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.

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