December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays from the SLU Athletic Training Program!

The faculty and staff of the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program wishes you a blessed and happy holiday season!


December 18, 2015

Jennifer's Christmas Hats....a SLU AT Program Tradition!

My holiday tradition started many years ago when I worked at a hospital outpatient pharmacy.  Day after day I would see patrons coming in feeling physically horrible. Generally, they were coming in because they had seen a physician for an issue and were filling a prescription afterward.  Our facility also delivered medication to the same-day surgery ward.

One year, as the holiday season approached, I asked the pharmacist if I could wear a Santa hat to try to bring a little bit of holiday cheer to the place. He agreed, and the patrons seemed to get a small lift in their day when they saw the hat and a smile. The next year, I continued my Santa hat routine, but I added some reindeer antlers to the mix.  I received the same type of reaction – a slightly brightened day. It’s what I was going for, so I was pleased.  The following year, I went all out. I wanted to make people laugh. It may be the only time they had laughed (or would laugh) in quite some time.  Even a chuckle would be considered a win. So, I started my task…to find some of the most fun, most silly holiday hats and headbands I could find.

I didn’t do it all in one year. I got a few the first year, a couple more the next year, and so on. I’ve even had some friends and family buy me crazy holiday hats when they see them. Currently, I have enough holiday hats and headbands that I can (and do) begin wearing a holiday hat on December 1st and wear a different one every single day through Christmas! It takes commitment. You can’t put on a holiday headband and then decide to take it off half-way through the day. Not unless you want to walk around with a divot across the top of your head, that is.  And the dancing and singing hats…oh are they fun!  They make everyone smile and giggle!  But I always have a weight on my shoulders while I’m wearing them – literally. They are heavy. The motors and batteries in those hats make them weigh quite a bit and I end up with a sore neck and shoulders after a day in one of those hats.

It’s been more than fifteen years since I started with that I first starting wearing that Santa hat, and I wouldn’t change the way things have gone for anything in the world!  

Happy Holidays!

-- Jennifer Baine

December 10, 2015

Visiting Students from Ireland Get a Wide Variety of Experiences in Athletic Training at Saint Louis University

International Field Experience  - SLU and Athlone Institute of Technology
By: Ronan Coyle and Gerald Percival

We are athletic training students from Ireland where we study at Athlone Institute of Technology. We will be spending 7 weeks total, of which we have 5 weeks completed, developing our skills at SLU’s clinical sites. 

We both work predominantly at two clinical sites, one together and one apart, whilst also participating in two PY2 classes. We work together in the early mornings with Slu woman's basketball, start classes late in morning and then head to separate high schools during the late afternoons to evenings. 
At SLU basketball it's an early start most mornings, with us having to be in the magnificent Chaifetz arena and ready for the athletes to arrive in at 6am.

Kara Cummings-Ludwig ATC is the AT responsible for the woman's basketball where she also covers the cheer and field hockey teams too. We work with her to create comprehensive rehabilitation programs for them. Kara gives us free reign in the AT room in the Chaifetz Arena when it comes to treating the women's basketball and field hockey players. There is a wide variety of modalities for us to use, some of which we have never used before like the game ready, or we would use soft tissue mobilizations if we feel they would be more beneficial.  

Gerald Percival

I'm currently at Webster Groves High school for my high school clinical experience under the supervision of veteran preceptor Sean Wright, ATC. The training room at WGHS has a constant flow of students coming through its doors right from the end of school to the end of practices. They come in looking to be taped, treated, evaluated or continue their rehab. The sheer magnitude of athlete numbers struck me as a culture shock as there was so many sports and some excellent facilities. Sean runs a very well organised ship where he has created a very enjoyable working environment to learn in. We take turns taking athletes between Alissa PY2, Phillip and Nick both PY1 students, dealing with each new case. Sean allows us to be very much hands on with each athlete to the point where we are comfortable encourages us to be confident. He is allows available to run tests and treatments over with. The use of modalities over manual treatment techniques I have found to more commonplace that back home. This I can see is due to the limited time you have per athlete, making it not as feasible. 

At Webster Groves there is an Athletic training class within the school that's Sean teaches, this is unique as we are encouraged to pass on our knowledge to the students. Sean himself is very open to learning to new things, and it feels good to pass on my skills to him along with the Slu and high school students in return for learning off them. We have both only watched American football at the highest level, such as Super Bowl. It struck us, just the length of time the whole game took place. It was a unique experience before games as 20+ athletes ascend to the training room all at once to be taped and treated in preparation for the game. I had the pleasure of helping out at the big turkey day game against Kirkwood High School, although we lost it was a great and unique experience. 

Ronan Coyle

For my clinical placement I was with Westminster Christian Academy. As this is my first time in America it was quite the cultural shock with the different sports and the top class sporting facilities available to the students compared to back home in Ireland. My first experience of an American sport was working with the football team at Westminster. It was an exciting experience as the only other time i've seen football was watching the Superbowl on the TV. On game day i was constantly on my feet from 9 in the morning looking after the players with various tapings to assessing any injuries picked up during the game. My preceptor at Westminster is Hilary Orf ATC. Right from the start we hit it off as we both compete on Track & Field. I was able to learn different ways of taping and performing special tests on the variety of injuries that came into the training room. Hilary let Bailey who is a PY1 at Westminster and myself take the lead on any injury evaluations and then once we have concluded we would discuss the evaluation on why and what we think the injury is. I am always getting a chance to practice some sort of skill whether it be special tests, taping, using modalities or giving athletes rehabilitation exercises. I hope that I will develop and grow professionally as an Athletic Therapist back in Ireland when I continue placement next semester.

We have really enjoyed our experiences here in Saint Louis University so far and hope it continues that way. 

December 02, 2015

SLU AT Students Get a Great Learning Experience Taking Care of the Billikens

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Saint Louis University Billiken Athletics
By; David O'Loughlin and Haylie Dehm (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

In my few months with Saint Louis University Sports Medicine, I have gained a widespread variety of experience and knowledge.  I have enjoyed a great balance of privilege and responsibility working with Tamara Pastor, ATC and Jonathan Burch, ATC.  Both athletic trainers treat me as a knowledgeable professional, and they allow me to practice many skills under their direction.  In my time with them, I have been given comprehensive rehab assignments to work with athletes from start to finish and design programs for them.  I have been exposed to and practiced techniques such as Graston, ART, and muscle energy to correct malalignments.  Because of their investment in me in these areas, I have a great interest to study these fields further after graduation and earn degrees and certificates.  What has really been exceptional for me has been when my supervisor is on the road with their respective team, and I am responsible for their athletes that are still on campus.  This has given me a great taste of what being certified means, and it has emphasized the importance of communication amongst sports medicine team members.  
–Dave O’Loughlin

This year I am returning to SLU Sports Medicine in a new role. Prior to beginning the professional phase of the Athletic Training Program, I was able to get a work-study position working with in Sports Medicine. The transition from being a student worker to being a PY2 at SLU has been neat. I came in already having an established working relationship with most of the ATs, the team physicians, and many upperclassmen athletes. Having these previous relationships has made it easy for all the members of the sports medicine team to trust and respect me. I am working with the women’s soccer, swimming and diving, and softball teams this year under the supervision of SLU Alum Lizzy Kienstra, ATC. This season when the women’s soccer team has been out of town, I have been able to get experience with other SLU ATs Angie Wills ATC and Kara Cummins-Ludwig ATC along with other PRN ATs from the area, covering field hockey, softball, tennis, cross country, baseball, men’s soccer and men’s basketball. Each team has it’s own personality and vibe. As soccer season is winding down I am looking forward to a vastly different experience working swimming and diving. My knowledge of swimming and diving is minimal, at best, so I am ready and eager to learn. 
–Haylie Dehm

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.

December 01, 2015

SLU AT Student Mentors Younger Students While Learning from Multiple Preceptors at Missouri Baptist University

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Missouri Baptist University
By: Josh Yanzer (SLU MAT Class of 2016)

For my 2nd Professional Year (PY2) Fall Clinical Rotation I was placed at Missouri Baptist University.  I had not worked with football on any of my other previous rotations as a PY1 except for preseason this summer so I was very excited when I learned that I would actually be with Missouri Baptist’s football team.  It was also really nice to know that I would be working with multiple preceptors there. Meredith Dill ATC, Craig Zurliene ATC, Ashley Broughton ATC, and Emily Lawrence ATC all have different styles of teaching and some prefer doing things differently than the other so there was definitely a lot that I could learn from each of them.  Right from the start I was able to learn different ways to do particular special tests or ways the special tests could be altered base on the size of the Athletic Trainer since Craig and Emily are so different in size.  They also taught me better and more effective ways to write my SOAP notes so that I could include all the information that is needed without being really wordy.  Game days are a blast with all of them even though the days are extremely long.  We all bring in food for dinner and we are all very involved with the game making it a very exciting time. All of them are really big on rehabilitation with their athletes and getting the athletes back to play faster so I have learned to be very organized with my rehab plans because of my preceptors.

Working with football for me is one of the most enjoyable things I have done at a clinical site.  There are so many more athletes on one team that you can make a connecting with and you just never know what the day will bring.  I always have to be on my feet, especially for games and full contact practices because while working football you see so many more injuries than in any other sport and you also see much more severe injuries.  Being a PY2, I have been able to get some really great practice with my evaluation skills and having three preceptors to give feedback on my evaluation skills helps me really improve so that my skills are where they need to be in preparation to being a certified Athletic Trainer.  I am always getting a chance to practice some sort of skill that I learned in class and I have also been able to evaluate injured areas that I have never really looked at before or even just practice my skills on injured areas where I was not confident with my skillset yet.
One of the most rewarding thing about being at Missouri Baptist as a PY2 is I was actually able to help teach and facilitate the learning of Sarah Haenchen, Mada Hauck and Morgan Jasperson, the PY1’s in the class below me.  Being with them was really great because I was not only teaching them but also giving myself a review and figuring out some of my weak areas based on what the questions they asked me.  Not only did I teach them and helped give myself a review but they also reminded me of things that I did not really think of as often.  Since they are currently in the evaluation classes they have all the information fresh in their minds so having them there to help remind me of information that I have since forgotten is a huge help.  It is truly a lot of fun to hang out with all of them and I enjoy seeing them learn and develop their skills just as I am trying to better develop mine.  I have really enjoyed my time at Missouri Baptist University thus far and I hope that I will continue to grow and develop professionally as I continue being a PY2 clinical student there for the Spring Semester. 

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.