November 14, 2011

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - SIU-Edwardsville

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their clinical instructor. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction is a major asset for the SLU AT education program.

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
By: Adriana Black (MAT Class of 2013)

I have been on a clinical rotation at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville (SIUe) for just about two months. It has been a true growing experience as it puts to practice the notion that the profession of athletic training is one that is completely unpredictable and requires much flexibility. Having my clinical rotations at such a large institution puts many privileges and opportunities at our disposal. The facilities, equipment, and technology are excellent and I am already pretty spoiled because I have access to such top-notch amenities.Working at a NCAA Division I university is something that I have been looking forward to since my enrollment in the Athletic Training Education Program here at SLU. The biggest benefit that I have experienced in this large, competitive D-I setting is having that opportunity to work alongside so many different professionals and work with so many different athletes. At SIUe, there is a head athletic trainer, three assistant athletic trainers, two graduate student athletic trainers, two student workers, and two SLU athletic training students that work in the two athletic training rooms. I have had the chance to interact with all of them. It has really been a blessing to see all of the professionals in action and discuss their insight and perspective. Another huge benefit of my clinical experience thus far is that of flexibility. My ACIs have been very adaptable to our experience in that they have allowed us to interact with a variety of sports and events. I have worked with soccer, volleyball, track, cross-country, wrestling, basketball, tennis, softball, and baseball to a degree. Mostly, the time in this clinical rotation has been spent with both men and women’s soccer teams.

SLU AT student (left) with Ben Heimos ATC
Ben Heimos ATC is the athletic trainer for the women’s soccer team. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ben as he creates a very laid-back, yet productive atmosphere for the whole team. He always is honest with his team and maintains a level head whenever the athletes are plagued with injury. More than anything I appreciate his realness with his the team as that is the approach I will always want to maintain when I fill the role of an athletic trainer for a team. Though Ben claims that he is not a good teacher and that having students shadow him is a new experience, I have learned a lot from him by simply watching. I ask Ben questions frequently and he is always helpful in his responses. I actually appreciate that a lot as it lets me figure it out and I learn more that way. I know that if I ever have a real doubt I can ask him and he will be happy to assist in any way, but learning on my own by being in his presence is a fruitful learning experience in and of itself. It goes without saying that my time in Edwardsville has been eye-opening, educational, and entertaining. I have really connected with the athletes that I have treated and the clinical instructors that I am lucky to work beside. I look forward to seeing what the next clinical rotation has in store.

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