This camp annually invites 100 of the top men's basketball players aged 16 and under from across North America for four days of basketball and leadership development.  Many past participants went on to become college All-Americans; and play in the NBA and other professional leagues around the world.

SLU AT Faculty and Students with St. Louis native, NBA player and Nike Camp alum Bradley Beal.
The best part of this camp is that it allows SLU AT faculty and students to interact clinically in a fun and busy athletic health care environment!

June 13, 2014

AT Student Connects Her High School Experience to the Professional Preparation at SLU

New PY1 AT Student Blog Post - Cara Bowton
By: Cara Bowton (MAT Class of 2016)

As an Athletic Training student at SLU there are many opportunities to stay connected to the profession. Sometimes it is difficult to stay in the loop while taking general science classes.  We are a small class, which allows each student to develop a great relationship with our program staff over the years.

I work as a student assistant in the Chaifetz Arena Athletic Training Room at SLU to keep my tie to Athletic Training.  It is a good reminder of why I am in this program.  I get to assist and learn from Certified Athletic trainers at the collegiate level.  What I value most from them is understanding that sometimes you have to work with what you have.  Oftentimes, athletic training takes a bit of creativity to get the job done.  In class we are taught everything we need to be a successful Athletic Trainer but the hands on knowledge or the tips and tricks are things you learn in the field.

Every Athletic Trainer has their own style and although things are done a little differently between people, in the end the task is accomplished.  I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from Certified Athletic Trainers and SLU makes sure every student has the opportunities by directly involving them into our curriculum.

SLU AT student Cara Bowton with one of her the high school athletic trainers before a football game
I knew I wanted to go into this profession because I was apart of the Student Athletic Training Club at my high school.  I decided to do some of my Directed Observation hours there.  Going back to my high school with the knowledge I have learned this far in my education gave me a whole new perspective.  I have a better understanding about why things are done the way they are.  I also was able to compare the high school setting with college.  There are many differences, which goes to show how unique this profession is.  I owe my high school athletic trainers everything for sparking my interest in this profession.  I regularly stay in touch with them and being able to observe them brought back great memories.

I have gained perspective about Athletic Training and I cannot wait to continue my education to be the best I can be.  Observing many settings and styles will help mold our students into great Athletic Trainers.

This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 300 - AT Student Development II.

June 11, 2014

SLU AT Student Discovers Much About Her Future Profession in Her Own Back Yard

New PY1 Student Blog Post - Brandi Burgett
By: Brandi Burgett (MAT Class of 2016)

Since sophomore year I have gotten the opportunity to work at the Chaifetz Arena Athletic Training facility as a student worker, assisting the athletic trainers there.  I remember being intimidated by the Jonathan Burch, the Head Athletic Trainer, on my first day. That is no longer the case, after being there for two years he jokes around with me all the time and I know if I needed help with anything I could ask him . I have learned so much from everyone in the AT facility at SLU. I have gotten to learn about my future job and some of the experiences I will get to go through. And experience working games and  get a very detailed look into the life of an athletic trainer. I may only get to do small stuff like laundry, clean, make Gatorade and other various tasks, but I also am gaining so much knowledge and experience. By just sitting in the AT facility and listening and asking questions I know I am already learning so much. I know going into my clinical sites next year I will not be a nervous mess, I will have confidence and be comfortable in the environment due to all the experience at my current job now.

Another great experience I had this year was getting to shadow an athletic trainer at Santa Fe Christian High School in Solana Beach near where I live over Christmas break.  First hand, I got to see the true importance of networking. I know someone who works as a massage therapist in the area with high-end clients, from professional athletes down to high school athletes and everyday people.  She works with some of the football players at this high school and knows the football coach. The football coach’s wife gave her the athletic trainers information so I could get in touch with her to shadow. It is truly an amazing thing to know a friend, of a friend, of a friend.  I was very fortunate that she let me go and shadow her for a week.

I never thought that I would actually enjoy a high school setting. I have always said that I want to work in a professional setting. But being with Santa Fe Athletic Trainer, Kristal Peterson ATC, at the high school and learning about what she does on a daily basis and her routine compared to the college setting which I have seen, was actually kind of nice.  She gets to come in almost every day around 2pm and only works late when there are games. She is able to have a family as well, which is important to me. I also liked the fact that, as she put it, she is her own boss. She is the only athletic trainer at the high school and no one at the school knows really the details about her job so she gets to be her own boss. She did say however, if you are your own boss, you need to be self-motivated to always be doing your best and to keep up to date on all of your education and things. Kind of policing your self versus someone else being there to do that.

While at the high school I did get to see a traumatic event and how to respond as an athletic trainer in that moment.  A basketball player was injured and had to go to the ER with his mother, but in to process I got to see her work and how to respond to an event like this. I saw splinting in action before we learned about them in class. I also got to how amazing the support was for this player at a Christian high school. All the coaches made sure he was okay and teammates came and asked how he was too. Before he left the athletic trainer, his mom, teammates and I all prayed for him. It was very amazing to see that ago through that experience.

I am very excited to continue in my education at SLU in becoming an athletic trainer, his mom, teammates and I all prayed for him. It was very amazing to see that ago through that experience.

This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 300 - AT Student Development II.

New Arrival Gives a SLU AT Student the Benefit of Multiple Preceptors at Francis Howell High School

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Francis Howell High School
By: Heather Koch (MAT Class of 2014)

As I complete my second semester as an athletic training student at Howell as well as the last semester as a Master of Athletic Training student at Saint Louis University I am in a much different place than my previous blog post about Francis Howell High School. I have now become much more familiar with the students and staff and have had experience with fall and winter sports and we wrapped up the spring season.

My preceptor Ruth Young ATC welcomed a new baby boy into the world at the beginning of the semester which pushed me to take a more prominent role at my site. EXCEL Sports and Physical Therapy, the company that provides AT services to Francis Howell had a substitute while Ruth was on maternity leave. Sam Fehlhafer ATC, a PRN for EXCEL was a wonderful preceptor for the 6 weeks she was here.

Sam Felhafer, Heather Koch and Ruth Young at Francis Howell HS.
Sam is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with her Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training. She has been working with EXCEL for the past year covering athletic events at several St. Charles County schools. Sam was so helpful with studying for the BOC and pushing me to take charge in the athletic training room.

We welcomed back Ruth mid-semester and she helped me in the exact same way. As I inched closer and closer to becoming a professional I took on more and more responsibility in the athletic training room as well as filling any spare time with all the studying I could handle. This spring semester was very eventful to say the least.

I am so excited to see what the future holds both at my site and in my professional life.  I owe a lot of my progress and growth to the instruction and help I've received this year from both Ruth and Sam. I wouldn't be the athletic training student I am without them.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

June 10, 2014

SLU AT Students have a Busy Spring Semester with the Statesmen!

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Webster Groves High School
By: Michelle Cybulski (MAT Class of 2014) and Shannon Kane (MAT Class of 2015)

During the winter sports season for the Statesmen the wrestlers, the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams definitely kept us busy.  The indoor sports season gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time with our athletes and focus on our rehabilitation skills.
SLU AT student Shannon Kane administering an electrical stimulation treatment.
Our preceptor, Sean Wright ATC, has allowed us to evaluate injuries and work through designing our own rehab programs.  He gives us guidance and asks us questions to lead our thought process in decision making.  Sean Wright has been the athletic trainer at WGHS for the last 8 years.  He teaches health, PE, and offers two levels of athletic training classes for Webster Groves students.  The coaches, students, and parents trust and respect him; it shows in the athletes compliance with his recommendations.
Webster Groves Athletic Trainer Sean Wright ATC.
This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

SLU Student Connects Her Experience as a Soccer Player to Her Future Career as an AT

New PY1 Student Blog Post - Andrea Strebler
By: Andrea Strebler (MAT Class of 2016)

I have only been in the program one year now but I have truly enjoyed everything I have learned and experienced. From my first attempt at an ankle tape to direct observing the PY1’s and PY2’s actually addressing athletes and performing the proper techniques, every moment is different and exciting. Every athlete and injury is different and yet there are ways to treat and help the athlete back to healthy one-hundred percent performance.

What I love most about this major is the constant movement and excitement. I have played basketball, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, softball and mostly soccer so the hands aspect of Athletic Training is very attractive to me. I currently play soccer of the women’s soccer team of Saint Louis University and have seen firsthand many ACL tears, concussions, sprained ankles, pulled muscles and many more. With all this experience in watching injury, Athletic Training has opened my eyes to the afterwards assessment and treatment of how to make the athlete better and to get them back as quick and efficiently as possible.

This past weekend my team and I had a double header and in the second game one of my teammates smacked her head on the goal post. When our AT ran over to assess her head injury, I had a sudden urge to go with her to assess my teammate. I have never felt as if I could help in that way before, I am always concerned on if my teammate is okay or not but this was different. My new knowledge and experience from direct observing and class is changing my way of thinking and has bettered my awareness of what is going on around me during a game.

This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 300 - AT Student Development II.

May 16, 2014

MAT Class of 2014 Graduates from Saint Louis University

The Saint Louis University Master of Athletic Training Class of 2014 celebrated graduation at the Doisy College of Health Sciences Precommencement on Thursday May 15, 2014. The following students graduated with an MAT degree in the ceremony, which will be formally conferred at the University Commencement ceremony on May 17, 2014.

Bongiorno, Angelo G.
Botting, Claire N.
Breseman, Abigail
Buschjost, Jessica M.
Costello, Catherine M.
Cybulski, Michelle A.
DeGreeff, Kelley M.
Gastorf, Nicholas M.
Grace, Emily
Herrin, Daniel J.
Hudspeth, Blake
Koch, Heather M.
Maturan, Jay L.
Peck, Linda (Kelly)
Rhatigan, Mary B.
Runde, John L.
Vander Vorste, Alex (AJ)
Wood, Tyler A.

Following precommencement, SLU AT Faculty and Staff celebrated the occasion with the MAT graduates and their families.  The following awards were presented at the reception:
  • Academic Excellence (highest GPA in professional coursework):  Kelly Peck
  • Professional Service:  Cat Costello and Emily Grace
  • Clinical Excellence:  Angelo Bongiorno, Jessica Buschjost and Dan Herrin
Congrats to the Graduates!

May 12, 2014

SLU AT Students Get a Great Experience with the Griffins

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Fontbonne University
By: AJ Vander Vorste (SLU MAT Class of 2014) and Angie Vitale (SLU MAT Class of 2015)

Brooklyn Dunihoo ATC, Sharon Henderson ATC, Angie Vitale, Andrea Lindquist ATC, AJ Vander Vorste, Ann Schmerbauch ATC
This past semester, we were privileged to be athletic training students at Fontbonne University, a small college in suburban St. Louis.  Under the supervision of Andrea Lindquist ATC, Brooklyn Dunihoo ATC, Ann Schmerbauch ATC, and Sharon Henderson ATC, we were able to work with a variety of teams in many different settings. Over the past few months, we have worked with women’s and men’s basketball, baseball, softball, women’s and men’s lacrosse, cross country, track and field, and men’s volleyball.  Teams practiced through all hours of the day, ranging from 5:30 AM to 10 PM.  These early mornings and late nights gave us a good idea of the flexibility that athletic trainers must have.

Fontbonne is a unique experience in terms of working in a collegiate setting.  While this experience has given us a closer look into the ins and outs of the physical work athletic trainers do, what we have really seen is the importance athletic trainers are to their athletes.  Athlete’s dedication to his or her sport (refer to the previous comments on early morning workouts) was impressive, but their interactions with each athletic trainer were one that was truly remarkable.  Fontbonne is a very open place where it is easy to feel comfortable asking questions and trying new things.  We have had a very great time here and are very thankful for this amazing opportunity.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.