March 31, 2019

SLU AT Student Gains Confidence in Clinical Skills Through Preceptor's Trust at Fort Zumwalt North HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Fort Zumwalt North High School
By: Marissa Burch (MAT Class of 2020) 

Growing up in a small town, I never expected to have the opportunity to be back where I grew up. Even when I was still in high school and in the area, no one had heard of Winfield, Missouri let alone could tell you where it is or how to get there.

However, after moving during the fall semester, I did a lot of research to find a school that would be closer for me, either close to my house or on my route home and found an awesome opportunity. I was placed at Fort Zumwalt North High School, with preceptor and  SLU AT alumni Jay Maturan MAT ATC. I have known several students who have graduated from FZN, several previous teachers who have began teaching there, as well as competing against FZN during my time in high school. Although it is not the high school that I attended, it is definitely one that I feel very connected to and have really enjoyed the opportunity to be “back home” and learning from a SLU graduate.

I have focused this semester on improving my confidence in my skills and interactions with athletes. Although I like to consider myself a “people person,” patient interaction is about much more than just being able to talk and get to know our athletes. Joking around and having conversations with the athletes is not the hard part. Being confident in what we do, without being cocky or over confident in our craft is essential. If we are not confident then the athletes will not trust us to treat them and provide care, possibly leading to worse injuries because they avoid being looked at when needed. Jay is very professional, yet has an incredible relationship with his athletes. This is something that I truly admire about him and am able to learn from my time with him. He is respectful of each student’s privacy and comfort level, while also making sure he doesn’t cut corners or miss anything. He has built that trust with the athletes, even in his short time with them, that they feel comfortable coming to see him and trust that he knows what he is saying.  

Every time an athlete comes into the Athletic Training room, Jay has trusted me to have the initial opportunity to observe and evaluate their illness or injury. Having this constant practice has really helped to improve and fine tune my evaluation skills and process. I have done many more evaluations in just the first month and a half than I have done previously and it has been awesome to see my improvement thus far. I am getting so used to it that I find myself evaluating and beginning to ask history questions whenever my family or friends will talk about something hurting or bothering them. It is becoming a habit, which I know means that my confidence is already improved since I first started my clinical rotation with Jay. The moment I have been most proud so far this semester is evaluating an athlete and determining that she may have a stress fracture in her foot. After referring her to a doctor, she returned to school with a boot and a diagnosis of a stress fracture. Even though this is not unusual, it still felt good to have a confirmation in my process and evaluation skills.

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 30, 2019

SLU AT Student Finds an Inspiring Mentor in Preceptor/Alum at Westminster Christian Academy

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Westminster Christian Academy
By: Sarah Menzuber (MAT Class of 2019)

Westminster Christian Academy has been an incredible clinical experience over the past 8 months. My preceptor, Mercy Sports Medicine Athletic Trainer and SLU alum, Katherine Love MAT, ATC, has been an inspiring mentor and athletic trainer to look up to. I cherish the relationships I have made with school coaches, administrators and many student athletes over the past months. As an athletic training student at Westminster Christian Academy, my clinical knowledge, assessment and management skills, and my problem-solving skills have flourished.
With Spring sports starting up, the athletic training room is very crowded once again. And as we transition from indoor sports to outdoor sports, we treat many athletes with lower extremity pathologies including, medial tibial stress syndrome, patellofemoral pain, quad or hamstring strains, and ankle sprains. The WCA teams are all off to a great start. Our girl’s and boy’s lacrosse teams each had their first game, and win, of the season. I am excited to watch them play this Spring and see the multitude of talent both teams have!

Working with high school athletes is such a blessing because of their love for the sports they play. I have worked with a variety of injuries this year and each athlete works hard to complete the rehab protocols Katherine and I make for them, so they can get back on the field or court as soon as possible.

I am fortunate to be a part of the WCA family. Go Wildcats!

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 28, 2019

SLU AT Student Gets Performance Improvement and Injury Prevention Experience at Nutriformance

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Nutriformance 
By: Dimitri Kilian (MAT Class of 2019)

I have had the privilege of spending much of this spring semester at Nutriformance, an award-winning fitness center in St. Louis.  Most of my time has been spent at a site associated with Nutriformance called All-Star Performance, a large training facility that specializes in training baseball and softball athletes.  Professionals at this facility not only work on general strength and conditioning for the athletes, but also the improvement of sports specific skills such as hitting and pitching.  The general goal of this site is to improve the performance of its athletes and to keep them healthy in the process (due to the nature of the sport).

My time at Nutriformance has afforded me the opportunity to play a more active role in the realm of sports performance, something that I currently aspire to do sometime in the near future.  I have spent the most significant portion of my time with Eric Finley, MS, RD, LD.  He has taught me many of the important aspects of strength and conditioning, especially within a group setting.  I have played a small role in many of the group workouts at All-Star Performance, lending a guiding hand to any athletes who had questions or required additional assistance.

The professionals at Nutriformance place especial importance on proper movement mechanics in everything that the athletes do.  This not only enhances their performance within their sport, but it also helps to prevent injury.  I was given the opportunity to observe a program at All-Star Performance called Mach 1.  This program focuses on the longevity of young pitchers by adopting this very same principle.  I am grateful to be able to have learned from my experience at Nutriformance and I know that this will serve me well on whatever path I choose.

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 27, 2019

SLU AT Student Benefits from Year-long Clinical Experience at Parkway South HS and Mercy Sports Medicine

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Parkway South High School
By: Danielle Jabczynski (MAT Class of 2019)

Spending almost a full academic year at Parkway South High School has helped me gain the best clinical experiences I could have during my final year of graduate school. Being able to learn from Mike Tzianos ATC, has been an incredible opportunity. I have expanded my skillset and gained confidence to allow me to practice on my own once I become certified in a few short weeks.
As I entered my final semester as an athletic training student at Parkway South, I was given more independence. I would take athletes through their rehab and come up with a plan about their return to play. Once I talked it through with my preceptor, I would be the one to have that conversation with the coaches. Since I will be doing this soon without direct supervision, it was great to have the responsibility so that I could feel confident having these conversations.

I also had the chance to shadow Dr. Brian Mahaffey, primary care sports medicine physician for Mercy Sports Medicine and the St. Louis Cardinals. This gave me the chance to shadow his athletic trainer to see how athletic trainers practice in the clinical setting. I was able to look at different radiographs of all types of orthopedic conditions, observe different types of injections, and learn how different types of conditions are managed by a sports medicine physician.

I look forward to finishing up the year with the spring sports. I am eager to continue to take on greater responsibility before I finish up my time with the Parkway South Patriots.

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 26, 2019

SLU AT Student Grows Clinical Skills Through Hands-on Experiences at Harris-Stowe State University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Harris-Stowe State University
By: Carmen Roberson (MAT Class of 2020)

So far my clinical experience at Harris-Stowe State University has been great and has given me a new lens on the college setting of athletic training. I think one of the main differences between this semester and last is that I know so much more than I did starting out on clinical rotations in the fall. It’s been great to be able to apply my skillsets every day and learn from my preceptor. Since my preceptor, Tim Herlihy ATC, is the only athletic trainer at HSSU, I get a lot of hands-on action with the athletes. This has been extremely beneficial to my growth as a student and future athletic trainer.
I’ve been able to work new rehab protocols, learn new taping techniques, and see first-hand what chiropractors do. Harris-Stowe has three chiropractors that do rotations on different days each week so that has been fun getting to see their skillsets play out. I learn from them just as much as I learn from Tim.

My overall learning experience has been challenging, yet rewarding, especially because I am able to apply and see the difference it makes in the athletes I help.

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 25, 2019

SLU AT Student Finds Creativity and Collaboration are Key at Rockwood Summit HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Rockwood Summit High School
By: Maria Lingardo (MAT Class of 2020)

Being at a university last semester, we were never short on resources, modalities, and almost anything you can imagine. In contrast, resources are not as plentiful at Rockwood Summit High School. This means that we must be creative and work with what we have in our athletic training room. My preceptor, SLU AT Program Alum, Tony Mosello, MAT, ATC, LAT and I try to be creative as possible when it comes to formulating rehabs and functional activities for recuperating athletes.  

A typical day at Rockwood begins around 2:00 pm. Tony and I go over the plans for the day, including which athletes we should be expecting to see. The after-school rush begins around 3:00 pm when kids come to get taped before practice, heat, or just stop by to say hi to Tony and me. We then do a quick check in with all the teams who are practicing to make sure coaches are up to date on the status of their players. Sometimes, we will get a call on the walkie talkie saying someone who needs help and we are on our way. There is no shortage of respect for and trust in Tony from coaches, athletes and parents.  

Rockwood Summit has proved to be a fantastic clinical site for me. Learning from Tony has been a great experience. Tony employer is Mercy Sports Medicine and it's interesting to see how that aspect works, as he splits time between working in the clinic and working at Rockwood Summit. It’s nice to be able to see the different employment possibilities for an athletic trainer. We talk about how he is able to communicate with majority of other high school athletic trainers in the area, as well as physical therapists, physicians and more healthcare professionals. Collaboration between them all is definitely a staple at Rockwood Summit.  

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 24, 2019

SLU AT Students Enjoy a Dynamic Clinical Learning Environment with Billiken Athletics

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Saint Louis University Athletics
By: Rory Cusack, Juan Calero Alonso and Matt Murphy (MAT Class of 2019); and Mitchell Buerck, Claire Ditman, Scott Litwitz and Rachel Wilhelm (MAT Class of 2020)

Thus far, our clinical experience with Sports Medicine at Saint Louis University has been an exciting and immersive experience for those of us placed there. Being at an NCAA Division I institution with the Billiken Athletics comes with the special experience of being exposed to a population of athletes completing at a high intensity and demanding level every day. 

Having both first and second year students at the site allows for education through our preceptors and each other, thus furthering our clinical skills while applying new knowledge from the classroom. We each work with a specific few teams under our preceptor, but also get the opportunity to experience other sports and athletes while in the AT room. Our experiences can range from simple wound care to advance rehabilitation program to help an athlete return to sport. SLU Athletic Trainers Jonathan Burch ATC, Ben Heimos ATC, Petra Knight ATC, Elena Melillo ATC and Angie Wills ATC are more than supportive and knowledge preceptors that provide us with valuable resources and knowledge as we continue our education to be Certified Athletic Trainers. 

Additionally, SLU as a clinical site allows for the opportunity with work a large array of resources. As students, we get the opportunity to utilize many modalities and exercise equipment including LASER, ultrasound, electrotherapy, game ready, Normatek, cold tubs and SwimEx, as well as, a fully equipped weight room across the hallway. This equipment allows us to learn, gain confident and diversify our treatment program for athletes. We also have access to strength and conditioning coaches, sports nutritionist, and physical therapy to collaborate with in order to provide the best quality care possible.

Overall, SLU is a clinical site that offers students many different hands on experience in order to advance their skills and  knowledge for the day they become certified athletic trainers. 

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 23, 2019

SLU AT Students Appreciate Preceptor's Support for Clinical Learning at Kirkwood HS

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Kirkwood High School
By: Allison Stefan and Conner Mongoven (MAT Class of 2020)

As the winter sport season winds down for Kirkwood High School and spring sports are starting up, it has kept the athletic training room busy. We have acquired a ton of new experiences and hands on practice working with the high school athletes of Kirkwood. Our preceptor, Athletico Athletic Trainer Briana Lakebrink ATC, has been nothing but supportive and insightful with our clinical rotation thus far. 

Since we both came from a collegiate setting in the fall primarily covering football, the opportunity to be exposed to multiple sports has been very eye-opening. Boys and girls’ basketball has been the main sporting events we have covered this semester, but we also got to experience wrestling and swimming & diving. The after school rush keeps us busy wrapping ankles, setting up modalities such as e-stim and moist heat packs, and going through exercises/ stretches with athletes.

One amazing aspect of being at Kirkwood High School is having a preceptor so close in age. Briana has been super helpful giving us advice about the post-graduation life and what things she thinks we need to know when we graduate and pass our BOC Exam to succeed in the field. Just getting to have conversations with her and ask questions about her own path to becoming an ATC has taught us more about the real world AT life than we have gotten in the classroom. Part of her methods of having us learn is making us do the initial evaluations of injured athletes and then having her re-evaluate and give us feedback about our assessment. This has facilitated us growing into finding our own systematic approaches of evaluations and assessments. Briana also is very open to new ideas and wants us to bring things we learn in lab/ class into her AT room. 

We are both excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the semester at Kirkwood High School as spring sports pick up.

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 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.