March 22, 2019

SLU AT Student Sees the Importance of Communication in Health Care at Webster University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Webster University
By: Emma Yonkers (MAT Class of 2020)

At my first clinical site, there was just one athletic trainer so it was easy to keep progress and rehab plans very routine and always consistent. With two athletic trainers at Webster University, communication is super important. Communication is always key, but when only one of two ATs is there at a time, they have to document and communicate really well in order to not repeat or miss aspects of the injury and rehab process. Even though my preceptors, Martin Fields ATC and Jenni Popken ATC, have very different ways of doing things, they communicate with each other really well. They are always up-to-date with each other on athletes’ progression, as well as those with new injuries. Since they split the time pretty evenly and work with all the sports, most of the athletes know their different styles. This is helpful when they see Jenni in the morning for rehab, and Martin for treatment before practice, or vice versa. They know how well Martin and Jenni communicate, but they know they need to communicate with their ATs as well.
Another aspect of this that is super important is monitoring the healthy athletes. There is a two-sport athlete who is coming off basketball season, immediately beginning baseball season. There was ever a little bit of overlap with basketball playoffs, so it was important to make sure he was taking care of himself. Since basketball is in the afternoon and baseball practices at night, we need to be sure he is getting enough sleep. Jenni and Martin do a really good job at making sure he is eating well and keeping up with his schoolwork. They both make sure they are checking in with him, which is really nice to see because they are a great example of how much athletic trainers care about their athletes as people, even outside the athletic training room.

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.

March 05, 2019

SLU AT and PT Students Serve Together Interprofessionally to Spark Interest in Health Careers

Building Bridges for the Future
By: Danielle Jabcyznski (SLU MAT Class of 2019)

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Society (SLATS) and SLU Physical Therapy Student Association (PTSA) teamed up to receive a SLU 1818 service grant to be able to pair with a community partner. We paired up with Unleashing Potential (UP), an early childhood and after school program, just down the street from SLU’s campus. The goal of this project was to increase awareness and spark interests for what classes need to be taken before college to set students up for success.

The day was split into two sessions depending on the ages of the children. In the morning group, 3-to-5-year old’s from UP joined us on the medical campus of Saint Louis University. We included stretching, exercise, wellness, and educational activities that incorporate what athletic trainers and physical therapist’s do. Some examples were setting up an obstacle course that contained ladder runs, mini hurdles, and cones for the exercise portion of the day.

We played “pin the Band-Aid on the person” to show that wound care is part of the AT profession. We made coloring books of basic anatomy worksheets, so the children understood that anatomy is a major class that is needed when studying athletic training and physical therapy. We also talked about nutrition and ended the day with a healthy snack, prepared by SLU’s own nutrition and dietetics students at the cafĂ© in the building.

The afternoon session consisted of 5-to-12-year old’s from UP. They joined us at Chaifetz arena on SLU’s north campus for a day packed with activities similar to the morning session. The 4 activities still included stretching, exercise, wellness, and educational aspects. They were able to trace themselves on large pieces of paper and label specific anatomical characteristics on their own traced out body. The children learned how to tape wrists with some of the athletic training students. They worked on balance on Airex pads and ran through obstacle courses.

This project was a major success that was made possible by the 1818 grant provided by SLU. The Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy worked together cohesively for weeks to put on such an exciting day for the children of Unleashing Potential. The hope is to be able to do this project again and spark interest in the fields of athletic training and physical therapy.

February 23, 2019

2019 SLU AT Speaker Series Addresses Diversity, Collaboration and Opportunity in Health Care

8th Annual SLU Athletic Training Speakers Series and Recognition Ceremony

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program hosted its 8th Annual Speaker Series and Recognition Ceremony on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the Education Union Auditorium on Medical Center (South) Campus.

The event was presented by the Saint Louis University chapter of Iota Tau Alpha - the Athletic Training Honor Society - and supported by the SLU Student Government Association. The evening began with the 2019 initiation ceremony for the SLU Alpha Iota Chapter of Iota Tau Alpha, the National Athletic Training Honor Society.

Alpha Iota Chapter - Iota Tau Alpha
2019 Honorees

Madelyn Cavanaugh and Claire Ditman
Jazmon Carroll and Brian Leach

The Brandi Burgett Memorial Award and Scholarship was dedicated, with Brandi's parents Robert and Marnie Burgett making remarks and recognizing the inaugural scholarship honorees Erin Fabbri and Brian Leach.

Bauman Scholarship award winners Jazmon Carroll and Adam Long were also recognized. Fr. Robert Murphy SJ gave an invocation and Dr. Tricia Austin, Chair of the SLU Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, made introductory remarks and welcomed attendees.

The keynote speaker for the event was Murphy Grant, MS, ATC, LAT, Associate Athletic Director at University of Kansas and President of the NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine

The title of his presentation was:
“Leveraging the Greatness of ‘We:’ Enabling a Culture of Opportunity in Health Care”

Following the keynote presentation, there was a panel discussion which included Murphy Grant; along with Rhonda BeLue, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy in the SLU College for Public Health and Social Justice and Ron Wagner, Ph.D, ATC, Founder and President of the Athleticare Sports Health Foundation.

It was once again an evening of informative discussion and special recognition of SLU AT students!

Additional photos from the event are available here:

January 03, 2019

Athlone Student Connects Classroom and Clinical Learning with Preceptor at Bishop DuBourg HS

International Clinical Exchange - Saint Louis University and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Patrick Coffey (Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Student, Athlone Institute of Technology)

During my experience in St. Louis I was on placement at Bishop DuBourg high school. My preceptor there was Nathan Jarman MAT, ATC, from SSM SLU Hospital, and a PY1 student Becca McGrail. At the high school we covered a range of sports like American football, Soccer, Volleyball, Cross country, Cheerleaders, Basketball, Softball and wrestling. A lot of these sports would not be too common in Ireland so it was interesting to see the different sports and to deal with the different injuries that can occur from each sport. 

I am extremely happy to be put on placement with Nate as he creates an enjoyable environment for both ATs and athletes, making it very easy to learn while enjoying my time here. Nate showed me a lot of new techniques for both patient assessment and injury diagnosis of individual athletes which I would be confident practicing with future athletes. Getting the opportunity to work with Becca who is a PY1 student gave me an insight into the way athletic training is thought here in America compared to in Ireland, It gave me the opportunity to ask and answer questions about our different experiences as AT students. 

I found that Dr. Mike Markee’s rehabilitation class along with implementing these newly learned skills with Nate at Bishop DuBourg high school increased my rehabilitation skills immensely which is an area I wanted to improve on coming over here. I also enjoyed the opportunity to visit Busch Stadium, it was very interesting as we got the chance to see a professional team’s athletic training room along with talking to one of their athletic trainers.

In my final week on placement Nate organised for me to spend a morning observing surgery’s this was a fascinating experience and an area I would like to learn more about so to get the opportunity to observe different operations was an incredible opportunity for me.

In the final weeks of our time here in St. Louis we started placement with SLU women’s basketball I feel like it would have been a lot more beneficial if I got some hands on experience here however it was interesting to see the AT facilities which SLU athletics have and to see how different training room are run in comparison to at the high school level.

January 02, 2019

Athlone Student Appreciates New Experiences at Saint Louis University and DeSmet Jesuit High School

International Clinical Exchange - Saint Louis University and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Adam Whelehan (Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Student, Athlone Institute of Technology)

While being here in St. Louis my clinical placement site was in DeSmet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur. My time was spent with one of the PY1s in the master’s program Mitch Buerck. Under our preceptor Dan Herrin ATC, from Mercy Sports Medicine, we got loads of hands on experience both on the field and in the clinical setting. During my time here, I got to experience a variety of different sports such as American football, soccer, basketball and wrestling, all of which have different demands. We got to see a wide range of injuries and also got an opportunity to work with a variety of athletes.

Before coming here and beginning clinicals there were certain fields in AT that I wanted to get more comfortable doing such as rehab, concussion protocols and different treatment techniques that aren’t widely available in Ireland. By being in a high school for the 16 weeks, I believe it was the best way to improve all of these skills as I actually was given the freedom to practice by my preceptor, Dan, who helped me every step of the way and never made me feel like there was such thing as a stupid question. Personally, I cannot say a bad word about my preceptor as he always gave me something to do and is an advocate for students getting hands on experience in every aspect of athletic training. I also learned invaluable rehab skills in class with SLU AT faculty member Mike Markee PT, ATC, who always made sure we were included in the class discussions and were up to date with what was going on.
At DeSmet, our football team won the district final but were sadly beaten by nationally ranked side CBC in the State quarterfinals. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the payers on the team and have no doubt that they will be back again next year striving to go a little bit further. Our soccer team perhaps had the biggest success reaching the state final this year and during my time here I was put in charge of looking after most of the players and as a result I built a good solid relationship with them. Before I finished my time in De Smet I got the opportunity to work with the basketball team and I have a strong feeling they could go all the way this year considering the talent that was on display during my first home game against Borgia.

One thing I will never forget is experiencing my first high school football game and the hype that comes with it. The same can be said for soccer, but I feel like getting the opportunity to see behind the scenes in STLFC was a bigger deal for myself as soccer is one of my favourite sports back home.
During our time here, we also got the opportunity to get a tour of the Cardinals home, Busch Stadium, where we got a tour from one of the athletic trainers and got to see how they work during the season both at home and on the road.
My time at DeSmet was definitely the highlight of this entire experience as I got to meet some great people there who made me feel like part of the ‘D-Block’ family. I definitely will keep in touch with my preceptor and Mitch when I return to Ireland and hope they come to Ireland some day or I return to St. Louis.

Also, during our time here, we got some placement with the women’s basketball in SLU on week 10 and although we didn’t really get any hands-on experience in the university it was nice to use it as a comparison to how our college in Ireland is ran and also versus how a high school is set up.

In conclusion I feel my time here was definitely beneficial especially getting great hands on experience in the high school and being able to learn from Dan and Mitch every day about the way Americans run their practices and deal with certain injuries. I really enjoyed the past few months meeting new people and definitely feel like I have made some long-lasting friends here in St. Louis.