May 08, 2017

SLU Pre-professional AT Students Reflect on Learning Experience at SLU Track and Field Invitational

New AT Student Blog Post - Catherine Chua and Sarah Menzuber (SLU MAT Class of 2019)

Along several other Athletic Training students, we had the opportunity to observe Petra Knight ATC at the SLU Track and Field meet.  We watched many different track events for the first time, such as javelin throw, shot put, and pole vault.  It was very interesting to follow Petra around and learn about the track athletes and many of the common injuries she sees as an Athletic Trainer.  Many of the athletes, especially the long-distance runners, needed to have their shins and ankles taped and roll out their leg muscles.  We learned several techniques to taping ankles, depending on if it was a medial or lateral sprain.  We saw shin splints taped, which was something unique and new that we had not seen before.

In addition to seeing many injuries taped, we were able to help out by making ice bags and handing out water to athletes after their events.  We learned how to vacuum seal the ice bag and then wrap it around wherever the athlete needed it to stay.  Fortunately, no major or life threatening injuries occurred while we were observing, except for two runners who were very winded after their events, but were doing better after sitting down to rest and drinking water.  
Overall, this was a great experience for us and we enjoyed being able to observe Petra as she has a great compassion for not only Athletic Training, but each individual athlete as well.  The SLU track and field meet was the first experience we were able to observe such a large-scale event with so many athletes and spectators. The widespread amount of “jobs” it takes to run a meet was astounding; filling water jugs, making sure water cups are on hand for the athletes, making ice bags, treating athletes and keeping an eye out for those athletes performing in their events.

We enjoyed watching the athletic trainers take care of the athletes as they came into the tent, most had just performed in their event and needed assistance with ice or stretching. Track and field athletes push their bodies so hard for a relatively short amount of time, so coming into the medical tent, it was interesting to see their reactions to needing treatment and what they wanted to be done. 

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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