August 17, 2014

SLU AT Students Join PA Students for an Orthopedic Casting Lab

On Thursday, August 14, 2014 students from the Saint Louis University Physician Assistant Education program and Athletic Training program participated together in an orthopedic casting lab.  The lab was conducted by Certified Athletic Trainer and NATA Hall of Fame member Rod Walters; and coordinated by SLU faculty members Sr. Mary White (PA) and Dr. Kitty Newsham (AT).  This interprofessional learning opportunity was a great experience for students in both programs.  More information about Rod Walters ATC and his program are available at:

Rod Walters ATC demonstrates a casting technique on SLU AT student Tori Lycett
SLU AT students Michael Aaron and Eldon Reid practice a casting technique.

August 15, 2014

SLU AT Student Gets an International Sports Medicine Experience in Madrid

Summer Internship Blog Post - Saint Louis University, Madrid Campus
By: Christian Ahlstrom (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer, I had the privilege to do my internship abroad.  I went to the SLU campus in Madrid, Spain to get experience with physiotherapists Alvaro Garcia-Romero and Angel Basas, with the Real Federación Española de Atletismo and the Real Federación Española de Gimnasia.  I was lucky to work with these Olympic level athletes everyday for the past month and a half.  I was nervous at first because I was in a new country and I had intermediate understanding of the language.  But, the moment I started working with the athletes, that all went away.  They really appreciated the fact that I came all the way over from the states to help them this summer.  I learned that communicate was the key with my athletes.  Some of them would want to practice their English with me, while others would help me with my Spanish.

From this experience, I was able to learn how a different part of the world practices sports medicine.  I assisted in rehabilitation protocols, injury prevention workouts, evaluation of injuries, as well as some administration duties.  In Spain, they rely on a lot of manual techniques, like massage and manipulations, to help their athletes.  They also use electro stimulation and kinesiotape during rehabilitation sessions.  I was able to learn about all of these different techniques and how to implement them into my own rehabilitation protocols in the future.

Alvaro Garcia-Romero, Christian Ahlstrom and Angel Basas
This has truly been an amazing experience and I wish I had more time to work with these physical therapists and athletes.  I have loved working here every minute.  I have learned so much from this internship and cannot wait to bring back what I have learned.

I would highly recommend this opportunity to any athletic training student.

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.

August 12, 2014

SLU AT Student Gets Intensive Learning Experience at J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camps

Summer Internship Blog Post - J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp
By: Mike Griffith (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer I spent 56 days with the J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp, a program run by the University of Minnesota’s head wrestling coach, J Robinson. The program is currently in its 38th year of punishing workouts, 4-a-day practices, early morning rises, and copious injuries; in other words, a hard day’s work for any athletic trainer. That’s not to say that all of the difficulties of the camp do not present any benefits. 

Over the duration of the camp, the J Robinson Wrestling Camp has exposed me to a wealth of opportunities from which to learn. With 175-300 teen wrestlers at each camp, there is a good deal of ailments to see, and most of them are skin. I’ve seen cellulitis, folliculitis, more ringworm than I could ever count, and even more cases of impetigo. These were infections that I had rarely seen in my previous clinical sites, and now I can identify them in a heartbeat. While an important bit of knowledge to have, I am hoping that I don’t have to worry about skin as regularly, going into the future.

Mike Griffith (far left) with the rest of the AT staff at the camp.
Just as common as the infections at camp are the illnesses and injuries. The first two days of camp at Minneapolis had more cases of cramps and heat exhaustion than I had ever seen in my previous two semesters. For this very reason, the camp had fairly rigorous hydration policies. Athletes were not allowed to lose more than 1.5% of their initial weight for the duration of camp, under threat of sitting out for 24 hours. 
Furthermore, there were the injuries. At J Rob I saw sprains, strains, tears, subluxations, fractures, acute or chronic injuries, and the day-to-day overuse injuries. The greatest experience actually happened my last week, where I was able to stabilize the head of an athlete with a suspected cervical spine injury, and I was then able to call the shots throughout the transportation of the athlete from the ground to the spine board. Thankfully the athlete was fine, and it was all precautionary, but it proved to be a great environment with which to practice possibly one of the most important critical care techniques in a live setting.

The J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp definitely lived up to its title as an intensive camp. It was as much a boot camp for Athletic Training as it was for wrestling, thanks in part to the oftentimes 100+ ailments that needed to be treated daily. Thanks to the camp, I was forced to confront some of the weaker points in my development as an Athletic Trainer, and make them stronger. I had to adapt to a changing environment, work long hours, and get enough rest so I could repeat the process the next day. As difficult as it all was, I’m very happy with my experience and the amount I have advanced as an athletic trainer thanks in part to J Rob.

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.

SLU AT Student “Gets Grizzlie” Spending a Summer with Pro Baseball Team

Summer Internship Blog Post - Gateway Grizzlies
By: Josh Harris (MAT Class of 2015)

A part of the West Division of the Frontier League (Independent League; non-MLB affiliate), the Gateway Grizzlies Professional Baseball team resides right across the Mississippi River in Sauget, Illinois. GCS Ballpark is where the Grizzlies play their home games and it was also was the site of my athletic training internship for the summer. Outside of GCS Ballpark, I had the opportunity to gain more athletic training experience by traveling with the team to T.R. Hughes Stadium in O’ Fallon, Missouri. These trips to O’ Fallon would occur when the Grizzlies were scheduled to play their cross-town rival, the River City Rascals. I share the internship experience with a fellow ATS from the University of Arkansas, Andy Scheumann, and the head athletic trainer of the Grizzlies, Geof Manzo, MS, ATC. Geof was really great to work with and he undoubtedly helped Andy and I build upon our athletic training skills.

Andy Schuemann, Izzy the Grizzly, Geof Manzo ATC and Josh Harris
The vast majority of my summer internship was spent at GCS Ballpark; in the athletic training room, treatment and rehabilitation room, on the field, and in the dugout. A typical day interning with the Grizzlies would begin around 1pm and end about an hour or so after the game was over. As soon as we arrived at GCS, Andy and I had to fold towels, that would later be used by the players on both teams, and also prepare the visiting team’s athletic training room. After these prep tasks were completed, Geof, Andy, and I would wait for our players to show up and then begin treatment and rehab with those who needed it. Some common treatments we performed on the players throughout the day included: therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, thermotherapy via heat packs, cryotherapy via ice bags, massage, taping, therapeutic exercise, and stretching. The treatment session lasted until 3pm, which is when we would go outside and begin the warm-up session for pitchers. About 30 minutes after that, we would begin the warm-up session for position players. After the warm-ups were over for both sets of players, batting practice would commence and then end around 4:45pm.

From the end of batting practice up until about 6:30pm, we would again perform treatment on any player that requested it or needed it. It was then time for the game, where all of us would be sitting in the dugout with the team. If any injury presented itself during the game, Geof would walk out on the field and evaluate the athlete. After his evaluation, he would come back into the dugout and discuss his findings with Andy and I. If there was no injury presented during the game, we would mostly spend our time making sure our players (and umpires) were properly hydrated. At the conclusion of the game, Andy, Geof, and I would all return to the athletic training room and wait for players to come to us for any treatment or evaluation before they went home for the night. The last task Andy and I had before the day was considered over was cleaning up the opposing team’s athletic training room.

Going into this summer internship, I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a totally new environment for me, as I had never worked with a baseball team this in-depth throughout my whole first year of athletic training practice. The experience was also an opportunity to practice with high-level athletes; much higher of a level than I had worked with in previous athletic training experiences at Parkway South High School and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Overall, I feel that I have gained a lot of athletic training knowledge by engaging in this internship. I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a great athletic trainer, staff, and team. This experience with the Grizzlies taught me a lot and I am looking forward to the next steps and challenges in becoming an athletic trainer.

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.

SLU AT Student Returns Home to the Sunshine State for a Summer Internship Experience

Summer Internship Blog Post - Pensacola State College
By: Shannon Kane (MAT Class of 2015)

Pensacola State College has three main campuses in the Pensacola area.  The Pensacola campus is where the sports teams practice, live, and play.  Select Medical and Select Physical Therapy provide AT, PT, and sports medicine services to the athletes attending PSC.  Pensacola State College, formerly Pensacola Junior College, is a community college with a variety of degrees and programs available, including many Associate’s degrees and an exceptional BSN program.

This summer I have definitely been busy!  Phil Loesch ATC, the Assistant Athletic Trainer, is also the strength and conditioning coach for the volleyball, softball, and women’s basketball teams.  I get to come along to morning workouts and get some experience helping him coach.  A strength and conditioning certification is something I am very interested in pursuing in addition to athletic training, and this wonderful experience has helped me get a better look at this career path.

It is summer, so many of the sports are not in season, but the Pensacola State Athletic Department hosts many summer camps for children ranging from 5 year olds to high schoolers.  I have had the opportunity to run warm ups, give talks about the importance of hydration, and provide athletic training services, along with the ATCs, to the softball, baseball, basketball, and volleyball camps.

Deb Lee ATC, Shannon Kane and Phil Loesch ATC
Ken Byrd PT, ATC, who is an athletic trainer and a physical therapist, comes over to the athletic training room a couple times a week so that the student athletes don’t have to go to the clinic.  Ken has a great personality, and has been so much fun to work with.  He takes time out to make sure that I learn something every time I am with him.  If I have not seen something new that day, he asks me what I want to learn.  We have discussed everything from the Graston Technique and joint mobilizations, to the physiology behind the healing process and the use of modalities.

Deb Lee ATC is the Head Athletic Trainer at Pensacola State.  She has been with Select Physical Therapy for almost 20 years.  Her southern accent and huge smile are enough to make anyone’s day better.  She is very smart, and has helped me grow as an athletic training student.

At PSC, although I have been there for a very short time, I feel like part of the family!  The atmosphere is always light-hearted and welcoming.  The relationship of respect and trust that Deb and Phil have developed with the coaching staff, not only for them as people, but as professionals, has carried over to me.  The coaches all respect what I have to say, and have welcomed me as one of their own.  It will be a sad day when I have to leave the Pensacola State family!  I have learned a lot, but the summer is not over yet.  I look forward to the adventures to come!

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.

August 11, 2014

SLU AT Student Spends a Summer with the Sixers

Summer Internship Blog Post - Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Camps
By: Emily Costabile (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer, I had the opportunity to work for the Philadelphia 76ers as their summer basketball camp athletic training intern.  The 76ers camp brings in kids from all over the world.  Representing 20 different countries, kids ages 8-18 can come for weeks at a time to gain experience playing basketball.  From 8am-9pm the kids participate in a variety of basketball activities, from playing full court games to knock-out competitions.  I have been working under the direction of Caitlin Murphy, ATC, alongside five other athletic training interns.  Caitlin is a graduate of Ithica College in Ithica, NY and is currently in grad school working towards her DPT. 

Emily Costabile and Caitlin Murphy ATC
The camp is held on Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s campus.  There are twelve different courts the campers play on, and our job is to sit at each of the set of courts and respond to whatever injury may occur during competitions.  We have seen a large variety of injuries in the past 4 weeks of camp, all ranging in severity.  I have even had the opportunity to accompany some of the campers to the hospital as well as visits to an orthopedics office.  

This experience with the 76ers has given me great insight into the different settings I could potentially practice in down the road.  It has allowed me to practice skills I previously had as well as develop a whole set of new ones.  Working with athletic training students from five different schools has also given me a chance to see how others practice and what techniques they find useful.  The experience I have had here has been invaluable and I am grateful to the kids and staff for helping make this summer one I will never forget.  

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.

SLU AT Student Gets a Physician Extender Internship Experience

Summer Internship Blog Post - Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
By:  Connor Doherty (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer I have had the incredible opportunity of working with Amy Schork, ATC, Dr. Tyler Wadsworth, and Dr. Jason Browdy as well as the rest of the staff at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.  They operate an orthopedic medicine practice that sees a variety of patients, from young athletes to geriatric patients.  At their location they have a variety of tools at their disposal, including x-ray machines, various injections, and a physical therapy clinic that is stationed right next door to them.  Dr. Wadsworth and Dr. Browdy are the respective team physician and orthopedic surgeon for Clayton High School, Ladue High School, and Webster University.  Dr. Browdy also serves as the orthopedic surgeon for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Connor Doherty and Amy Schork ATC
During my time here I have learned a ton about the importance and role of certified athletic trainers working in the role of a physician extender.  In this role they take on many responsibilities in the office, and act as an extension of the physician, to increase quality and effectiveness of health care provided.  I had the great opportunity of not only observing and assisting Dr. Wadsworth during patient visits, but also was able to observe Dr. Browdy in the operating room.  This summer I have learned a great deal about the field of sports medicine and how certified athletic trainers can contribute to it in a non-traditional way through the role of the physician extender.

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.

August 07, 2014

SLU AT Students Spend a Summer in Columbia with the Mizzou Tigers

Summer Internship Blog Post - University of Missouri
By: Andria Lampe and Will Rath (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer we were fortunate enough to work at the University of Missouri under head athletic trainer Rex Sharp, ATC, assistant athletic trainer Casey Hairston, ATC, and the athletic training staff, including SLU graduate Dan Herrin, ATC.  We worked with a diverse group of Mizzou’s athletes, including the football, swim & dive, soccer, track & field, and softball teams. Every day brought on new challenges and opportunities to allow us to grow as future athletic trainers and gain valuable experience in the field.

SLU AT Students Will Rath (3rd from left) and Andria Lampe (second from right) on Faurot Field with 2014 SLU Alum Dan Herrin MAT, ATC (on right)
Our responsibilities ranged from filling water for 6:30 am football conditioning, helping with rehab treatments in the athletic training room, assisting with high school sports camps coverage and afternoon football practices, and being present in the athletic training room for all athletes throughout the day.  Of course, we always followed morning conditioning with a hearty breakfast with the rest of the staff every morning to prepare for the long days of rehab and treatment. On a typical day we would assist with twenty football rehab treatments consisting of strengthening exercises, a broad spectrum of modalities, and functional rehabilitation.  Swimmers, divers and runners trickled in and out throughout the day as well.  We were lucky enough to utilize advanced equipment such as a Swim-Ex, a Biodex and the DARI to get our athletes back on the field quicker.  We saw a variety of injuries throughout the summer that took advantage of the great technology Mizzou provides for their student-athlete population.

The time we have spent at Mizzou and the experience we have gained has helped shape and guide us towards the athletic trainers we are striving to be. The staff here has always been open to our questions and willing to help however they can.  We have been exposed to techniques and ideas that can only be learned through hands-on experience in the athletic training room. Rex Sharp and his staff have excelled as a result of years of practice. Having the opportunity to learn from one of the top programs in the country has been a once in a lifetime experience.

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.

August 02, 2014

SLU AT Student Experiences Personal and Professional Growth During Summer Internship

Summer Internship Blog Post - Washington University
By: Brittany Koops (MAT Class of 2015)

When I transferred to SLU last summer as a post-baccalaureate student I had so many expectations, thoughts, and hopes for the upcoming year and even more so towards to summer internship. While my internship at Washington University in Saint Louis was nothing like I had dreamt, it was still more than I could ask for.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. I didn’t know what to expect going into the internship, and I was somewhat saddened that I was staying in Saint Louis instead of returning home to be with my friends. While I was skeptical I went in with a positive attitude, and knew I’d give it nothing but my best. From the first day I walked in I felt welcomed and trusted as a student. The amount of freedom they gave me made me feel competent in my skills. The staff wasn’t over bearing and constantly hovering over me. I had space to work, and practice the skills that I had the past year to learn.

Brittany Koops with Washington Univ. AT Jacob Blasingame MAT, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2011)
I’m the type of person who hates being wrong. When a professor or instructor hovers over me I feel nervous, incompetent and not trusted. This causes me to freeze up, and I’m not always able to practice or show my knowledge to my full potential. While I was allowed to take control, I was confident knowing that if I did need help that the staff would be right there to eagerly answer any questions or help me if I needed it. The athletic trainers at Wash U were all friendly, and open to helping me reach my full potential.

This past year has been a real struggle for me, It is the first time I’ve ever been away from my family and friends. This has caused me to feel out of place, and uncomfortable. When I don’t feel like I belong then I crawl back into my shell and hide. I sit back and watch more than try to stand out and show off how much I actually know. This past summer at Wash U has really helped me gain the confidence in myself that I will need this upcoming year, and even more so in my future. I felt welcomed by all the staff, and that made me feel like I was wanted and a part of the team this past summer. I wasn’t afraid to speak up, or communicate with the coaches. The compliments from the coaches at the soccer camp on how I went above and beyond when I could to help them made me feel like I finally wasn’t passing the years by in Saint Louis unnoticed. I realized the coaches could see my passion, and I just needed to show it more, and take that drive to allow myself to open up and not be afraid to be wrong and practice my skills. I need to not be hesitant to ask questions, or speak up about what I believe.

I was wrong in an initial assessment of an injury once during the summer, and the world didn’t end like I thought it would. The summer went on, and I learned from my mistake. I learned to be more careful, and to communicate better. I gained confidence in my assessment skills, and learned to trust my own knowledge. I learned different ways of taping and modifications to the special tests, that can help me improve my assessment skills even more. All in all, I feel that the confidence I gained these past few months is the most valuable thing I can take away. Without confidence I won’t be able to learn more. I need to carry this confidence with pride, and not be afraid to show off the skills that I have learned. By taking this new found confidence I will be happier, and it will be easier to find a place to belong here in Saint Louis. I will no longer be hiding back in the shadows just waiting for the semester to pass by. I now look forward to my upcoming clinical rotation year, and finding my place and confidence there, to really be able to practice and master the skills I’ve spent years of my life studying.

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.

SLU AT Student Experiences Collaborative Athletic Health Care at Division I Setting

Summer Internship Blog Post – Georgetown University
By: Tori Lycett (MAT Class of 2015)

During my summer internship I had the opportunity to work under Erin Pettinger ATC at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Georgetown University, much like other NCAA Division 1 colleges, has multiple Athletic Trainers on staff who each have designated sports. Erin specifically works with Men's Lacrosse, Men's Golf, and Sailing, however I had the chance to get experience with several other ATs on staff under the supervision of Erin.  Each of the Athletic Trainers on staff came from different parts of United States and had different backgrounds in education and experience. This gave me the opportunity to learn different techniques, and help to widen my perspective of different parts of Athletic Training. At Georgetown University most of the athletes on campus were there for summer workouts or summer camps. Although it was not the busiest season for sports, this gave me the opportunity to better understand how a D1 Athletic Training room functioned, and how the staff utilized interprofessional care for each athlete. Each week different physicians would visit the athletic training room to run physicals, check up on athletes, and talk directly with the athletic training staff to ensure that everything was ready for the fall preseason. Throughout my internship I also had the privilege to observe one of Georgetown University sports medicine PT's who had a very unique and educational approach to evaluations and treatment of athletes.

Erin Pettinger ATC, Tori Lycett and Emily Deck ATC.
Going into my internship I didn't know what to expect and went in open minded. I chose to intern at Georgetown because I want to eventually work in a D1 setting. Since I was once a college athlete I had an idea of what it would be like however being an athlete is completely different than athletic training. In my fall rotation I worked at Lindenwood University, a small NAIA college, however interning at Georgetown University ensured my goal. Working with college athletes is completely different then other settings. Not only are the athletes motivated differently but the interprofessional care they receive is different especially in D1. In D1 the athletic trainers directly work with physicians, orthopedists, PTs, etc. That aspect of health care is not only important for the patient-centered care of the athlete, but it also helps for you as a practioner to learn. I can't thank Erin and the athletic training staff at Georgetown University enough for giving me this opportunity to learn and become more familiar with the dynamics of a D1 athletic training room.

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.