July 30, 2022

SLU AT Student Grows Professionally Through Immersive Clinical Experience at the University of North Texas

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - University of North Texas Athletics
By: Giovanna Charles (MAT Class of 2023)

The University of North Texas (UNT) has been an exciting experience for me so far! I enjoy taking care of the women’s basketball team, learning from my preceptor, Nicole Hergert ATC, and other Athletic Trainers at UNT as well as the other immersion students there this summer. Already, I have learned so much about modalities I have never seen or heard of before. I have been able to watch another AT dry needle, use and help me understand different modalities to perform on athletes and learn about all the paperwork and documentation AT's must do. 

On my first day at UNT we performed physical exams for a variety of different sports after a refresher on how to take blood pressure and how an EKG was performed. After the first day, I got right into practices, strength and conditioning, recovery as well as being able to watch and help with some rehabs from previous injuries. A typical day for the women’s basketball team at UNT is in the morning, the girls come in to get treatment prior to practice then we head to the gym where we tape the girls that need to get taped. Nicole’s rule is that all upperclassmen can get taped and underclassmen must put braces on. Once practice is done they head to weights. Nicole and I stay in most times to make sure they are doing exercises right as well as letting the strength coach know if someone needs accommodations. Finally, when they are done for weights some come into the athletic training room to get treatment such as ice, stem, or game ready if needed and then we do it all over again the next day. 

I was also fortunate enough to work with the men's basketball team here at UNT for a couple weeks which was surprisingly a little bit different than working with the women's team. I was really glad to be able to work with both teams to see the differences between the two. I’ve been able to work hands on with both the men's and women's basketball teams. I've gotten to evaluate both teams and perform special tests, MMT, as well as perform off the court concussion protocol followed by a SCAT5. I got to use different modalities that I'm unfamiliar with on different athletes which has helped me understand the machines better. My favorite modality to use on athletes is the Hivamat. Hivamat utilizes an intermittent electrostatic field that creates oscillation. Those electrostatic waves create a sort of kneading effect within the damaged tissues that help reduce pain, relieve pain, and can also help relax the muscles while also restoring blood supply to the injured area. 

Everyday is new and has brought new experiences that I will carry along with me in the future. As my time at UNT continues to grow, Nicole has allowed me to do more things with her athletes and understands my role better and trusts me. I enjoy every minute at UNT and can not wait to see how I continue to grow. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

July 29, 2022

SLU AT Student Gains Confidence and Practices New Techniques with the Schaumburg Boomers

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Illinois Bone and Joint Institute/Schaumburg Boomers Baseball Club
By: Emily Haley (MAT Class of 2023)
My summer field experience in professional baseball with preceptor Sammy Fluck ATC and the Frontier League Schaumburg Boomers has challenged me  professionally and clinically in ways my other sites have not. Not only is the level of play  the highest I have been part of, but the treatments the players receive is different than what I’ve typically done at other clinical sites. We hardly use any modalities, and as the  players are averaging six games a week, we more so deal with overuse injuries,  soreness, and stiffness. Massage, scraping or IASTM, and cupping are the primary forms of treatment utilized. I have learned new soft-tissue techniques such as scar  tissue mobilizations and rock tape flossing and enhanced some of the stretching  techniques I already know.  

Beyond soft-tissue treatment, many of the players request maintenance rehab  programs and some players need programs developed for their current injuries. Sammy challenges me to be creative in coming up with exercises as we do not have a ton of weights or resistance bands to use. Along with rehab and treatment skills, I have also assisted with a more emergent situation of a heat exhaustion related incident. Of  course, it is not a situation you ever want an athlete to be in, but it was a great learning opportunity from start to finish with how Sammy and I followed cooling protocols and  eventually transferred care to EMS.  

Working in professional baseball has overall been a great learning experience and I am enjoying my time with the Boomers. The players are amazing to work with and  love to encourage me to make my own decisions as an AT which helps build my confidence. A major highlight was meeting up with the team at the Gateway Grizzlies near St. Louis and experiencing an away game as well as being in the opposing dugout of my peers Olivia Mani and Jordan Hyink.

I am grateful for Illinois Bone and Joint Institute for crafting such an incredible summer field experience for me with the Boomers. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

July 28, 2022

SLU AT Student Appreciates Clinical Learning Experience with Men's Basketball at UW-Milwaukee

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Athletics
By: Alexander Smith (MAT Class of 2023)

Change has been the theme surrounding my time at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with men’s basketball team this summer. There is a new head coach, nearly 10 new athletes joined the team, and I get to experience the changes with a new preceptor. My new preceptor, Aaron Haselhorst, ATC, has given me opportunities to learn how to manage a NCAA Division I basketball team, even during the summer. Each chance I have gotten, I am learning new ways to manage pathologies, more than evaluating pathologies. 

Days and duties at UWM are consistent. Upon my arrival at the athletic training room, I help get the fluids set up prior to practice. I then wait for any athletes to arrive in the training room for a pre-practice stretching or manual massage. After all athletes get prepared, we make our way to the courts to watch practice. For post-practice, the athletes get post-practice treatments, whether it be an ice bath, Normatec treatment, or ice bags. Some days do include more soft tissue massage like cupping, Graston, or even dry needling when athletes need it. I am fortunate enough to have learned how to perform cupping massage as well as HIVAMAT treatment. These types of skills are what I look forward to having in my repertoire of treatment options. 

Each day has brought me new experiences and ways to treat my future athletes. I have gotten the chance to perform cup, treat, and stretch athletes prior to practice. Even when it has only been two weeks since my arrival U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, each member of both the athletic training team and basketball team has understood my role. Aaron has given me many opportunities for me to learn and possible add in my athletic training toolbox. This experience has been exciting for me since I arrived at UWM. I look forward for what the rest of the summer has to offer with my time at UWM. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

July 27, 2022

SLU AT Student Builds Clinical Skills with Support of Preceptors at Bowling Green State University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Bowling Green State University Sports Medicine
By: Mason Remeis (MAT Class of 2023)

Over the summer I have been able to get insight through clinical experience with a collegiate football program, this time at the NCAA Division 1 level at Bowling Green State University.  There are a total of 3 athletic trainers on staff for the football team alone, two full time and one who splits time between the college and the local high school.  I have worked very closely under the two full time AT's, the Head Athletic Trainer Dani Coppes ATC and the Assistant Athletic Trainer David Florea ATC.  With two full time AT's on staff for the team, I have been able to see how they work together to make sure everything each of them has the necessary information about each athlete in case one of them is to spend more time with them one day, and the other one works with them the following day.  They have also formed great relationships with the coaching staff and players, which has created an atmosphere full of trust and respect on all ends.  Both AT's have had different experiences at their prior positions, so I have been able to learn some different things from each of them.

So far this summer I have been able to care for athletes who are on off-season rehab plans.  Since this summer consists of lifting and conditioning as well as non-contact practices, here have not been any major injuries that have occurred during my time here so far, except for some muscle strains and similar level injuries.  I do think that it has been beneficial to get to see what it is like for athletes at different levels of their rehab plans.  I have seen how they approach a lot of different treatments and a lot of it has been like similar to I have experienced at my other clinical sites, but some have been more common here.  Tool-assisted massage and cupping is something that I can expect to do about one of each every day I am there.  Although I have seen both before, these techniques have been used a good amount more at Bowling Green.  I was also able to assist with administering dry needling with electrical stimulation which I have not experienced before.  I have been able to get a lot of experience with treatments and it has allowed me the opportunity to keep building up my strengths.

When looking at all my experiences up to this point, I have continued to see how each AT has their own way of functioning.  I get excited to go into clinical each day because of the AT's and players at Bowling Green.  Since the beginning of the summer, the Dani instantly put her trust in me and made it clear that I was not restricted in any way with my experiences here.  I have been able to pick up any treatment or take a history for any athlete that comes into the room.  This freedom has allowed me to see what both my strengths and weaknesses are at this point in my professional phase.  

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

July 26, 2022

SLU AT Students Enjoy Learning in Professional Baseball with the Gateway Grizzlies

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Gateway Grizzlies Baseball Club
By: Olivia Mani and Jordan Hyink (MAT Class of 2023)

Our summer field experience is with the Gateway Grizzlies, a Frontier League baseball team. Our preceptor Geof Manzo ATC, LAT has been working as the team’s athletic trainer for 19 seasons, so he knows exactly the best way to run a training room in this league. We have found our own groove in his system by working with the team in the Health Education Center. This center provides an appropriate environment to provide complete and adequate care to our athletes during their stretch of home games. 

Working with professional baseball at this level challenges an athletic trainer’s ability to adapt. Often times management is trading or releasing players, which, for us, means we lose athletes we have been working with through recovery and gain new ones who need us to pick up their treatment plan from where they left off with their previous team. Another challenge is centralizing our focus to soft tissue work. Most of what we do is related to therapeutic massage, instrument soft tissue mobilization, or cupping. This gives us a unique opportunity to hone in our skills that are required when working in this particular setting.

Both of us have the desire to have a career working with baseball in the future, which makes this experience that much more special to us. This serves as a perfect opportunity for us to take a look into what the culture is like in a higher level of competition in this sport. So far, we have been able to immerse ourselves into the role as an athletic trainer in this league with a large commitment of hours and care for our athletes. We look forward to the rest of our summer and everything that we’re about to learn. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

July 24, 2022

SLU AT Student Sees an Interprofessional Approach to Care for Professional Athletes with Minnesota United FC

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Minnesota United Football Club
By: Lauren Swords (MAT Class of 2023)

This summer I have had the opportunity to work with Minnesota’s MLS team, Minnesota United FC. I have been mostly assigned to the United Next Pro and Academy teams. These teams have allowed me to be surrounded by professional athletes while still getting hands-on experience. I attend practice every day and assist with the rehab of our players. A new rehab technique I’ve been able to observe is dry needling which I have been super interested by and would like to explore certification in the future. 

It has been very interesting to see how the team operates at a national level. Since travel is a big part of the season, I’ve gotten to see how my preceptors pack their kits for long vs short stays and seen how every level of the club is all-hands on deck to make sure transitions go smoothly. 

Additionally, I have loved seeing the “it takes a village” aspect of the professional level. I have been able to work with sports science professionals, nutritionists, equipment managers, and physical therapists for the first time as a team. I am looking forward to the rest of my rotation and potentially traveling with Next Pro. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.