August 14, 2017

SLU AT Student Gets International Rugby Experience through Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Athlone, Ireland
By: Pat O'Neill (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer, I sought out a field experience over the pond in Ireland to work with rugby. Playing a couple years of rugby in college myself has me interested in pursuing a career covering rugby. Currently, I am affiliated with Connacht Rugby, a member of the Guinness Pro 12 League, covering their U17, U18, and U19 squads as well as, Buccaneers Rugby Football Club, a member of the Ulster Bank League. 

I have had the pleasure to collaborate and learn from Michael Donohoe M.Sc ARTC.  This is Michael’s second year working with Connacht Rugby’s sub-academy teams and his fifth year working with the Buccaneers. On top of his job as an Athletic & Rehab Therapist, he is also an assistant lecturer at Athlone Institute of Technology. He is always willing to answer the many questions I have and goes above any beyond his role as a preceptor to make sure I am getting the most out of this experience. 
Being with the Connacht Rugby sub-academy teams has been an incredible experience to say the least. There are just under 100 athletes ranging between 15 and 18. I am working with and treating the some of the best rugby players under the age of nineteen in the country. 

Connacht’s multifaceted approach to developing their athletes has given me the opportunity to collaborate with physiotherapists, strength and conditioning coaches, sports psychologists, and sports nutritionists. With the help of Michael, I have really refined my manual therapy techniques and gained a greater appreciation for them. I have also been exposed to many new rugby specific rehab and return to play protocols. 

I have also enjoyed my experience with Buccaneers Rugby Football Club. There are about 40 athletes on the team ranging between early twenties to mid-thirties in age. Currently the squad just started their pre-season training so our focus is on injury prevention and managing the volume of training. The athletes are great to work with and they are sure that there is never a dull moment in the clubhouse. I look forward to covering their matches, which begin mid-August.

I am very appreciative of this experience to work with these athletes and staff. My time working with both Connacht and the Buccs has already had an immense impact on developing my skills as an athletic training student and on my education. 

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

August 09, 2017

SLU AT Student Builds Clinical Skills and More through Immersive Clinical Experience in Madrid, Spain

SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Madrid, Spain
By: Jenna Ginsberg (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer I did the majority of my clinical experience at a physiotherapy clinic in Madrid, Spain. The clinic is part of the High-performance Centre-Consejo Superior de Deportes, Madrid; a vast government-sponsored facility that houses training centers, dormitories, doctors’ offices, and other sports medicine professionals that serve the elite athletes who live and train there. 


I had the privilege to work with physiotherapist Elena Martínez Martínez and her staff, and I learned a great deal from them. Studying abroad was something I always wanted to do, and it was an incredible experience getting to work with so many different athletes that compete in sports at a very high level, especially those that are not as popular in the United States. 


This experience brought me out of my comfort zone, as I had to work hard to communicate with my patients and preceptors in a language that I am far from fluent in. My manual therapy skills improved greatly, as did my knowledge of diathermy, which was used on a daily basis in the clinic, unlike in the U.S. where it is less common. I also got to observe a great deal of dry needling and acupuncture (and see what it felt like!). 


My favorite thing about this experience was that for all the differences between Athletic Training and Physiotherapy, evidence-based practice and hard work to ensure the best outcome for the patient remain at the center of both. 

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

SLU AT Student Blends a Wide Variety of Clinical Experiences in the USA and Scotland


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Ayr, Scotland and NutriFormance/Athletic Republic 
By: Caitlin Gibson (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

A few days after graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, I flew to Scotland to join Michelle Pollock a physiotherapist for part one of my summer field experience. Michelle works with Irvine Rugby Team, Ayr United Football Club and a badminton club team. Since the teams practice in the evening Michelle sees a variety of patients during the day. 


One of the most interesting parts of the health care system over in the United Kingdom is that a physiotherapist can see patients in a variety of places. Michelle saw patients in a standard clinic setting like the clinics in the United States. However; she also had people come over to her house for a session and she went to the patient’s home if that was more convenient. While with Michelle, I saw different techniques than I have seen in the United States. She performed manual therapy techniques, osteopathic techniques, physiotherapy, acupuncture and dry needling. For the most part I performed different types of massage, which made me more mindful of my body mechanics and gave me the opportunity to refine my technique. I helped Ayr United Football Club with their youth conditioning testing to establish a baseline, which will be used to determine an individual plan for the players as their bodies mature. This is an on-going project that will take years to develop with the goal to reduce injuries. 


After returning from Scotland, I started part two of my summer field experience at NutriFormance/ Athletic Republic located in Saint Louis, MO. NutriFormance’s motto is “if you have a body you are an athlete”. Similar to my experience in Scotland I worked with a variety of patients ranging in age. My preceptors used different exercises than I have seen before. For example, Heidi Frey ATC introduced me to postural restoration and opened my eyes to different balancing exercises. With Randy Leonardo, I was able to practice my evaluations on FMS screenings as a patient joined NutriFormance. This screening was used to see what the best placement would be such as an individual training session, a small class or a hybrid class.  


NutriFormance gave me an opportunity to blend the skills that I had learned in Scotland and exercises from NutriFormance to make me a more well rounded Athletic Training student. 

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

August 08, 2017

SLU AT Student Experiences Patient-Centered Care Both In the Clinic and On the Sideline at Athletico


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Athletico
By: Wyatt Whitegoat (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

When it came to finding a summer field experience I knew that I wanted an opportunity that emphasized on two aspects I enjoy: injury evaluation and rehabilitation. At Athletico, my preceptors, Mathew Peterson, ATC, and Courtney Martin, DPT, made the opportunity available to me. My experience at Athletico varies throughout the week; some days I am on the sideline with Mathew assessing and taping football injuries and on other days I am in the clinic with Courtney observing and assisting a diverse group of patients with rehab exercises. Mathew and Courtney’s willingness to instruct and apply various techniques for preventing, assessing, and rehabilitating injuries has been phenomenon and a great component to my learning experience.

Throughout my summer field experience, I gained a lot of confidence and exposure of lectured-based components to a clinical setting, especially with evaluation skills. Both Mathew and Courtney are hands-on, well-rounded, and interactive preceptors that made the exploration of assessment and treatment a remarkable experience. Through observation, discussion, and application of assessments, I have adopted and incorporated numerous skills that I will use as a future clinician.

Moreover, through observation and their interaction with patients, Mathew and Courtney displayed the importance of patient-centered care. It was remarkable to witness the level of dedication and passion that Mathew and Courtney established with their patient because it made the environment informative, inspiring, and meaningful for both me and the patient. 

At Athletico, I learned a vast amount of knowledge and inspiration that I hope to carry forward in my educational career and as a future athletic trainer. I am very grateful for the experience I gained from two incredible preceptors and a diverse patient population. 

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

August 07, 2017

SLU AT Student Enjoys Preceptor's Approach to Clinical Teaching at Christian Brothers College High School


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Christian Brothers College High School
By: Ryan Dale (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

Summer Camps at Christian Brother College (CBC) High School have been a great hands-on experience. My preceptor, Kristen Jeans ATC, LMT, at CBC through Mercy Sports Medicine has years of experience and enjoys sharing it with her Athletic Training Students. She allows me to work with the athletes on my own, but is also happy to teach me when I am faced with a situation I am unable to solve. Due to the wide variety of sports being played and the numerous athletes that attend the camps, there are many opportunities to further advance my proficiencies as an Athletic Trainer. 
I have especially enjoyed Kristen’s approach to evaluations. She is able to quickly evaluate her athletes and determine what they need to return to play. I think her Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) certification is very helpful, because she is advanced in manual therapy techniques. I believe strongly in the use of massage and other manual techniques for both pre and post treatments of athletes to ensure optimal function. 
Lastly I was excited to learn more about rehab, because this is an area I am highly interested in. In the high school setting there is not much time to spend on rehab, so an athletic trainer working in this setting needs to be proficient in developing home rehab programs and properly communicating them to his or her athletes. Kristen is great at prescribing the appropriate exercises, and making sure her athletes are strengthening weak muscles that would otherwise lead to injury. 

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

August 05, 2017

SLU AT Student Improves the Patient Experience with Healthcare at SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon SportsCare


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon SportsCare
By: Killian Hollo (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

SportsCare at SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a unique company which connects Cardinal Glennon physicians through community outreach techniques. Here with preceptor Katie Smith ATC, We form partnerships with youth organizations around the greater Saint Louis and west Illinois areas and then try to acquire referrals for the Cardinal Glennon Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Doctors. This has shown to be an interesting business technique by the hospital as well as an untraditional role for an Athletic Trainer to work in. My experience with SportsCare has not only exposed me to interprofessional practice in the hospital, but also the value an Athletic Trainer’s skillsets could have outside of a traditional work setting.

Every day is different. In the morning we might be in the office handling referral logistics or creating outreach education tools. In the afternoon we may visit youth athletic organizations such as a gymnastics gym or a peewee football camp. Varying weekly schedules have kept me on my toes and taught me to keep an open mind to any task in any situation. It is important to have an Athletic Trainer for this job for a few reasons. We can do the necessary assessments on individuals to determine the proper healthcare steps needed. Also, we can educate individuals on things like CPR/AED/First Aid and can educate other healthcare professionals on sports related injury care such as equipment removal, splinting, and concussion protocol. Moments like these remind me of how valuable the Athletic Training education is and give me pride to be in an internship which allows opportunities of interprofessional exposure.

Building relationships with people can go a long way with SportsCare. Sometimes just talking to a parent for a few minutes makes all the difference. They may never know they would have needed our service, but by chance when their child suffers an unforeseen injury, the family has our phone number on the free giveaway we gave them. It’s not the hospitals phone number, but one of the outreach liaison’s personal numbers. The family knows us already from that previous conversation and now they can feel comfortable as they are guided through the healthcare system.  

Through this experience I have really begun to see the greater picture of the healthcare industry. Whether it was in the clinic with Dr. Kaar or a conversation at a soccer tournament preceding that physician appointment, Cardinal Glennon SportsCare puts the autonomy of the family first at the greatest convenience to that family as possible. As the intern I strive to be as malleable as possible in whatever role facilitates that goal.  

I’ve learned it’s the little things that go a long way with healthcare. If I can listen intently, present myself respectfully, and stay humble I can be an integral part in any patient’s experience for the better.

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

August 04, 2017

SLU AT Student Appreciates Well-Rounded Experience in DC at Georgetown University


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Georgetown University
By: Donielle Francis (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer, I had the opportunity to complete my summer field experience in Washington DC with Georgetown University. I was able to split my time working with both the football team and the women’s basketball team while they are in the middle of their summer conditioning and lifting programs. I also observed the interprofessional care and interaction between the athletic trainers, coaches, team physicians, and strength and conditioning staff as it pertains to the health and wellbeing of the athletes.


While working with football, I was under the direction of Associate Athletic Trainer Travis McCormack MA, ATC. I was able to assist and/or observe team physicals, rehab programs, inventory, insurance and purchasing of supplies. I was also able to participate in reviewing emergency care and spine boarding with the GU staff.

The second half of my summer was spent with women’s basketball, under the guidance of Associate Athletic Trainer Shannon O’Donnell MS, ATC. With Shannon, I have been able to gain more experience in different modes of therapy such as cupping, ultrasound, microcurrent and manual therapies. Getting time to just  sit down and chat with both Travis and Shannon during the summer about the life of an athletic trainer and all their different roles and responsibilities was all invaluable information to me. They both always made sure to talk me through their roles and tasks and the reasoning behind why and how they do the things that they do.

I truly had a very well rounded experience here at Georgetown. I appreciate the sports medicine staff and athletes at Georgetown for being welcoming and allowing me to ask questions, observe and improve my overall skills.

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

August 03, 2017

SLU AT Student Gets Experience with Performance Enhancement at Nutriformance/Athletic Republic


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Nutriformance/Athletic Republic
By: Mike Milek (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer I have the opportunity to have my summer field experience with Heidi Frey, MA, ATC, CSCS and Randy Leopando, BS, FMS, CSCS at Nutriformance/Athletic Republic here in St. Louis. So far, it has been a great experience, as this is the setting I see myself in once I graduate.



Throughout my day at Nutriformance/Athletic Republic, I get a variety of experiences. On the Athletic Republic side of things, I have the opportunity to shadow many of the performance trainers as the they take athletes through the variable classes that are offered throughout the day including agility, speed, and functional strengthening. Along with shadowing, I help with dynamic warm ups before classes and with active recovery during the sessions. On the Nutriformance side, I have been able to shadow personal training sessions and have been able to help Heidi in evaluating athletes.


I have learned a lot so far at Nutriformance/ Athletic Republic and it has given me an inside look at a setting I am seriously considering going into. It has been an awesome experience so far.


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

August 02, 2017

SLU AT Student Benefits from Multidisciplinary Approach at Mercy Sports Medicine


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Mercy Sports Medicine
By: C.J. Butler (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer I’ve have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Brian Mahaffey and the Mercy Sports Medicine team. Dr. Mahaffey is a primary care sports medicine physician who sees athletes varying in age, sport and skillset. He uses his knowledge and expertise to avoid surgery as much as possible and by using functional movement screening and the full body approach find “the why” for an injury. This has taught me a lot about rehabilitation for injuries and how important it is to find the underlying cause of the problem and fix it so it won’t continue to come back.


One of my main goals for this summer was to learn the clinical side of sports medicine and what I, as a future athletic trainer, could do to increase the efficiency of patient care. I have been able to see how Dr. Mahaffey uses the multidisciplinary team around him, including athletic trainers, physical therapists and other specialists. Since the clinic is directly attached to a rehabilitation center there is constant communication between the team to insure that the patients are on the right track at all times. This patient centered approach not only gets the athletes physically and emotionally back to where they were before, but the ability to be even better.

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

SLU AT Student Spends a Busy Summer in South Bend with the Fighting Irish


SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - University of Notre Dame
By: Ben Wildman (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

This summer I joined with the Sports Medicine staff at the University of Notre Dame. I had the opportunity to get experience with several different preceptors with the youth and high school sports camps that Notre Dame hosts throughout the summer. 
While in South Bend this summer I covered 11 different camps, each lasting from 3 to 4 days. I was able to gain experience and insight in covering Girls’ basketball, lacrosse, and soccer. For the boys’ I covered football, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. There were anywhere from 60 to 600 campers at a given camp. It was imperative that me and the other athletic training students, who came from various universities, employed strong communication skills between each other and our supervising preceptors. We were often spread out covering several fields across campus throughout the day so it was essential that important information regarding campers was communicated effectively to ensure continuity of care and awareness of certain conditions. This also provided an enriching learning environment in which my peers and I not only learned from our preceptors but each other. We often discussed different methods of evaluating, treating, and preventing the many injuries we encountered. 

The high volume of campers meant that we were quite busy any given day. We would typically arrive at the Joyce Athletic Center each morning to prepare medical kits, water and ice coolers, and discuss any follow ups or referrals that were needed. Then we would head out to our assigned fields where we would check in on our campers and provide any first aid, stretching, and/or taping they may need to get through the day. We would then monitor the practice or scrimmage sessions and tend to any camper who was injured or ill. 
Our camper population was very diverse and typically were between 6 and 18 years old. The wide age disparity and skill level meant we would manage injuries ranging simple contusions and abrasions to fractures and concussions. Much of the injury management was done on the field and if further referral was needed we would coordinate with the supervising preceptor so that we could refer the camper onto the proper health care provider. I feel that through this experience, I greatly benefited in enhancing my evaluation and injury management skills. I learned to be flexible in managing several athletes at a time and to be diligent in following up with the campers throughout the day. There was a lot of autonomy provided by the preceptors at Notre Dame. 

This proved to be very valuable in further development of confidence and skills. I greatly enjoyed the enriching and dynamic environment this summer at Notre Dame and am very grateful for each of the preceptors and peers that I have worked with along the way.

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

July 07, 2017

SLU AT Faculty and Alumni Have a Great Week at the NATA Meeting in Houston


Saint Louis University Faculty and Alumni look forward to the annual National Athletic Trainers' Association Clinical Symposia and AT Expo each year to provide a week of service, professional development and fellowship.  The 2017 NATA meeting was held from June 26-29 in downtown Houston, Texas.

Hilary Stepansky ATC presenting at NATA 2017
Hilary Stepansky MAT, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2015) presented "Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Becoming a Female Athletic Trainer in the NFL" on Tuesday, June 27th. Hilary, who works with the Los Angeles Rams, is one of five women who have full-time staff athletic trainer positions in the National Football League. 

Dr. Breitbach with alum Kellie (Black) Fisher ATC at his presentation.
Faculty Kitty Newsham PhD, ATC and Anthony Breitbach PhD, ATC made "Special Topics" presentations on Thursday, June 29th.  Dr. Newsham presented "The Foot Core: Base of Stability" and Dr. Breitbach's topic was "Pedagogy Designed to Build a Foundation for Interprofessional Collaboration".

David O'Loughlin ATC, Dr. Breitbach and Demeisha Crawford ATC at EDAC Town Hall
Demeisha Crawford MAT, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2016) also presented a poster on SLU's Ethnic Diversity Enhancement Grant at the NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Council's Town Hall on Wednesday, June 28th.

Andria Lampe ATC, Hilary Stepansky ATC and Will Rath ATC
An additional highlight of the week was the SLU Athletic Training Alumni Reception at Tejas Grill and Sports Bar on June 28th.

Demeisha Crawford ATC, Brad Bunten ATC, Ben Heimos ATC, Lizzy Kienstra ATC, Petra Knight ATC and Katie Sniffen ATC.

July 06, 2017

SLU AT Students Engage with Faculty Courtside at Nike Elite 100 Basketball Camp


Every June for the last 17 years, the campus of Saint Louis University has welcomed approximately 100 of the top men's basketball student-athletes aged 16 and under from across the country for Nike's Elite 100 Basketball Camp. 


The SLU AT  Program provides medical care for the camp, which creates a great opportunity for Faculty, Staff and Students to collaborate in a clinical context.  


At this camp, the licensed faculty and staff AT's empower the students to "learn by doing", making the most of the opportunities to interact, debrief and reflect on the experience.


During this year's Elite 100, the NBA draft was held, and many of the former players from the camp were drafted by NBA teams.  NBA legend Rasheed Wallace served as a coach at the camp.

We appreciate this opportunity to engage and learn in an enjoyable setting.