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.