August 18, 2022

SLU AT Student Experiences Rich Learning Environment in Industrial Setting at the Kennedy Space Center

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - RehabWorks/NASA, Kennedy Space Center
By: Muharem Komic (MAT Class of 2023)

This summer I have had a great opportunity to gain clinical experience with RehabWorks at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I was fortunate enough to be working with Mary Kirkland ATC and Nicole Yacobino ATC everyday at the clinic. They are great preceptors and share their knowledge of the profession extremely well. They have shown me and taught me so much, allowing me to gain knowledge in assessment, documentation, rehab, and modalities. I was not the only student here, there were two other students from other universities here as well. One of them left before I began, but it was nice to work with other students who have had similar experiences to the ones that SLU offers. We shared our experiences and learned from each other and being able to do that was great.

It has been an interesting adjustment going from rehabbing young high school and collegiate athletes, to rehabbing older industrial athletes. Understanding doctor referrals and protocols and implementing them into the patient's treatment plan, especially if the patient is post operative. Along with being able to apply my own knowledge from past experiences and be able to implement them. A typical day consists of preparing for a patient's care or for a new patient. After treatments we make sure that everything is clean and ready for the next patient.

My days consisted of observing and performing assessments and treatments. I have also been documenting every single day and have been improving that skill profoundly. Something that I have observed and learned is a new modality called the cold laser. The laser has no thermal effects and can be stimulatory, promoting healing effects, or inhibitory, reducing pain. Being exposed to patients with limited mobility was new and learning new exercises to assist them has been educational.

Being able to work with this staff and these patients has given me a great experience that has allowed me to grow in the profession as an Athletic Training Student. Every day feels different and I did not know what to expect coming in and now my expectations have been passed then I could imagine. My favorite thing so far is witnessing patient progression and them being happy. This has been a great experience so far and I am looking forward to what the rest of the rotation will bring.

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.

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