August 05, 2017

SLU AT Student Improves the Patient Experience with Healthcare at SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon SportsCare

SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon SportsCare
By: Killian Hollo (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

SportsCare at SSM Health/Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a unique company which connects Cardinal Glennon physicians through community outreach techniques. Here with preceptor Katie Smith ATC, We form partnerships with youth organizations around the greater Saint Louis and west Illinois areas and then try to acquire referrals for the Cardinal Glennon Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Doctors. This has shown to be an interesting business technique by the hospital as well as an untraditional role for an Athletic Trainer to work in. My experience with SportsCare has not only exposed me to interprofessional practice in the hospital, but also the value an Athletic Trainer’s skillsets could have outside of a traditional work setting.

Every day is different. In the morning we might be in the office handling referral logistics or creating outreach education tools. In the afternoon we may visit youth athletic organizations such as a gymnastics gym or a peewee football camp. Varying weekly schedules have kept me on my toes and taught me to keep an open mind to any task in any situation. It is important to have an Athletic Trainer for this job for a few reasons. We can do the necessary assessments on individuals to determine the proper healthcare steps needed. Also, we can educate individuals on things like CPR/AED/First Aid and can educate other healthcare professionals on sports related injury care such as equipment removal, splinting, and concussion protocol. Moments like these remind me of how valuable the Athletic Training education is and give me pride to be in an internship which allows opportunities of interprofessional exposure.

Building relationships with people can go a long way with SportsCare. Sometimes just talking to a parent for a few minutes makes all the difference. They may never know they would have needed our service, but by chance when their child suffers an unforeseen injury, the family has our phone number on the free giveaway we gave them. It’s not the hospitals phone number, but one of the outreach liaison’s personal numbers. The family knows us already from that previous conversation and now they can feel comfortable as they are guided through the healthcare system.  

Through this experience I have really begun to see the greater picture of the healthcare industry. Whether it was in the clinic with Dr. Kaar or a conversation at a soccer tournament preceding that physician appointment, Cardinal Glennon SportsCare puts the autonomy of the family first at the greatest convenience to that family as possible. As the intern I strive to be as malleable as possible in whatever role facilitates that goal.  

I’ve learned it’s the little things that go a long way with healthcare. If I can listen intently, present myself respectfully, and stay humble I can be an integral part in any patient’s experience for the better.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

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