April 15, 2016

New SLU AT Student Sees the Importance of Communication and Trust at Westminster Christian Academy

New AT Student Blog Post - Matthew Eifert (SLU MAT Class of 2018)

The majority of my Directed Observation hours were spent at Westminster Christian Academy. The clinical site offered a wide spectrum of athletes with varied injuries. WCA’s sprawling facilities are home to athletic skill sets ranging from grades seven to twelve. Hillary Orf, ATC (SLU MAT Class of 2013) zooms around the vast athletic fields encompassing the verdant WCA campus; servicing an array of patients in a similarly green gator. The AT provides tape for injured ankles and ice for bruises and sprains. 

A close bond is revealed with every injury that Hillary scoots off to.  The athlete-athletic trainer relationship is much more than injury prevention, diagnosis and rehabilitation. Keeping the best wishes of the athlete within the center of healthcare delivery builds trust in an optimal relationship. The countless interactions I observed between the AT and Westminster athletes exemplified the bond necessary for clinical practice. This trust is vital to the success of any preventative, diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. 
I felt that many of this spring’s observation hours taught me the importance of communication. Athletic Trainers rely partially on the testimony of the athlete to make their diagnosis.  The athlete needs to be cognizant of the importance of providing the most accurate description of an injury. Lack of information can definitely impede the ability for ATs to perform their job. This ties back in with the athlete’s part in trusting the AT to get them back to peak performance efficiently. Without trust, there cannot be effective communication. In the absence of information transfer between patient and practitioner, healing is stagnate. 

This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 3000 - AT Student Development II.

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