May 15, 2019

Students from UCJC in Madrid Learn about More Than Just Athletic Training in the USA at SLU

The Athletic Training Experience at SLU
By: Sergio Álvarez Gómez  and Hartzea Ibáñez Múgica (Universidad Camilo Jose Cela)

An incredible experience, is the best way to summarize the last 2 months. Experiment and carry out tasks such as Athletic Trainers, with the importance of daily prevention work, supervise that athletes are hydrated and nurtured well and the special importance of attention to the field to detect any injury so precocious or concussions (injury to which in Spain we should give more importance).
We came to St. Louis to learn all that an Athletic Trainer does (improving our English), to get through our Master in Athletic Training to be one of them in the near future, and who knows, someday like a recognized profession in Spain.

We started our clinicals at Missouri Baptist University with his football team under the supervision of Drew Potter ATC. There, we worked with the athletes treating them and preparing them with what they needed (tapping, cures ...) for the training, and preparing the hydration of the players during the practice. Once the work was finished in the Athletic Training room, we went out to the field to prepare everything necessary for the players, from the water carts, ice for the players, RCP briefcase, or to be alert to the meteorological changes (in case we had to suspend the training due to a storm), and we helped the athletes with the stretches and in the rehabilitation exercises of those who were injured.

The football season ended, so we started our second clinical rotation in SLU under the supervision of Petra Knight ATC and the women's basketball team, although thanks to the kindness of the Athletic Trainers they let us collaborate with other SLU sports like women's soccer, men's basketball or others that in Spain are not so common or do not exist, like softball and baseball. Here we meet another  level. Another level of physical preparation, another level of work of the athletes and another level in the means and facilities available.

Overall, the experience has been incredible, the improvement of our English, with laughter and uncomfortable moments for the strange things we could say. It has been enriching at professional level, since one day (and it will be soon) we will be Athletic Trainers and we will put into practice everything learned here, although it has also been enriching on a personal level as we met people who have helped us and we are grateful I heart to have done it as Alejandra Chavez, Juan Calero, Alisha Frierdich, Rory Cusack ... and many others, but above them to Cat Chua and Eleanor Fogarty to whom we can thank everything that has helped us and what they have laughed with and of us, allowed to know the customs of another country like the USA and welcomed us as if we were one more in their 'family'.
The experience would not have been the same if it is not for all these people who have helped us outside and within the world of Athletic Trainers, also thank Drew Potter for the reception he gave us in MoBap.

Last but not least, to thank Dr. Tony Breitbach, Dr. Tim Howell, Roberto Murias, Álvaro García-Romero and Fernando Reyes for making this possibility and this great experience a reality.

Nuestra experiencia como Athletic Trainer
Por: Sergio Álvarez Gómez y Hartzea Ibáñez Múgica (Universidad Camilo Jose Cela)

Una experiencia increíble, es la mejor manera de resumir los 2 últimos meses. Experimentar y llevar a cabo las tareas como Athletic Trainers, con la importancia que supone desde el trabajo de prevención diario, vigilar que los atletas se hidraten y nutran bien y la especial importancia a la atención a pie de campo para detectar cualquier lesión de manera precoz o conmociones cerebrales (lesión a la que en España deberíamos dar mas importancia).
Vinimos a St. Louis a aprender todo lo que hace un Athletic Trainer (a parte de a mejorar nuestro inglés), para conseguir por medio de nuestro Máster en Athletic Training ser uno de ellos en un futuro cercano, y quien sabe, algún día como una profesión reconocida en España.
Comenzamos nuestras prácticas en Missouri Baptist University con su equipo de fútbol americano bajo la supervisión de Drew Potter. Allí, trabajábamos con los atletas tratándoles y preparándolos con lo que necesitasen (vendajes, curas…) para el entrenamiento, y preparando las botellas para cuidar la hidratación de los jugadores durante el entrenamiento. Una vez que finalizaba el trabajo en la sala de Athletic Training, salíamos al campo a preparar todo lo necesario para los jugadores, desde los carritos de agua, hielo para los jugadores, maletín de RCP, o estar atentos a los cambios meteorológicos (por si había que suspender el entrenamiento por alguna tormenta), y ayudábamos a los deportistas con los estiramientos y en los ejercicios de readaptación de los que estuviesen lesionados.

La temporada de fútbol americano concluyó, por lo que comenzamos nuestra segunda rotación clínica en SLU bajo la supervisión de Petra Knight y el equipo de baloncesto femenino, aunque gracias a la amabilidad de los Athletic Trainers nos dejaron colaborar con otros deportes de SLU como el fútbol femenino, el baloncesto masculino u otros que en España no son tan comunes o no existen, como el softball y béisbol. Aquí nos encontramos con otro nivel. Otro nivel de preparación física, otro nivel de trabajo de los atletas y otro nivel en los medios y las instalaciones disponibles.
En conjunto, la experiencia ha sido increíble, la mejora de nuestro inglés, con las risas y momentos incomodos por las cosas extrañas que podíamos llegar a decir. Ha sido enriquecedora a nivel profesional, ya que algún día (y será pronto) seremos Athletic Trainers y pondremos en practica todo lo aprendido aquí, aunque también ha sido enriquecedora a nivel personal ya que conocimos a gente que nos ha ayudado y a la que agradecemos de corazón el haberlo hecho como Alejandra Chávez, Juan Calero, Alisha Frierdich… y tantos otros, pero por encima de ellos a Cat Chua y Eleanor Fogarty a las que agradecer todo lo que nos han ayudado y lo que se han reído con y de nosotros, permitido conocer las costumbres de otro país como es EEUU y nos acogieron como si fuéramos uno más en su ‘familia’.

La experiencia no hubiese sido la misma si no es por todas estas personas que nos han ayudado fuera y dentro del mundo de los Athletic Trainers, también agradecer a Drew Potter por el acogimiento que nos dio en MoBap.

Por último y no menos importante, dar las gracias a Dr. Tony Breitbach, Dr. Tim Howell, Roberto Murias, Álvaro García-Romero y Fernando Reyes por hacer realidad esta posibilidad y esta gran experiencia.

May 06, 2019

St. Louis Public Schools AT Clubs Wrap-up School Year with a Fun Day of Learning and Competition at SLU

Athletic Training Olympics and Health Professions Day
By: Kemba Noel-London MAT, ATC, CES

Athletic Training Olympics is a fun athletic training-based field day which is the way we wrap up AT Clubs at the end of the semester. SLU has sponsored the AT Clubs with the St. Louis Public Schools, through grant funding from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee, for the past 5 years.

I was introduced to this concept on an AT Olympics during my last clinical rotation when I was a SLU AT student, at Webster Groves High School from my then clinical preceptor and the legend Sean Wright ATC. I remember thoroughly enjoying myself and saw how much his students also enjoyed having an avenue to compete and show their skills. Since then, I have taken it to any school where I have been involved in sports medicine education. I find that it is an amazing way to facilitate and encourage teamwork, communication and healthy competition, while also allowing students to enjoy the skills that they worked hard to learn. 

This year, with the introduction of an AT Club in a new Saint Louis Public School, we expanded the competition to be interscholastic rather than within the club. We wanted the students to take ownership and be protective over their clubs like any other team, with the long-term vision of the club being another avenue for them to represent their schools. 

This year's event, which took place on May 3rd at SLU’s Medical Center Campus, were: ankle taping, a 40-yard cooler carry and AT trivia “obstacle” course, ice bag making and stacking, and the coup de grace; a first responder simulation (inclusive of log rolling, as the students notified me of how often they practiced this particular skill). The students at Clyde C Miller Career Academy took the first ever “Golden Fanny Pack” award when they won the day over Roosevelt High School. 

Despite logistical challenges outside of our control, the kids had fun, and who knows, may be the start of a rivalry outside of sport. It is always a joy to create avenues for joy while also assessing the utility of our instructional methods for certain skills in the club. It is a good litmus test for how well we did that year and I look forward to it as much as the students. 

Prior to the Olympics, we had a health professions day in the SLU Allied Health Building, which include a Skype presentation from St. Louis native Murphy Grant, MS, ATC, LAT, Associate Athletic Director at University of Kansas and President of the NATA Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine, who imparted words of wisdom and answered some probing questions. 

They were also introduced to other health professions through a panel of faculty from the SLU Doisy College of Health Sciences and learned of the different pathways to achieve a degree in AT or other health professions. The key takeaway being, no path is the same. Whatever journey you take, do not lose sight of your goal, and see lack of representation is an opportunity not a barrier. 

Special shout out to SLU PY1 AT student Marissa Burch (MAT Class of 2020), who volunteered her time this semester to assist with the clubs. She came to each meeting ready and willing to assist and made the most of the opportunities that were presented to her. 

May 04, 2019

Students in the SLU MAT Class of 2019 Celebrate Excellence and Scholarship

On Friday, May 3, 2019 students in the Saint Louis University Master of Athletic Training Class of 2019 presented their Capstone Project presentations to the Doisy College of Health Sciences in the Multipurpose Room of the Allied Health Building on the SLU Medical Center Campus.

The SLU MAT Capstone Project is the culminating scholarly product that our students develop to meet the requirements of the Master of Athletic Training Degree.  The topics of the 2019 projects can be viewed here:

The SLU AT Program's Excellence in Professional Service Award and Clinical Excellence Award were presented to graduating students at the event.  The Academic Excellence Award will be presented after the final grades are posted at the end of the spring semester. 
Erin Fabbri - Excellence in Professional Service
Chris Mecherle - Excellence in Professional Service
Rory Cusack - Clinical Excellence
Matthew Eifert - Clinical Excellence
Award winners pictured above with AT Program Director Anthony Breitbach PhD, ATC, FASAHP and Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Chairperson Tricia Austin PhD, PT, ATC.

A complete photo gallery of the event is available at: