May 23, 2017

SLU Pre-professional AT Students Experience Dynamic Athletic Health Care with the Billikens

New AT Student Blog Post - Brian Leach and Cody Hutson (SLU MAT Class of 2019)

Perfect weather, a gorgeous city skyline in the background, and top of the line athletic training marked another successful day for me at Saint Louis University.  This eight hour day started off observing discus throw, and wondering to myself about all the unique injuries the Saint Louis University AT staff must encounter each day.  We observed treatments ranging from what we would expect, such as, taping ankles and hands, Graston, and electronic muscle stimulation, to things we wouldn’t readily expect, like ear draining.  This is just one great example of the unique injuries an AT in the field may face.  Besides the treatments, we helped with ice and set up.  Something the AT staff would have had to do by themselves had we not been there to help.  We also gained an understanding of resource management, an important part of working an event like a track meet if you don’t want run out of tape or ice in the middle of a tournament.  There is obviously more to being an AT than just treating injuries.  This is an extremely dynamic field that demands a lot of organization.
Being able to observe Athletic Trainers in the field is a unique opportunity that sets a standard for how we, as students, will proceed in our career and what challenges we will face.  We get to see what injuries are most common, talk to the current generation about what problems they experience and what uncommon injuries they have experienced, and even chat about the classes we are taking and how they (as older ATs) felt while studying when they were in our position. We get to see how they act while on their job site and how they interact with the athletes. We see and hear things that we would do different and how much the athletes look to us for help. It is almost like we get an opportunity to look into our future and see what we will be doing after graduation.

When we started down this path of becoming an Athletic Trainer we never considered all of the moving parts that make up this career field.  We are happy to say that we are excited to begin our careers as Athletic Trainers.  We look forward to the professional phase of this program, and the clinical experiences that await.  We know that we have made the right choice!

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 3000 - AT Student Development II.

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