International Clinical Exchange - SLU and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Robbie Cassidy (Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy student – Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland)
I have been working and studying at St. Louis University for 14 weeks now and moving into my last week here I feel that I have got the experience I was looking for. Working with Westminster Christian Academy and the SLU women’s basketball team I have learned and practiced many new techniques. I found working with the high school introduced me to a variety of new sports and the reality of injuries associated with them. Hillary Orf MAT, ATC, my preceptor at the high school, has helped me in every aspect of my work experience and has been a pleasure to work with. With the constant flow of athletes in and out of the athletic training room I have been able to evaluate multiple injuries in a comfortable environment before discussing the possible diagnoses with my colleagues and determining the right course of action allowing me to develop my clinical examination skills. Every day I have learned from my co-workers and have enjoyed every minute of it.
Women's Basketball practice starts at 6:00 A.M. in the incredible Chaifetz Arena, so we would usually be in the athletic training room by 5:30 A.M. to begin setting up for practice and taping the players. After practice I work with some of the players on their rehab programs or continue treatment with them. On game-day we will set-up the therapy table just off-court and will sit courtside with the team. The atmosphere and build-up for games is exciting and with the team being ranked #1 in the A-10 conference has really added to the overall experience. In short, working with the women’s basketball team has been a new experience as I have never worked with an elite team of the same calibre before. Lizzy Kienstra MAT, ATC and Kara Cummins-Ludwig MS, ATC, my preceptors at SLU, provided much in the way of mentoring and advice and for this I am grateful.
When I arrived at SLU I was welcomed by Anthony Breitbach PhD, ATC, the Athletic Training program director, who took the time to show me around the city of St. Louis and helped me to get settled in. Coming to St. Louis alone was a bit overwhelming at first but Dr Breitbach went out of his way to make my initial couple of weeks here as easy and as comfortable as possible. We have kept in good contact the entire time I have been here and he has helped me out on numerous occasions. I was placed in two PY2 classes at SLU where I have learned a significant amount about the treatment and maintenance of athletes under excellent professors (Dr. Kitty Newsham, Dr. Mike Markee and Dr. Tim Howell) who have been a great help in and out of the classroom.
It has not only been the professors here at SLU who have helped me in my studies, as I have also received assistance from my fellow students who have acted as mentors. One such student Collin Peterson, introduced to me through Dr. Breitbach, has been my guide in handling the program and swiftly became a friend that I could rely on here. He has helped me to adapt to the new culture and has introduced me to the social life of St. Louis.
I have really enjoyed my time at Saint Louis University and hope to keep up the relationships with all the new friends I have made.