March 04, 2013

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Rockwood Summit High School

Rockwood Summit High School - Home of the Falcons!
By: Rachel Cocek (SLU MAT Class of 2013) and Cat Costello (SLU MAT Class of 2014)

Rachel Cocek, Haley O'Neal ATC and Cat Costello.

We started our clinical experience with football two-a-days in August. We were assigned to Rockwood Summit High School, a large high school located about 30 minutes west of SLU in Fenton, MO. We were the first students to be placed at Summit and had no idea what to expect from our new preceptor and clinical site. Our preceptor is Haley O’Neal ATC, a certified athletic trainer employed by PRORehab who is a HUGE fan of the University of Kansas, where she received her undergraduate degree.  After graduating from KU, she had a graduate assistant position at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, where she worked with cheerleading and track and field.  

Haley O'Neal ATC and Rachel Cocek at the MSHSAA State Wrestling Meet.
She has taught us so much by both allowing us to observe and apply what we’ve learned in our classes this semester and by telling us countless stories of injuries she has had to deal with in her athletes throughout her career.  She always encouraged us to ask questions and be hands-on so we could learn as much as we can about providing the appropriate medical care to our athletes.

We’ve gotten to work with a variety of different sports, including football, soccer, volleyball, cross country, field hockey, tennis, swimming, softball, wrestling, and basketball.  We got to see what the “after school rush” was really all about when the bell rang at 3:05 and a stampede occurred as every athlete was trying to get in to get taped or evaluated before they were late for practice or the warm-up for a game.   We experienced Friday night football from a completely different perspective, as the ones who kept the football players happy and healthy throughout the week by applying the evaluation and assessment skills learned in class whenever the athletes were injured.  

We got to see how Haley has to make the rounds on her Gator to each team’s practice every day and how difficult it can be to work at such a large school with so many athletes, coaches, and teams.  In working with so many different sports, we were able to improve our taping techniques, develop our evaluation skills, and work on building confidence in creating rehabilitation programs for injured athletes.  We also got to experience what it’s like to work with coaches and parents when their athletes need to take some time off in order to recover fully from an injury to come back better than they were before.

Rockwood Summit is a wonderful site for athletic training students to gain clinical experience and enhance confidence in the skills learned during class as there is such a huge variety of athletes and sports.  Each day was something new and we had no idea who or what would come walking through the Athletic Training room doors next.

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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