SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
By: Conner Mongoven and Rachel Wilhelm (SLU MAT Class of 2020)
Coming into our last year in the professional program for Athletic Training at SLU, the two of us chose to spend last year’s clinical experience at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. SIUE is a Division 1 school and thus is a great opportunity for athletic training students who are interested in going into the college setting. We are able to learn from many different people, such as the Head Athletic Trainer Gerald Schlemer, ATC, as well as the Assistant Athletic Trainers and Graduate Assistants. Each member of the staff is in charge of their own sports. Because of this, at each sport season transition, the two of us will not only be changing the team that we work with, but also the Athletic Trainer we are learning under. Our first expected change is scheduled for the beginning of October. Both of us had an interest in volleyball and soccer, so we will be switching team assignments halfway through the season to be able to get the experience we really wanted in our last year. While we’re both enjoying working with our current teams, we’re looking forward to the new experiences as the year progresses.
Beginning in August, my first sport rotation I began with is with the women’s volleyball team. The Athletic Trainer I am learning under is Katlin Grapes, ATC. She is a first year Graduate Assistant working to obtain her master’s degree in sports psychology. Katlin’s class schedule will sometimes conflict with practice times, so the Assistant Athletic Trainer that worked with the team over the summer, Kristin Weller, ATC, will step in to help. The volleyball team has no shortage of injured athletes, which has turned into a great learning opportunity for me. There are even many conditions I wasn’t expecting to see in this setting. Both Katlin and Kristin put their full trust in me when it comes to doing evaluations, using therapeutic modalities, and creating and teaching rehab protocols to athletes. Under them, I am able to learn a lot and actively practice my skills every day. This rotation is something I have been looking forward to, due to my having played volleyball through high school myself. I am really excited to be able to take my knowledge of the sport and work to incorporate that into developing sport specific treatment and rehabilitation plans. I am enjoying my time with volleyball, but I am looking forward to my future experiences the rest of the year.
To begin my clinical experience at SIUE, I have started out being with Mary McKee, ATC, and the women’s soccer team. In my time I have gotten to get to know the players and the coaches and learn about Athletic Training in the Division 1 Athletics setting, which I have not experienced yet before. In this setting, I have gained exposure to how the communication works between ATs, coaches and strength and conditioning specialist. I have gotten to understand more about the planning that goes into trainings and workouts for the athletes and how it is geared towards minimizing and preventing injury risks. I have learned new ways to implement rehab and therapeutic exercise as an addition to treatment with therapeutic modalities in order to further provide injury care and injury prevention for the athletes. After a great start to my experience with the soccer team, I am excited to continue on and to get exposure with other sports and their 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.