July 10, 2012

SLU AT Student Gets Unique Summer Experiences in St. Louis

Busy Summer with the Billikens
By: Alexandria Sawyer (SLU MAT Class of 2013)

This summer I am completing my athletic training internship at Saint Louis University (SLU). I have always known that I wanted to work with Division I athletics in my professional career. So, naturally, working at SLU was ideal for me. It did not take long for me to realize that working at SLU this summer could open up doors for other learning opportunities. On my second day, I assisted head athletic trainer, Jonathan “JB” Burch ATC, LAT, with welcoming the staff of USA Gymnastics for the Visa Championships. The USA-G medical staff was very friendly and such great teachers. Working with past, present, and future Olympians was no doubt an awesome experience. 
Alex Sawyer in the mouthguard lab at SLU's Center for Advanced Dental Education.
Working at SLU also allowed me to attend the National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting and Symposium, since the lovely city of St Louis was selected to host this year. I attended lectures and volunteered at the trade show. It was so motivating to be around certified athletic trainers, newly certified athletic trainers, and students like myself. The most important lecture I attended was “Providing Dental Coverage at Athletic Events – Be Prepared” (presented by the Academy for Sports Dentistry). This lecture was important to me because I would later help Dr. Paul Nativi and Theresa Hummel, MS, ATC, LAT make mouth guards for some women’s basketball and field hockey players. Although I was not allowed to take the impressions, I was allowed to participate in every other detail that is put into making a mouth guard, from heating the material over the impression to polishing the mouth guard to the final fitting. This was such an awesome learning experience and I am so grateful that Dr. Nativi allowed me to work alongside him.
Alex Sawyer trimming the mouthguard with a heated knife.
In addition to these experiences, I have been working closely with each SLU athletic trainer (JB, Theresa, Miya Sullivan, MS, ATC, LAT, and Angie Wills, MS, ATC, LAT) to monitor and treat the men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, field hockey and volleyball teams during summer workouts. I have also been working to get the Simtrak injury monitoring software up and running. So far this summer had been very busy yet rewarding. I am looking forward to what is left to come.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education 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.

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