October 19, 2022

SLU AT Student Appreciates Preceptor's Role in his Professional Development with Billiken Athletics

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

Getting a chance to learn alongside my preceptor Elena Melillo, ATC, has been nothing but excitement. I have gotten the chance to be a part of multiple sports so far just from Elena being helpful for others in the athletic training room. These opportunities have helped me understand how each sport’s treatments can differ based on the needs. From this, I have had to adapt based on the sport’s needs, whether it be cross country runners, basketball players, or soccer players and how they can perform well. I have gotten the opportunity to learn from Elena. She has always given me the opportunity to assess patients, instruct them on the next steps, monitor rehab exercises, and provide treatment when appropriate. 

Days always include early arrival to the athletic training room for any athletes that have appointments. Then, I wait for which team needs treatment or pre-practice tapes. From there, we make our way to practice and watch practice. After practice, I head back to the athletic training room and wait for any post-practice treatment if the athletes need any. It is a simple day when under my clinical experience with Elena. 

During my new experience, it has brought many changes. Adapting to each new sport has brought new challenges but also new opportunities. Each new coach and athlete that I work with has welcomed me and my services. Even when the women’s basketball team has a new coach, she welcomes me and includes me in everything. And with Elena, she allows me to work at my pace as well as instruct me in what to do. This opportunity has been exciting and is allowing me to grow into a future athletic trainer. 

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

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