By: Cillian Worrall (Athletic Therapy Student, Athlone Institute of Technology)
My clinical experience began shortly after my arrival in St Louis, at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, where I was mentored by SSM Health Sports Medicine AT Cara Bowton, MAT. ATC. along with Jose Blanco, PY1, and Einne O’Connor, AIT.
Given the physical nature of the sport, there were a lot of injuries and treatments to manage both on and off the field. During my experience at Cardinal Ritter I gained a wide range of experience from acute management of sprains to spinal board immobilization. Cara established a very educational environment which greatly helped my learning experience. She was always willing to share her knowledge and give valuable advice.
Coming over to SLU, I was very interested to learn about and compare the alternative taping techniques, concussion protocols, new and different treatment/rehab methods and I was very keen to learn about the different electronic documentation systems used, which is something that is only beginning to become common place back home. A highlight, thanks to Dr. Kitty Newsham’s Contemporary Clinical Practice module was learning how to suture and insert an IV in a sim lab.
To maximise my learning opportunities I also shadowed Ben Heimos ATC. SLU men’s soccer, as they made their way to the A-10 Quarterfinals and later Petra Knight ATC. SLU women’s basketball.
The training facilities at SLU are of a higher standard than most semi-pro, amateur clubs and smaller universities in Ireland so to learn about their intra-team coordination between coaching the staff, the Strength and Conditioning staff and AT staff, managing athlete workloads and game preparations was a great benefit. It was a highlight of my time at SLU to interact daily with each member of these teams.