July 31, 2012

SLU AT Student Gets Intensive with Wrestling in Summer Internship

My Experience at J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp
By: Janese Evans (SLU MAT Class of 2013)

My summer internship experience was very unique. In just 28 days I accumulated over 200 clinical hours and gained a great deal of hands on knowledge. A typical day for me started between 8:30-9:00 am and ended anywhere between 8:30-11:00 pm. As the primary medical staff responsible for overseeing the safety of over 300 wrestling campers and the University of Minnesota wrestlers participating in this camp, the responsibility was initially overwhelming. However, with the support of my other athletic training staff, I was able to get outside of my comfort zone and take advantage of the abundant learning opportunities. At this J Robinson camp I was able to deal with lots of athletes with skin infections. Every day before the first practice we did routine skin checks to ensure wrestlers were not spreading skin infections. I was able to see and identify various forms of impetigo, folliculitis, and ringworm. This year we had no herpes outbreaks, which was something the J Robinson wrestling camps were infamous for over a decade ago.

At the J Robinson wrestling camp I drained my first blister and steri-striped my first facial laceration. The amount of injuries I witnessed in the past 28 days was surreal! I have seen everything from a surgically removed ingrown toenail to a fibula fracture to an AC joint separation. This does not even include the numerous concussion assessments that I have conducted on many athletes. And due to the unusual amount of heat in Minneapolis this summer, we had to take extra precautions to ensure that we prevented heat illness from occurring in the athletes.  This included weigh-ins before practice and monitoring signs and symptoms of heat illness and dehydration during practices. The counselors and J Robinson also did a great job of making sure the athletes were staying hydrated by providing Powerade in the camp store that was available to the athletes in between all practices. J Robinson also restricted the athletes from drinking soda the first 14 days of camp.

Each work day concluded with completing paperwork accumulated that day. I actually enjoyed doing the paperwork because this was my first experience dealing with paperwork to this extent. Not only was I responsible for writing up injury reports when I evaluated athletes, but I was also responsible for writing progress reports on athletes I had seen or spoke to about different situations. Also throughout the day, the athletic training staff did a lot of communicating with the parents of the wrestlers. Parents were called whenever athletes were taking to the emergency room, were ill, out of practice due to dehydration, or if an athlete was out of practice due to having a skin infection.
Janese Evans (SLU MAT Class of 2013) pictured with the AT staff from the 2012 J Rob Intensive Camp
Overall I would highly recommend the J Robinson wrestling camp for athletic training students seeking to gain practical skills in management of acute injuries, seeking independence in conducting initial assessments and making return to play decisions, or becoming more knowledgeable on skin infections. Overall this internship has given me a personal insight on what being an athletic trainer is all about. We worked long hours, we were the first ones to arrive at practice and the last people to leave, we were bombarded with athletes for treatments at times, and at other times we sat and watched practice, we adjusted to last minute schedule changes, and we did a great deal of paperwork, counting inventory, and filling water coolers. This internship provided so many unique opportunities that I would not have gotten anywhere else. And most importantly through repetition and a strong supporting staff, gave me the confidence I lacked throughout my first year of graduate school. Thanks to J Rob internship I have more self-assurance in my skills and knowledge as a future athletic trainer.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program.  This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience. 

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