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.