July 31, 2013

SLU AT Student Gets Two Different Summer Internship Experiences

My Two Summer Internships
By: Heather Koch (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I split my internship between two amazing opportunities. I worked with a sports medicine specialist at Advanced Bone and Joint and worked with SLU faculty member and business owner Lori Khazen of Khazen Athletikare.

Advanced Bone and Joint 

Advanced Bone and Joint, an orthopedic care center, is located in St. Peters, Missouri. Advanced Bone and Joint is formerly known as St. Peters Bone and Joint and their name is not the only thing they are changing. While I was there for the summer they were constantly doing construction to add onto their practice and hiring a new doctor to oversee the large influx of patients. I was so excited to be a part of this growth and change. Over the course of my 2 month internship I was able to explore the position of a physician extender. I worked with various PRORehab Athletic Trainers as well as Dr. Brandon Larkin, a non-surgical sports medicine doctor. At Advanced Bone and Joint, everyday was jam packed with patients and their various injuries. On any given day we would see anywhere from 15 to 25 patients.

SLU AT Student Heather Koch with Dr. Brandon Larkin.
While working with Dr. Larkin I was able to perfect my evaluation techniques and get more experience with imaging. He also taught me some new tricks of his own. In addition to evaluating patients I was also able to assist in brace fitting, casting, splinting, and home exercise program instruction. I cannot wait to begin my last year in the Athletic Training Program with my new skills and knowledge.

Dr. Larkin and his team of staff were such a pleasure to work with and be influenced by. He leads by example and truly cares for each and every one of his patients. Each visit is catered to the patient and their lifestyle demands. He took every measure to help a patient get back to living the life they desire. As with his patients, he also made sure I was challenged and got the unique experience I desired. It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Larkin and the entire Advanced Bone and Joint team.

Khazen Athletikare

This summer, the other half of my time I spent with Lori Khazen ATC, an instructor in the AT Program at Saint Louis University and owner of Khazen Athletikare, LLC. Khazen Athletikare’s goal is injury prevention through athletic training event coverage, strength and conditioning programs for both teams and individuals, and educational programs. While interning with Lori I was able to participate in all aspects of her business. 

We started off the summer educating fellow Athletic Trainers at the MoATA convention at SLU. We demonstrated various exercises to correct muscle imbalance and presented why and how these exercises would be beneficial. I was instantly thrown into the presentation to help demo and assist attendees of the conference in their performance of these exercises.

SLU AT Student Heather Koch with preceptor Lori Khazen ATC.
After the conference, I started working with Lori at MICDS, a private school in Ladue, in lacrosse league coverage. Lacrosse teams from all over the St. Louis area participated two nights a week. I had never had the opportunity to cover lacrosse so this was a new experience for me. We treated parents, children, and athletes at the games on any given night. Injuries ranged from cuts and scrapes to contusions and sprains. I enjoyed being able to incorporate traditional athletic training coverage of a new sport for me into my internship for the summer.

In addition to the traditional athletic training role and educational presentation, I also participated in strength and conditioning sessions of both athletes and the general population twice a week. We started most mornings with 4 college bound lacrosse players from CBC at Shaw Park. Their training regimen consisted of preparation for their future lacrosse careers at various universities across the country. Two new moms followed in the next session and their program couldn’t have been more different. We also worked with a young CBC lacrosse player hoping to gain strength and a new dad hoping to slim down and improve his eating habits. I soaked up every minute of the strength and conditioning sessions because it was something I had never been exposed to before. Lori had me become as involved as possible from the beginning. I assisted with warm up and cool down and eventually started planning the exercise program for the day.

The experience and feedback I received from Lori will help me through all of my coursework this last year as well as into my professional career. I learned a lot about time management with Lori who is juggling a family and a prospering business. I envy her knowledge and expertise and cannot wait to take her course in the spring. I am so appreciative of my experience with Khazen Athletikare and thankful for the knowledge and insight I gained throughout the summer. 

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training 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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