December 12, 2019

Athletic Therapy Student from Athlone Institute of Technology Appreciates Varied Experiences in the USA at Saint Louis University

International Clinical Exchange - SLU and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Éinne O’Connor (Athletic Therapy student, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland)

For my clinical placement here in Saint Louis I was at Cardinal Ritter High School with fellow AIT student Cillian Worrall, SLU and SLU PY1 AT student Jose Blanco and my preceptor Cara Bowton MAT, ATC. We got a lot of hands on experience here at the high school as well as lots of field experience covering a range of sports like American Football, Soccer, Basketball and Volleyball. From this we got to experience American sports and got to see the different types of injuries involved in each sport. Luckily, I was involved in two great high school teams in Cardinal Ritter as their American Football team was ranked number 1 in the country in small schools, while the American Football team and Men’s Basketball team both remained unbeaten for my time there and it was an honour working with some of the athletes as they have such high motivation to make it to the highest level possible and many have offers from Division 1 universities around America.

I also got experience with SLU’s Men’s soccer team who made it to the Quarter final of the A-10 Championship. Although there was not as much hands on experience with the university team I did enjoy seeing how things were run at that level and seeing the professionalism involved especially in the Athletic training room in the Chaifetz arena which seemed to have everything needed for an athlete.

Coming to Saint Louis I really wanted to get more comfortable dealing with patients and having to work with them on my own and thankfully I have achieved this from help and guidance from my preceptor. I enjoyed taking classes and getting a taste of the American university experience and really enjoyed taking class Contemporary Clinical Practice with Dr. Kitty Newsham where we learned how to suture and take blood samples in the simulation lab which are things we would have never been able to do or learn back in Ireland.
I really enjoyed my time here in Saint Louis and unfortunately my time here has come to an end from this once in a lifetime experience which I would recommend anyone to do if they have the chance. I have made life-long friends from Saint Louis GAA club as well as students from SLU and placement at Cardinal Ritter which I hope to keep in contact with. I came here wanting to experience the American way of life and thankfully I have done that and have many stories and life-long memories to bring home with me.

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