New AT Student Blog Post - Haruka Ikeda (SLU MAT Class of 2020)
My first experience of Directed Observation (DO) hours was at John Burroughs High School with Dean Tiffany ATC, Caitlin Gibson (PY2), Danielle Jabczynski (PY1). It was also my first experience to look around a high school in the United States, and actually I am so lucky to have John Burroughs School as my first one. They have clean, orderly AT room and every student athlete respects Dean and also PY students.
The most impressed DO experience for me is a Spring Soccer Tournament at Lou Fusz Rams Park and Fenton Soccer Park. That was the largest soccer tournament for young athletes at St. Louis and there were more than 5 soccer fields inside and outside. At Fenton Soccer Park, SLU Alum Kelly DeGreeff MAT, ATC was with me telling me the importance to have communication with not just athletes or patients, but also coaches and referee, who relates to a game. Young athletes are more sensitive and emotionally unstable than grown athletes, so that’s why ATs need to be more careful and keep an eye out for them. The communication makes us easier to understand athletes condition or a background that should be considered when ATs treat patients.
To be honest, I was quite nervous to do DO hours because of the language barrier, but at the same time I was excited that I got an opportunity to feel the reality of ATs in sports field in my bones. Since I was a student athletic trainer when I was in japan, which was 2 years ago, one of the reasons why I came to the US is to feel the difference between the countries. All of my DO experiences including John Burroughs HS, SEC Gymnastics Championships, Washington University, Track meet at SLU, and the Spring Soccer Tournament were absolutely great opportunities for me to feel and understand the difference.
Thank you all the preceptors and older students, and I also want to thank all of my friendly classmates.