May 06, 2018

SLU Pre-professional AT Student Sees Multiple Sides of the Profession Through a Variety of Experiences

New AT Student Blog Post - Rachel Wilhelm (SLU MAT Class of 2020)

Being a 3rd year undergraduate Athletic Training student, I am excited to be finishing up my pre-professional education so I can go on to the professional phase, do clinicals and take classes directly related to the job field. The excitement has been gradually building up over this last semester, due to our requirement of doing Directed Observation (DO) hours. In order to start acclimating into the mindset of being an Athletic Trainer, the 3rd years were all required to put in a certain number of hours joining the PY students at their clinical sites to do observation. I have completed hours at SLU club hockey, the MVC Basketball tournament, Webster Groves High School, Washington University, NCAA Bowling, NCAA Gymnastics, and John Burroughs School. 

Two of the sites that I believe I gained a lot from were the NCAA Gymnastics tournament and Washington University. I was able to experience the Gymnastics tournament with other DO students, PY students, and some certified Athletic Trainers. With high school gymnastics season being over and SLU not having a team, there weren’t many opportunities to observe the sport, so I was beyond excited to have this opportunity. Some of the certified ATs and PY students were even gymnasts in the past, so it was amazing to be able to get my questions answered by people who had direct experience with the sport. I was also able to observe the physicians and massage therapists that some teams brought with them. 

I went to do DO hours at Wash U with Jenna Ginsberg. She went out of her way to show me how everything there worked, from how to set the athletes up for stim to writing the reports for each athlete she interacted with. She also answered many of my questions regarding the curriculum in my upcoming PY years. It was a completely different experience from the NCAA Gymnastics tournament, so it was great to be able to see multiple sides of Athletic Training. I’m excited to see when it takes me in the future. 

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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