July 06, 2018

SLU AT Student Experiences Collaborative Athletic Health Care with the Minnesota Golden Gophers

SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics
By: Adam Long PT, DPT (SLU MAT Class of 2019)

For my first summer field experience, I worked alongside Jeff Winslow MS, ATC, CSCS, associate athletic trainer for men’s ice hockey at the University of Minnesota. With summer being the off-season for ice hockey, most of our responsibilities took place off the ice, primarily in the athletic training room–located at ice level of 3M Arena at Mariucci.

With incoming freshman, pre-participation evaluations must be performed to rule out any medical conditions which may negatively affect the athlete and to promote overall health and safety during sport. Additionally, baseline ImPACT and SCAT testing were administered for concussion monitoring during the upcoming season. Meetings with the team orthopedic surgeon were scheduled to monitor athletes’ progress through rehab moving towards a return to skating and drills on ice.

I also gained experience from both administrative aspects and interprofessional collaboration at the University of Minnesota. Communication among coaching personnel, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, counseling, physicians, graduate assistants and more, detail the amount of involvement required when responsible for the student athletes. Additionally, I gained insight about the role of athletics director, medical director, and its relation to the entire body of athletic medicine–with their goal to create a collaborative care model for athletics.

Finally, I was fortunate to get exposure to football summer activities. Michael Sypniak ATC, associate and head athletic trainer for football provided me opportunity to see the inner workings of his staff and team and how they function. With a large number of athletes to monitor–it takes a coordinated effort to provide coverage and treatment.

I definitely found benefit from my experience at the University of Minnesota as it further clarified what an athletic training position would look like at a Big Ten University.

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.

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