November 09, 2011

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Washington University Football

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.

Rick Larsen ATC serves as the primary approved clinical instructor for three SLU AT students with the football team at Washington University in St. Louis.  They are J.J. Hannigan (MAT Class of 2012), Janese Evans (MAT Class of 2013) and  Katie Herington (MAT Class of 2013).

Washington University Football
By: Katie Mae Herington (MAT Class of 2013)

I have spent my first clinical experience at Washington University in St. Louis working primarily with Rick Larsen. I’ve also gotten to work with Jim Anderson, Kelly Lawson, and Kellie Black. It has been a great experience so far. Each athletic trainer has had different experiences, so it’s nice to have different opinions on certain treatments, taping techniques, and other things pertaining to athletic training. I’ve been working specifically with the football team, so I’ve gotten to see a wide variety of injuries. We’ve had multiple ACL tears, a tibial plateau fracture, an elbow hyperextension, torn ligaments in hands, as well as multiple other fractures, dislocations, and contusions. As a first clinical experience I feel like I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of injuries, and now have a better idea how to handle them. 
Working with Rick has been a very educational experience. He has very high expectations for all of his athletic training students and will hold them up to a high standard of performance everyday. One education tool he has used with us has been assigning each student a certain injury to follow. After filling out a SOAP note on our assigned athlete we present our information to Rick and the other athletic training students. After presenting, there will be follow-up questions from Rick and our peers, and then we’ll discuss things we should’ve considered including in our report and what we could’ve done different. I like these assignments because they allow us to practice skills we need to be competent at as ATCs.
Overall this experience has been extremely enlightening. Not only have I improved my taping skills drastically, I’ve learned new techniques, learned extensive wound care, practiced different modalities, covered multiple competencies, and discussed and treated many different injuries.  Working with Rick has been a great experience. He often shares stories from his 30 years as an ATC, which are extremely beneficial considering Rick’s extensive career and all of his unique experiences.
I enjoy working at Washington University, and I can’t wait to see what else I learn in this clinical rotation. 

Rick Larsen ATC (second from left) with SLU AT student JJ Hannigan, Katie Herington and Janese Evans (left to right)
Washington University Football
By: Janese Evans (MAT Class of 2013)

I am currently doing my first clinical rotation at Washington University in St. Louis working with the football team under Head Athletic Trainer, Rick Larsen. I have the opportunity to work with three other SLU students: JJ Hannigan, Katie Herington, and Katie Schneebeck.  So far my experience at Wash U has been incredible. I’ve learned so many new things, witnessed quite a few injuries, and built great relationships with my ACI, the other SLU students, the other Wash U Athletic Trainers, the football coaches, and most importantly with the football players. Rick Larsen is extremely knowledgeable and has so much experience and advice to offer. Larsen is always trying to get us to think critically and is constantly pushing myself and the other AT students to take advantage of these opportunities that we have. Larsen encourages us to think like clinicians and gives us the opportunity to showcase what we learn in class and apply it to our clinical experience. This first clinical rotation so far has been a great journey and I look forward to learning so much more before it is over.    
Everyone has to "carry their share" in this clinical rotation!

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