SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Athlone Institute of Technology - Ireland
By: Chris Mecherle (SLU MAT Class of 2019)
Spending the summer as a student at AIT has been one of the best decisions of my college career. With the guidance and assistance of Michael Donohoe M. Sc, ARTC, I have had a very fulfilling educational experience in Ireland. Out in the field, I also have the pleasure of working with Alan Camon ATC, who has been an extremely vital mentor for providing care to the local hurling and Gaelic football teams. With those two as my mentors, adjusting to life in Ireland has been a smooth transition, and I have certainly learned a great deal from their mentoring.
The weeks I have spent in Ireland have consisted of helping care for the Westmeath hurling and Caulry Gaelic football games and practices. There are also days that are with Michael Donohoe, partaking in workshops covering skills used in Ireland that are not used as much in the states. We also spend time with rugby players with post-surgical conditions, evaluating and determining their rehabilitation programs based on their progress. The hurling and football teams have been a very unique experience. I’ve personally never done so much soft tissue work before in such a short amount of time. It’s the main method for players to get ready before matches and practices, giving me the opportunity to obtain plenty of practice with myofascial release. During practices, we assist the players returning from hamstring injuries with their rehabilitation, and then during the games we do our best to keep the players in top form.
It has certainly been a wonderful time here in Ireland for professional growth. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that my perspectives on athletic healthcare are broadening, as well as the fact I am gaining a brand new cultural experience. The opportunity to learn in Ireland will, without a doubt, be one of the most cherished parts of my growth as an athletic training student.
Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.