November 13, 2014

SLU AT Student Gets Real-time Practice at Parkway Central High School

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Parkway Central High School
By: C.J. Spink (MAT Class of 2016)

Parkway Central High School has given me the opportunity to witness and assess injuries of athletes whose level of physical development varies as individuals mature substantially from the moment they walk through the doors their freshmen year. This experience has allowed me to interact with student-athletes whose level of familiarity with injury or cooperation with a health care provider ranges from unknowing and apprehensive to experienced and cooperative. Having this difference in the athletes’ comfort level has required me to use stronger communication skills in order to explain the problems that an inexperienced individual may be facing as well as describing the severity of an injury to an older athlete. 

C.J. Spink and Matt Markelz ATC
Matt Markelz ATC, the AT at Parkway Central through PRORehab, has been a great preceptor and mentor. He has been the Athletic Trainer at Parkway Central for about ten years and interned with the Chicago Bears prior to making his way to St. Louis County. Matt has shared his experiences with me in both settings and has given me insight on the daily tasks associated with both the professional and high school levels. This information has influenced my thoughts on where my professional future will lead me following the completion of my program. 

Aside from improving communication skills and pondering my future career path, the injuries that I have encountered at Parkway Central have varied from cuts, muscle contusions, ankle sprains, concussions, an ACL tear and even a mid-shaft femoral fracture. Rehabilitation of the mid-shaft femoral fracture and ACL tear have been educational in how the process of providing rehabilitation for extreme injuries works, but observing and treating the everyday bumps and bruises has shown to be more commonly the task that is required in the every day job of an athletic trainer. My clinical experience has allowed me to perform muscle and joint tests under the supervision of an AT and has shown me that an athlete who has been hurt may not necessarily be injured. It has proved that assessing history and mechanism of injury is crucial in the process of diagnosing injuries and providing the student-athlete with the proper information concerning their health. Thus, allowing them to return to the field of play as quickly as possible. 

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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