December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays from the SLU Athletic Training Program!

The faculty and staff of the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program wishes you a blessed and happy holiday season!


December 18, 2015

Jennifer's Christmas Hats....a SLU AT Program Tradition!

My holiday tradition started many years ago when I worked at a hospital outpatient pharmacy.  Day after day I would see patrons coming in feeling physically horrible. Generally, they were coming in because they had seen a physician for an issue and were filling a prescription afterward.  Our facility also delivered medication to the same-day surgery ward.

One year, as the holiday season approached, I asked the pharmacist if I could wear a Santa hat to try to bring a little bit of holiday cheer to the place. He agreed, and the patrons seemed to get a small lift in their day when they saw the hat and a smile. The next year, I continued my Santa hat routine, but I added some reindeer antlers to the mix.  I received the same type of reaction – a slightly brightened day. It’s what I was going for, so I was pleased.  The following year, I went all out. I wanted to make people laugh. It may be the only time they had laughed (or would laugh) in quite some time.  Even a chuckle would be considered a win. So, I started my task…to find some of the most fun, most silly holiday hats and headbands I could find.

I didn’t do it all in one year. I got a few the first year, a couple more the next year, and so on. I’ve even had some friends and family buy me crazy holiday hats when they see them. Currently, I have enough holiday hats and headbands that I can (and do) begin wearing a holiday hat on December 1st and wear a different one every single day through Christmas! It takes commitment. You can’t put on a holiday headband and then decide to take it off half-way through the day. Not unless you want to walk around with a divot across the top of your head, that is.  And the dancing and singing hats…oh are they fun!  They make everyone smile and giggle!  But I always have a weight on my shoulders while I’m wearing them – literally. They are heavy. The motors and batteries in those hats make them weigh quite a bit and I end up with a sore neck and shoulders after a day in one of those hats.

It’s been more than fifteen years since I started with that I first starting wearing that Santa hat, and I wouldn’t change the way things have gone for anything in the world!  

Happy Holidays!

-- Jennifer Baine

December 10, 2015

Visiting Students from Ireland Get a Wide Variety of Experiences in Athletic Training at Saint Louis University

International Field Experience  - SLU and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Ronan Coyle and Gerald Percival

We are athletic training students from Ireland where we study at Athlone Institute of Technology. We will be spending 7 weeks total, of which we have 5 weeks completed, developing our skills at SLU’s clinical sites. 

We both work predominantly at two clinical sites, one together and one apart, whilst also participating in two PY2 classes. We work together in the early mornings with Slu woman's basketball, start classes late in morning and then head to separate high schools during the late afternoons to evenings. 
At SLU basketball it's an early start most mornings, with us having to be in the magnificent Chaifetz arena and ready for the athletes to arrive in at 6am.

Kara Cummings-Ludwig ATC is the AT responsible for the woman's basketball where she also covers the cheer and field hockey teams too. We work with her to create comprehensive rehabilitation programs for them. Kara gives us free reign in the AT room in the Chaifetz Arena when it comes to treating the women's basketball and field hockey players. There is a wide variety of modalities for us to use, some of which we have never used before like the game ready, or we would use soft tissue mobilizations if we feel they would be more beneficial.  

Gerald Percival

I'm currently at Webster Groves High school for my high school clinical experience under the supervision of veteran preceptor Sean Wright, ATC. The training room at WGHS has a constant flow of students coming through its doors right from the end of school to the end of practices. They come in looking to be taped, treated, evaluated or continue their rehab. The sheer magnitude of athlete numbers struck me as a culture shock as there was so many sports and some excellent facilities. Sean runs a very well organised ship where he has created a very enjoyable working environment to learn in. We take turns taking athletes between Alissa PY2, Phillip and Nick both PY1 students, dealing with each new case. Sean allows us to be very much hands on with each athlete to the point where we are comfortable encourages us to be confident. He is allows available to run tests and treatments over with. The use of modalities over manual treatment techniques I have found to more commonplace that back home. This I can see is due to the limited time you have per athlete, making it not as feasible. 

At Webster Groves there is an Athletic training class within the school that's Sean teaches, this is unique as we are encouraged to pass on our knowledge to the students. Sean himself is very open to learning to new things, and it feels good to pass on my skills to him along with the Slu and high school students in return for learning off them. We have both only watched American football at the highest level, such as Super Bowl. It struck us, just the length of time the whole game took place. It was a unique experience before games as 20+ athletes ascend to the training room all at once to be taped and treated in preparation for the game. I had the pleasure of helping out at the big turkey day game against Kirkwood High School, although we lost it was a great and unique experience. 

Ronan Coyle

For my clinical placement I was with Westminster Christian Academy. As this is my first time in America it was quite the cultural shock with the different sports and the top class sporting facilities available to the students compared to back home in Ireland. My first experience of an American sport was working with the football team at Westminster. It was an exciting experience as the only other time i've seen football was watching the Superbowl on the TV. On game day i was constantly on my feet from 9 in the morning looking after the players with various tapings to assessing any injuries picked up during the game. My preceptor at Westminster is Hilary Orf ATC. Right from the start we hit it off as we both compete on Track & Field. I was able to learn different ways of taping and performing special tests on the variety of injuries that came into the training room. Hilary let Bailey who is a PY1 at Westminster and myself take the lead on any injury evaluations and then once we have concluded we would discuss the evaluation on why and what we think the injury is. I am always getting a chance to practice some sort of skill whether it be special tests, taping, using modalities or giving athletes rehabilitation exercises. I hope that I will develop and grow professionally as an Athletic Therapist back in Ireland when I continue placement next semester.

We have really enjoyed our experiences here in Saint Louis University so far and hope it continues that way. 

December 02, 2015

SLU AT Students Get a Great Learning Experience Taking Care of the Billikens

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Saint Louis University Billiken Athletics
By; David O'Loughlin and Haylie Dehm (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

In my few months with Saint Louis University Sports Medicine, I have gained a widespread variety of experience and knowledge.  I have enjoyed a great balance of privilege and responsibility working with Tamara Pastor, ATC and Jonathan Burch, ATC.  Both athletic trainers treat me as a knowledgeable professional, and they allow me to practice many skills under their direction.  In my time with them, I have been given comprehensive rehab assignments to work with athletes from start to finish and design programs for them.  I have been exposed to and practiced techniques such as Graston, ART, and muscle energy to correct malalignments.  Because of their investment in me in these areas, I have a great interest to study these fields further after graduation and earn degrees and certificates.  What has really been exceptional for me has been when my supervisor is on the road with their respective team, and I am responsible for their athletes that are still on campus.  This has given me a great taste of what being certified means, and it has emphasized the importance of communication amongst sports medicine team members.  
–Dave O’Loughlin

This year I am returning to SLU Sports Medicine in a new role. Prior to beginning the professional phase of the Athletic Training Program, I was able to get a work-study position working with in Sports Medicine. The transition from being a student worker to being a PY2 at SLU has been neat. I came in already having an established working relationship with most of the ATs, the team physicians, and many upperclassmen athletes. Having these previous relationships has made it easy for all the members of the sports medicine team to trust and respect me. I am working with the women’s soccer, swimming and diving, and softball teams this year under the supervision of SLU Alum Lizzy Kienstra, ATC. This season when the women’s soccer team has been out of town, I have been able to get experience with other SLU ATs Angie Wills ATC and Kara Cummins-Ludwig ATC along with other PRN ATs from the area, covering field hockey, softball, tennis, cross country, baseball, men’s soccer and men’s basketball. Each team has it’s own personality and vibe. As soccer season is winding down I am looking forward to a vastly different experience working swimming and diving. My knowledge of swimming and diving is minimal, at best, so I am ready and eager to learn. 
–Haylie Dehm

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.

December 01, 2015

SLU AT Student Mentors Younger Students While Learning from Multiple Preceptors at Missouri Baptist University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Missouri Baptist University
By: Josh Yanzer (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

For my 2nd Professional Year (PY2) Fall Clinical Rotation I was placed at Missouri Baptist University.  I had not worked with football on any of my other previous rotations as a PY1 except for preseason this summer so I was very excited when I learned that I would actually be with Missouri Baptist’s football team.  It was also really nice to know that I would be working with multiple preceptors there. Meredith Dill ATC, Craig Zurliene ATC, Ashley Broughton ATC, and Emily Lawrence ATC all have different styles of teaching and some prefer doing things differently than the other so there was definitely a lot that I could learn from each of them.  Right from the start I was able to learn different ways to do particular special tests or ways the special tests could be altered base on the size of the Athletic Trainer since Craig and Emily are so different in size.  They also taught me better and more effective ways to write my SOAP notes so that I could include all the information that is needed without being really wordy.  Game days are a blast with all of them even though the days are extremely long.  We all bring in food for dinner and we are all very involved with the game making it a very exciting time. All of them are really big on rehabilitation with their athletes and getting the athletes back to play faster so I have learned to be very organized with my rehab plans because of my preceptors.

Working with football for me is one of the most enjoyable things I have done at a clinical site.  There are so many more athletes on one team that you can make a connecting with and you just never know what the day will bring.  I always have to be on my feet, especially for games and full contact practices because while working football you see so many more injuries than in any other sport and you also see much more severe injuries.  Being a PY2, I have been able to get some really great practice with my evaluation skills and having three preceptors to give feedback on my evaluation skills helps me really improve so that my skills are where they need to be in preparation to being a certified Athletic Trainer.  I am always getting a chance to practice some sort of skill that I learned in class and I have also been able to evaluate injured areas that I have never really looked at before or even just practice my skills on injured areas where I was not confident with my skillset yet.
One of the most rewarding thing about being at Missouri Baptist as a PY2 is I was actually able to help teach and facilitate the learning of Sarah Haenchen, Mada Hauck and Morgan Jasperson, the PY1’s in the class below me.  Being with them was really great because I was not only teaching them but also giving myself a review and figuring out some of my weak areas based on what the questions they asked me.  Not only did I teach them and helped give myself a review but they also reminded me of things that I did not really think of as often.  Since they are currently in the evaluation classes they have all the information fresh in their minds so having them there to help remind me of information that I have since forgotten is a huge help.  It is truly a lot of fun to hang out with all of them and I enjoy seeing them learn and develop their skills just as I am trying to better develop mine.  I have really enjoyed my time at Missouri Baptist University thus far and I hope that I will continue to grow and develop professionally as I continue being a PY2 clinical student there for the Spring Semester. 

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.

November 12, 2015

Veteran Preceptors Create a Great Learning Experience for SLU AT Students at Washington University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Washington University Athletics
By: Demeisha Crawford, Andrea Strebler and Jack Dunlap (SLU MAT Class of 2016) and Ali Graham and Max Alander (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

“Da Bears” of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) have welcomed SLU Athletic Training Students for years. We, Demeisha, Ali, Max, Jack and Andrea, are lucky to have such a unique experience for fall 2015 at WUSTL. August came with football preseason, physicals, new PY1’s, PY2’s, and Spain foreign exchange students.  Carlos and Javier are Sports Physiotherapists attending University of Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid. We were extremely lucky to have them for preseason August 2015. Both students were extremely intelligent and had this contagious love for sports. Javier in particular was a competitive swimmer and shared with us his capstone of aquatic rehabilitation in various stages of rehabilitation.  Even with English as there second language; they were able to communicate and teach us new valuable information in rehab especially. We were sad to see them go but wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Football at WUSTL started August 10th and has been full swing ever since. We have experienced many injuries over the past two months and have become familiar with the management and processes for return to play. Anything from anterior shoulder dislocation to turf toe have been assessed, evaluated and treated under the supervision of two very intelligent preceptors; Rick Larsen ATC and SLU Alum Jacob Blasingame ATC. Both of our preceptors try hard day after day to teach us proper techniques, normal management and skills of assessment for optimum health care for our athletes. They are committed to helping us grow into the Athletic Trainers we aspire to be.

Andrea Strebler pictured with her parents at WUSTL Soccer Match.
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.

November 10, 2015

SLU AT Students Get a Rich and Varied Learning Experience with Fontbonne AT Staff

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Fontbonne University
By: Lauren Scalise and Andrew Gomez (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

Fontbonne University has provided us with a great experience so far! The four preceptors; Andrea Lindquist ATC, Ann Schmerbauch ATC (SLU Alum), Jaci Clauson ATC and Brittany Koops ATC (SLU Alum); provides us with deeper learning base when it comes to evaluations and rehabilitation because each AT has a different way of doing things. This is helpful because it keeps us away from getting into a standard routine. The great thing about this site is that our preceptors are on a constant rotation of all the sports. This is really beneficial because the athletes are familiar with all the ATs. When they come in with questions or for rehab they can talk to any of the ATs and everyone is on the same page.

We get experience with a wide variety of sports at the NCAA Division III collegiate level. We have worked with soccer, basketball, cross country, track, lacrosse, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and volleyball. We have spent a lot of time on developing rehabilitation protocols for athletes and how to guide them through the rehabilitation process. We also have learned a few new taping techniques to help with shin splints, Achilles tendon issues, even taping techniques to help with TFCC injuries. 

The athletes, and AT staff at Fontbonne University are great to work with!  Every day we come in we are leave with new knowledge pertaining to the athletic training profession. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will have in store for us!

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.

November 09, 2015

Culture of Success and Respect Gives SLU AT Students a Great Experience at CBC

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Christian Brothers College High School
By: CJ Spink (SLU MAT Class of 2016) and Stephanie Ross (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

Our clinical rotation at Christian Brothers College High School has provided us with an abundance of learning opportunities. Kristen Jeans ATC, our preceptor at CBC employed through Mercy Sports Medicine, allows us to learn with an incredible amount of autonomy when treating athletes. She gives us the freedom to evaluate any and all injuries that we feel comfortable with and allows us to make return to play decisions as we see fit. This type of learning forces us to practice making decisions that we will make as future athletic trainers.

Working side by side with another student in the other professional year has been helpful in strengthening our learning experiences. We are able to review information from the PY1 year that Stephanie is currently learning, which allows for a better chance to grasp information from class while providing a great opportunity to review the same information that is likely to be on the BOC exam. The constant conversation that occurs during evaluations requires us to explain the purpose behind our actions, which forces us to understand the exact reason as to why we are doing what we are doing. 

The athletic environment at CBC is one of the most elite that you will find in high school sports. Every one of the sports teams is consistently competing for top rankings in the state for their respected sports. With the winningest soccer coach in high school history and a football team who has been undefeated for the past two seasons, both teams look to repeat as state champions. This speaks volumes towards the skill level of the athletes that we work with on a daily basis. 

As entertaining as the athletes are to watch on the field, the athletic environment isn’t the only reason CBC is a great clinical site. Every person in the building has accepted us into the community as if we have been doing our clinical rotations there for years. All of the coaches respect and appreciate our knowledge and commonly communicate with us regarding athletes that we work with individually as if we were already certified athletic trainers. We couldn’t have asked for a better athletic program, preceptor, and clinical site to help us develop into future athletic trainers. 

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.

November 08, 2015

Empowered SLU AT Student Grows Clinical Skills at Webster University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Webster University
By: Ryan Lilly (SLU MAT Class of 2016)
This year I am at Webster University.  Webster is a small private college located in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis.  Webster has a variety of sports including women’s volleyball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, tennis, baseball, softball, cross country and track and field. The athletic trainers at Webster, Jenny Popken ATC and Martin Fields ATC, are my preceptors. I have been able to work with and learn from the both of them. 

Webster has provided me with many learning opportunities. So far this year the main thing I have been able to work on is my evaluation process. I have been able to perform a lot of evaluations from head to toe while at Webster, and Jenny and Martin have helped me improve my evaluations a great deal. Another thing that I have learned a lot about is rehabilitation. Jenny and Martin have worked with me on creating rehabilitation programs for injured athletes for a wide range of injuries. Other things that I have had a good deal of exposure include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, taping, managing hemorrhaging, managing concussions, and covering, cleaning and dressing wounds and much more. Martin and Jenny are always taking the time to teach me new things and always ask what I want to learn about. They have helped me work on my competencies and have even thought of other things to teach me that they think would be useful in my future. 

I have enjoyed my time at Webster and I am looking forward to the rest of the time that I get spend there. I have been able to get more of hands on experience than I could’ve hoped for. Martin and Jenny are great teachers and I am excited to see what I am going to learn from them next. 

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.

November 07, 2015

SLU AT Student Getting Excellent Professional Development Experience at Parkway West HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Parkway West High School
By: Rachel Spika (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

For my final year in the SLU Athletic Training Program, I have the privilege of spending my full-year clinical rotation at Parkway West High School. West is a school of about 1280 students, many of whom participate in highly competitive classes of Missouri high school athletics. We are in the midst of finishing up our fall sports season and gearing up for winter sports. This fall I gained experience working with athletes and injuries in football, soccer, softball, cross country, field hockey, swimming, volleyball, and tennis.  

Each day I work under the supervision and direction of my preceptor, Matt Berning M.AT, LAT, ATC. I enjoy working with and learning from him because he recognizes the stage I am at in my education and therefore gives me a lot of responsibility. He provides me with many hands-on learning opportunities by expecting me to work on my own whether it be with injury evaluations, rehab protocols, documentation, return to play decisions, or communication with coaches and other staff members. He is always there to assist me if needed and give me constructive criticism, and we have had some great conversations about how to provide the best care for our athletes. This process has been very instrumental in my professional development, because it forces me to ask myself what I would do in certain situations if I were on my own without a preceptor, as will be the case next year after I graduate.

When I say that I am privileged to have been placed at West, it is no exaggeration. The entire community – coaches, staff, athletes – have been extremely welcoming. Ever since I started on the first day of fall sports, I have been treated like a valued member of the staff. Being seen by others as a health care professional, combined with the autonomy granted to me by my preceptor, has increased not only my confidence and skill set but my professionalism as well. I am growing as a student and person each day I am at West, and I look forward to all I have yet to learn and experience over the course of the school year.

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.

November 06, 2015

SLU AT Students Get an Amazing Action-Packed Clinical Experience with the St. Louis Rams

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - St. Louis Rams
By: Dustin Jamboretz and Brad Bunten (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

Our time with the Saint Louis Rams has been an amazing experience. At the time of this blog post, we have now been working with the organization for over 4 months. We began with the Rams as a requirement for our summer field experience which lasted from the middle of May through the month of July. After the completion of our summer field experience, we were presented with the opportunity to continue our education with the Rams. We were invited to stay for the remainder of the year; from the beginning of training camp to the completion of our academic school year in May 2016.

Every day at Rams Park is action packed. We typically begin each morning by preparing the athletic training room. This includes setting up the therapeutic modality machines, restocking any inventory, making ice bags, preparing a room designated for recovery for HRV (heart rate variability) readings, and placing GPS units inside the players’ uniforms for practice. From there, we monitor the recovery room during HRV readings, help with any treatments or rehabilitations, and assist with running the vision board for vision training. Usually after this point, the players will go to meetings. This gives us a chance to begin setting up the field for practice. During practice, we are assigned an individual position to cover. Coverage generally includes administering proper hydration and ensuring that any medical necessities are managed. After practice, it is our responsibility to put away all athletic training supplies brought out to practice, including field trunks, medical kits, spine board, etc.  We will then head back into the athletic training room and help provide treatments and rehabilitation services. 

Prior to this clinical site, we have both worked in the high school and collegiate athletic training settings.  As you can imagine, the resources that the Rams organization possesses are far greater than that of our prior clinical sites. As a result, our time spent here has allowed us to use a wide variety of modalities that we may not have had the opportunity to use with any other clinical placement. These types of resources and experiences may play an important role in our career, as exposure and familiarity to the best equipment could prove useful in our future work settings. 

It has been interesting to witness that although the Rams sports medicine staff does have access to more resources than other settings, the profession that is athletic training is still practiced in the same manner; with the main priority being patient-centered care. The time we have spent in the Rams athletic training room has taught us that although we have access to a multitude of resources (expensive modalities, rehab equipment and training aids); the fundamental aspect to this profession is treating our patients with respect and dignity.

We cannot give enough praise and thanks to the athletic training staff which consists of the head athletic trainer Reggie Scott ATC, assistant athletic trainers James Lomax ATC, Byron Cunningham PT, ATC, Tyler Williams ATC, and 2015 SLU alum Hilary Stepansky ATC for their  willingness and patience to serve as mentors and teachers on a daily basis. 

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.

October 30, 2015

SLU AT Student Gets an Extensive Clinical Experience at St. Mary's HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - St. Mary's High School
By: Krystin Haas (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

I have been at St. Mary's High School for about 2 months now and it has definitely been a great experience so far. At the start it is a little overwhelming, in the sense that there are so many things that my preceptor and SLU alum Bridget Quirk MAT, ATC does in-house that I have not seen before through her position which is sponsored by SLU and SSM-SLU Hospital.

The AT room is a very hectic place most of the time, with things always happening. This has gotten me a lot of experience doing rehabs and having a role in the athletes return to play, and actually get to see and measure their progress throughout their process. At the last high school I was at, the athletes mostly went to physical therapy for their rehab and I didn't get as hands on of a role in it. When I was at Missouri Baptist University, we were only dealing with one team most of the time, so I didn't really get a lot of rehab practice either besides basic things. Being at a high school where most is done in-house, and dealing with all of the in season athletes, is a hectic thing and a great experience.

On another note, the demographic diversity at St. Mary's is also a good learning experience. I never would have really thought about what to do if an athlete didn't have insurance, or couldn't afford simple things that could make a big difference, like foot orthotics. There have been injuries that they can't afford the out of pocket charges for the urgent care, so the kids don't go or they just go to the ER. Not all of the athletes fall into this category, but just seeing and dealing with the ones that do, it is an eye opening experience that I was not anticipating having to deal with when I started there. It is nice to have to deal with now though, so I would better know what to do if I ever am in this situation again in my professional career.

Overall, I have learned many things at my time at St. Mary's and I am enjoying myself thoroughly. I am excited to see more and learn more as the year continues and anxious to see what else time brings us. I have am also excited that I get to be here the whole year and can get excited about all of the winter/spring sports that I didn't get to experience last year because I left. 

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.

October 27, 2015

Veteran Preceptor and Busy Pace at Webster Groves HS Creates Engaging Experience for SLU AT Students

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Webster Groves High School
By: Alissa Beeman (SLU MAT Class of 2016), Nick Kellerhals and Phillip Soncasie (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

This fall we are doing our athletic training clinical rotation at Webster Groves High School in Webster Groves, MO. The high school setting can get pretty intense as an Athletic Trainer, especially when you’re the only one. Sean Wright, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer at Webster Groves however, does a remarkable job at handling the demands of the environment in both a positive and efficient way every single day. It is incredible to see the amount of work that one ATC can excel at with so many athletes.

The students get out of school at 2:35pm and are in the athletic training room by 2:36pm. They line up out the door anxiously waiting to get taped, treated, evaluated or rehabilitated before their practices begin. We have one Certified Athletic Trainer and three athletic training students that work vigorously to meet the needs of all the athletes quickly and efficiently. Usually around 3:30pm the chaos slows down and we can head over to practice or a game. 

With as many sports as there are at Webster Groves, it is impossible to be everywhere at all times. We pick the highest contact sport and cover that first. We have a supportive coaching staff that knows to call if there is an injury that we need to come tend to. The athletic director, Jerry Collins ATC, is also a certified athletic trainer and is a huge component of the team at Webster Groves. He helps Sean cover big events that we can’t be at. 

Working with Sean has been a pleasure and such a phenomenal learning experience. He allows us plenty of hands on experience with all of the athletes and their injuries. We have learned so much since we started with him in August and continue to absorb more and more knowledge every day we’re here. We look forward to continuing our clinical education here at Webster Groves and are excited to see what else it has in store for us. 

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.

October 26, 2015

SLU AT Students Thrive in a Busy Clinical Site with a Team Atmosphere at Affton HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Affton High School
By: Katherine Love and Amelia Meigs (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

The Affton High School athletic training room may not be the most spacious of athletic training rooms, but it gets a lot of traffic. Each day after school, 10-30 athletes from various sports pile into the room to get treatment. This keeps us busy with taping, stretching, ultrasound, and therapeutic exercise. The past 11 weeks at Affton have been incredibly eventful—we have had a myriad of injuries from head to toe (literally). From the very first day, Becky Stigen ATC, our preceptor, has kept us busy putting our clinical skills to good use. Having someone put trust in our knowledge and skills is more than we ever could have asked for—Becky is an outstanding preceptor.

We attend home soccer, volleyball, and football games and travel with football each weekend. Through Becky’s guidance, the after-school athletic training room is an educational environment where we practice skills we learned in class on our athletes. Becky is dedicated to Affton and to ensuring that each athlete gets the care he or she deserves.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this semester has been the growing trust between the athletes and us (Katherine and Amelia). At the beginning of pre-season, the players did not know us, and would rush over calling, “Becky, Becky!” But now, we are “Becky 1” and “Becky 2” and respond to the name Becky as well. This level of trust has turned to athletes asking us for tape or rehabilitation assistance (and some even knowing our name isn’t really Becky!). Becky rules her athletic training room with a firm hand, but allows us to explore our knowledge and work together to come to solutions. The team atmosphere of the Affton athletic training room has allowed us to understand what it is like to work in athletic health care and how to effectively care for athletes as a team.

Go Cougars!

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.

October 25, 2015

SLU AT Student Connects the Classroom and the Clinical Setting at Vianney HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - St. John Vianney High School
By: Danny Smith (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

I have been blessed and privileged to begin my clinical experience at St. John Vianney High School. At Vianney I have had the opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business, Tim Trupiano ATC.  Tim has taught me so much about the field of athletic training and health care in general.  I can already notice my skills and confidence growing each day I go to my clinical site.  

At St. John Vianney High School I have had the opportunity to care for student-athletes competing in football, soccer, and cross-country.  I have been able to demonstrate my skills in wound care and preventative taping on a daily basis.  I really enjoy being able to get the athletes back on the field and ready to play their best.  I have also had the opportunity to practice my assessment skills.  I am extremely fortunate to be able to learn a skill in class and then be able to demonstrate that skill later the same day.  
The experience and knowledge I have gained at St. John Vianney High School will impact my career in health care for the rest of my life.  I have been able to practice taking patient histories and communicating with patients.  During home football games, I have also had the opportunity to speak with and learn from Vianney’s team doctors.  This opportunity has been a real life application of the interprofessional education I have received from SLU.  I am excited for all that my future career in health care has in store for me, but I will never forget that it all started in the athletic training room at St. John Vianney High School.

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.

October 24, 2015

Individualized Hands-On Experience Helps SLU AT Student Learn at Westminster Christian Academy

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Westminster Christian Academy
By: Bailey Draheim (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

I have learned so much being at Westminster Christian Academy this semester. Being the only student at my site, I have been able to see and perform many of the tests and examinations that we have done. So far this semester, we have seen an array of things, but ankle injuries have been the most common. After watching for the first few months, my preceptor (SLU Alum Hilary Orf MAT, ATC) has now let me perform the exercises and stretches on the athletes and I have gotten to do some of the initial examinations with her. I am becoming much more confident in my ability to assess the ankle. 
I get to be very hands-on at my clinical site, which I feel has taught me so much. I tape ankles and wrists almost every day that I am there so I have become very comfortable and more confident in my taping abilities. We have also experienced many concussions so far this semester that have been very interesting to learn about. I have seen many athletes go from initial concussion through the progression and back to playing. The progression process for every athlete can be a little different based on his or her sport. I never knew how common concussions were, especially in high school athletes, and how long it takes for them to get back to playing. I am very excited to see what else I get to experience while at Westminster for the rest of the semester! 

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.

October 23, 2015

SLU AT Students Get a Comprehensive Experience with a Team Approach at Kirkwood HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Kirkwood High School
By: Cara Bowton (SLU MAT Class of 2016); Collin Peterson and Olivia Robinson (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

Kirkwood High School has been a great example of what working as an athletic trainer at the high school level is like.  Under the guidance of our preceptor, Denise Grider ATC, we have covered a variety of sports including football, soccer, softball, field hockey, and volleyball, and also have worked with athletes from cross-country, swim, and several other sports.  We have provided on-field acute wound care and aided in the on-field assessment of injured athletes. Along with providing care at games, we spend a large amount of time in the athletic training room providing protective taping and padding devices, evaluating various injuries, and leading athletes in stretches and rehabilitation activities.  

We have learned that building trust with the athletes, as well as with the coaches, athletic directors, and the many other people who make high school sports possible, is integral to helping keep athletes safe and healthy on a daily basis.

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.

October 22, 2015

SLU AT Student Gets NCAA D1 Experience with a Variety of Preceptors at SIU-Edwardsville


SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
By: Erika Cook (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

Greetings from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville! 

It’s been an exciting fall so far with volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer in the midst of their competitive seasons. Right now I spend the majority of my time with women’s and men’s soccer where I’m learning tons about the sport and the common injuries that soccer players deal with. There are a lot of athletes on both teams, so my preceptors and I always have something to do. Furthermore, SIUE is a great place to be if you think you want to work at the D1 level in the future.

This semester I’m the only SLU AT student on campus, so I get tons of one-on-one time with the amazing staff. Our head AT is Gerald Schlemer ATC, and he takes care of men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis. One of the assistant AT’s is Alex Sawyer ATC (a SLU AT grad!), and she works with volleyball and women’s basketball. Then there is James Mays ATC and he looks after men’s soccer and softball. The last of the assistants is Ben Heimos ATC who is with women’s soccer and baseball. We also have two graduate assistants, Allison Barloon ATC and Ryan Salerno ATC; Allison takes care of cross country and track and field while Ryan looks after wrestling. Each of these guys is great at what she/he does, and it’s easy to see that their athletes love them. More importantly, they challenge me every day that I’m working with them.

Go Cougars!

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.

October 21, 2015

SLU AT Students and Faculty Member Inducted into Alpha Eta Honor Society

On the night of October 21, 2015, six students and one faculty member from the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program were inducted into Alpha Eta, the National Allied Health Honor Society.  The induction ceremony took place in the Multipurpose Room of the Allied Health Building on the SLU Medical Center Campus.

Faculty Member: 
Michael Markee PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, ATC

Graduate Inductees: 
Dustin Jamboretz and David O'Loughlin (MAT Class of 2016)

Undergraduate Inductees: 
Amelia Meigs, Collin Peterson, Stephanie Ross and Daniel Smith (MAT Class of 2017)

SLU AT Students Get a Great Clinical Experience in a Busy Place at John Burroughs

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - John Burroughs High School
By: Angelina Vitale (SLU MAT Class of 2016) and Brianna LaBarbera (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

This semester, we have the fortunate opportunity to be placed at John Burroughs High School with Dean Tiffany ATC as our preceptor.  Home to the JBS Bombers, this site has a wide variety of fall sports including football, soccer, field hockey, swimming/diving, volleyball, cross country, golf, cheerleading and tennis.  

John Burroughs is very unique in that the school mandates that all students participate in multiple sports all four years.  This encourages student involvement in extracurricular activities, increases the overall health of the student population, allows for students to experience different sports, and helps students develop proper time management skills.  After being in different clinical settings, it is clear that these students are positively influenced by this design.  Students are generally more enthused and have more positive relationships with their teammates and coaches/teachers through this added structure.  
While we cover all of the sports at John Burroughs, we spend a large amount of time with football, traveling with both Varsity and JV teams to games.  This experience has given us an opportunity to see many different injuries and how to properly treat them.  

We have also been able to take part in rehabilitation practices for all of the teams at a higher level. Having worked in many rehab settings before, Dean is extremely knowledgeable in many areas of rehab, which has been helpful exposure for us.   Under his supervision, we are able to take a very hands-on approach in treating these athletes on and off the field.  This has given us a chance to put what we learn into practice. 
As the fall sports are winding down, we are looking forward to the continuation of Varsity football as they enter playoffs and are excited for the start of winter season. 
Go Bombers!!

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.

October 20, 2015

SLU AT Student Finds Growth and Confidence in Clinical Practicum at Althoff Catholic

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Althoff Catholic High School
By: Stephanie Uhrich (SLU MAT Class of 2017)

I have learned a lot from my fall clinical site at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Illinois. This experience goes way beyond what I could learn in class, and it really solidifies my knowledge by allowing me to practice my skills in a hands-on setting.  At Althoff, I have become very proficient in my taping skills.  I have learned how to adapt tape, braces and splints in order to use them most effectively.  I really enjoy the challenge of a difficult tape job, and I am always happy when the athlete comes back to tell me that the tape was helpful.

Another skill I have learned through observation of my preceptor (SLU Alum Meghan Gehrs ATC) and through practice is taking history and asking the right kinds of questions.  Compared to the beginning of my clinical experience, I have improved my questions to provoke the athlete to share more information and to direct the evaluation in an appropriate manner.  I have observed many instances in which my preceptor, has asked what seem like simple questions, but the questions are critical in her decision making about an injury.  I have learned that the way questions are asked can affect the response of the athlete and also how important the athlete’s medical history is.  
Lastly, I have learned a lot about myself through this clinical experience.  I have learned that I enjoy working in a high school setting.  I have also learned that I am able to stay calm in emergent situations.  At the beginning of this clinical experience, I was not one hundred percent sure of these two things, but now I have confidence in my skills and confidence in myself.  I have learned so much from my clinical experience at Althoff High School, and I know I will take what I have learned with me for the rest of my career. 

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.

September 08, 2015

Spanish Students from Madrid Reflect on their AT Clinical Experiences in St. Louis

International Field Experience  - SLU and Universidad Camilo Jose Cela
By Carlos Cachón Romero & Javier González Vázquez 

We are students in a Master’s program at University of Camilo Jose Cela in Spain, where we are physiotherapists.  For our internship experience for we chose to learn about Athletic Training in the United States, in the city of Saint Louis, Missouri at Saint Louis University (SLU). SLU has an affiliation agreement with Washington University where we learned at practices with their football team under the supervision of Rick Larsen ATC.

The goal of this experience was to learn more about Athletic Training, which is different that is seen as a sports physiotherapist + a sports rehab worker in Spain. It seemed important to get this experience, see how they work on another continent, see the profession of Athletic Training and improve our level of English.

Each day we started in the Athletic Training Room preparing players for the training or the match/game they had to play. In this room, the players came to tape both ankles and wrists, dress skin wounds or more substantial injuries such as fractures or muscle tears.

We also had the opportunity to learn how to teach with Rick Larsen with the other students in the SLU Athletic Training Program.  We were given the opportunity to provide a demonstration of aquatic therapy by Javier Gonzalez Vazquez or a myofascial technique on two players by Carlos Cachon Romero.

Once finalized the work in the Athletic Training Room , we went to the field to prepare everything for the players, water from carts , ice for players, CPR/AED case , even a mini weather station to monitor the time if a storm was coming (which happened and we had to stop training as a precaution).

We were also alert for any serious incident that may occur instantly and we were ready to act as quickly as possible to have the situation under control. Also we taped players (or re-taped since were released by sweat), we performed stretching to the players and some other tasks on the football field. You could say that this was a ''practical'' for game day where we worked to keep our athletes constantly hydrated, and be alert to any danger that might occur during the game.

In short, these practices have helped us to improve as professionals of tomorrow in our clinical practice, see how it works out of Spain and also learn different techniques to those already used to improve our English on everything and have a different view.

We appreciate this opportunity provided by both to Universidad Camilo José Cela (Program Director Alvaro Garcia Romero); Saint Louis University (Program Director Dr. Anthony Breitbach); and Washington University, especially our preceptor Rick Larsen, for hosting us here in the United States.

By Carlos Cachón Romero & Javier González Vázquez 

Para nuestra experiencia de prácticas del máster que estamos realizando en España como fisioterapeutas, hemos elegido realizar esta estancia de prácticas en los Estados Unidos de América, en el estado de San Luis en Saint Louis University, la cual tiene un convenio con Washington University donde realizamos las practicas con el equipo de futbol americano (Bears) bajo la supervisión de Rick Larsen.

Estas prácticas van encaminadas a la figura del Athletic Training que se ve como un fisioterapeuta deportivo + un readaptador deportivo por lo cual nos pareció importante realizar dichas prácticas para así ver cómo trabajan en otro continente, ver la figura del Athletic Training  y mejorar el nivel de inglés.

Cada día que íbamos estábamos en la habitación de Athletic Training tratando y preparando a los jugadores para el entreno ó el partido que tuviesen que disputar.

En esta habitación, venían los jugadores a vendarse tanto tobillos como muñecas, curarse heridas en la piel o alguna lesión más considerable como pudiesen ser fracturas o roturas musculares. Hemos tenido la oportunidad de aprender como de enseñar puesto que junto a Rick Larsen como a los demás alumnos del programa de Athletic training nos dieron la oportunidad de demostrar lo que valemos ya sea como una exposición del TFG por Javier González Vázquez o por realizar una técnica miofascial en los isquiotibiales a dos jugadores por Carlos Cachón Romero.

Una vez que finalizaba el trabajo en la sala de Athletic Training, salíamos al campo a preparar todo lo necesario para los jugadores, desde los carritos de agua, hielo para los jugadores, maletín de RCP, incluso una mini estación meteorológica para controlar el tiempo por si se acercaba alguna tormenta (cosa que sucedió y tuvimos que parar el entrenamiento por precaución).

Aparte también estábamos atentos por si ocurría algún incidente grave poder actuar al instante y en el menor tiempo posible tener la situación bajo control. También realizábamos ajustes de vendajes (ya que se soltaban por el sudor) o los cambiábamos, realizábamos estiramientos a los jugadores y algunas otras labores a pie de campo. Se podría decir que esto era una ''practica'' para el día del partido donde realizábamos labores de tener a nuestros deportistas hidratados constantemente, estar atentos a cualquier situación de peligro que se pudiera ocurrir durante el partido, realizar vendajes, estiramientos etc...

En resumen, estas prácticas nos han servido para mejorar como profesionales el día de mañana en nuestra práctica clínica, ver como se trabaja fuera de España y a la vez aprender técnicas distintas a las ya utilizadas, mejorar nuestro ingles sobre todo y tener otra visión diferente del jugador.

Muchísimas gracias por esta oportunidad tanto a la universidad Camilo José Cela (Álvaro García Romero), Saint Luis University (Anthony Breitbach), a Washington Univeristy y sobre todo a nuestro tutor en las practicas Rick Larsen por acogernos como uno más en su equipo.