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.