November 12, 2014

Clinical Experience at Lutheran South Enhances SLU Student's Motivation for AT Profession

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Lutheran High School South
By: Eugene Jeun (MAT Class of 2016) 

During my PY1 fall semester, I had the privilege to work with Mary Finkenkeller, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2013), at Lutheran High School South. I had previous athletic training experience from shadowing ATs; however, it was here that I fully grasped what it means to be an athletic trainer. I got to work with the football, soccer, softball, field hockey, and volleyball team. It was a great learning experience, since I got to cover a variety of different sports. A typical day would consist of setting up water, treating athletes, and attending practice/games. Since there was only one ATC on site, it was important that there was an effective communication system between the coaches and us. We never seemed to be able to stay on one place. Aside from the daily duties, Mary has created a great learning environment for me. She always updated me with injury reports and athletes’ progress.  Also, I was given many opportunities to practice the knowledge I learned in class. 

Eugene Jeun and Mary Finkenkeller ATC
From typical ankle sprain to torn ACL, I’ve been able to witness a wide range of injuries. In the beginning, I was only focused on the injury aspect of my clinical experience. I completely overlooked one of the reasons why I chose to become an athletic trainer. The best part about being an athletic trainer is getting to know the athletes. It’s been a great pleasure getting to know the school staff, coaches, and athletes. During my time at LHSS, I’ve become a fan of these athletes. From athletes pursuing a college career to athletes playing for recreational activity, it’s exciting to watch every one of them play. It’s been rewarding helping these athletes recover from injury and returning to play, as well as interacting with them on a daily basis. 

It’s only been about 3 months since I’ve started my pursuit for a career as an athletic trainer; however, I’ve learned a lot here at LHSS. It has only increased my passion and drive towards athletic training and sports. It has also given me a different perspective that we shouldn’t only focus on an athlete’s injury, but rather the athlete himself or herself.

Every athlete is different. For instance, some treatments may be suitable for some, but not for others. It’s an athletic trainer’s job to know his or her athletes, and determine the best treatment. 

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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