April 06, 2010

AT Student Featured in "Day in the Life" on SLU Newslink

April 07, 2010
Carrie Bebermeyer
March Madness is Over But Memories Remain
Recently, on March 28,  SLU athletic training education students worked at the NCAA Midwest Regional, assisting SLUCare doctors and athletic trainers who were on hand to provide health care to players and officials at the games. It was the culmination of a busy month, as SLU faculty and students helped provide care for three basketball tournaments in addition to their regular duties at SLU and promoted the profession across campus and at their clinical practicum sites for National Athletic Training Month.

Kelly Black practices in class. Photo by Chad Williams
Kellie Black, who will graduate in May with a master's degree in athletic training, writes about one of her most memorable days as an athletic training education student:

Arriving at the Dome
When I arrived at the Edward Jones Dome security was tight. I showed my photo ID at the media entrance, and then Tony Breitbach, director of the athletic training education program, picked me up on a gator. I hopped on next to an injured player from Michigan State, who I recognized from TV, who said hi.
After taking the player to his team, we went on to the athletic training room where we made sure everything was set up. Next, it was time to get the officials ready, with taping treatments before the game started.

Working the Game
During the game, I sat with SLUCare sports medicine docs, Scott Kaar and Will Mitchell, and dentist Paul Nativi, along with Mark Reinking, who is dual credentialed both as an athletic trainer and a physical therapist and is chair of SLU's department of physical therapy and athletic training. One of the great things about our program is the chance to work side-by-side with so many of SLU's professionals in the field.

Faculty and students at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
As a part of our first response plan, I was charged with the glamorous job of cleaning blood off the floor, if needed. There wasn't any blood during this game, but we had gloves, towels, disinfectant on hand just in case. At half-time, surprisingly, it's already time to start taking everything down so we headed to the locker rooms to take down some of the equipment, like the stationary bikes players use to warm up. It was a good game, with no injuries, and, the best part was watching it from courtside seats.

It was definitely bigger than an every day game, with the crowd and cameras. But I did realize, when it comes to working with injured players, it's the same job no matter how big the game. Though I might get butterflies before a big game, I know how to do this job!

I will admit, though, that it was pretty exciting to be at the game. My parents saw me on TV and I bumped into Magic Johnson in the hallway on his way to visit Michigan State players in their locker room.

The Future
I'm graduating in May with my masters. Thanks to connections I've made from working events throughout my time at SLU, I know about some job openings around the country.
Instructor Jason Bennett teaches an assessment test.
I played soccer, volleyball and basketball in high school. I was an exercise science major at SLU, and I knew I liked sports and I wanted to work in health care. I met Tony, worked a few events and really I liked the fast paced, unique setting. I fell in love with athletic training. I'd tell other students - undergrads or students thinking about an advanced degree - that it's a great field to be in.

Graduates find jobs, not only with school and professional sports teams, but also in places like the military and performing arts.
It's always busy, it's different every day and nothing is ever the same. It's a really cool way to earn a living.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists athletic training among the top 10 jobs expected to grow over the next 10 years. SLU has one of only 20 entry-level masters programs in athletic training education in the country.

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