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.