August 13, 2018

SLU AT Student Experiences a Variety of Practice Settings with University Hospitals Sports Medicine

SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - University Hospitals Sports Medicine - Cleveland, OH
By: Maggie Rowell (SLU MAT Class of 2019)

I found my summer fieldwork experience to be a very unique opportunity. My time with University Hospitals was spent in a variety of healthcare settings. Due to the Athletic Trainer’s broad Scope of Practice, I quickly learned AT's are able to work in a multiple settings and have a wide spectrum of responsibilities. This summer I was able to see how AT's work in a Physician Practice in post-operative surgery out-patient settings; work in Physical Therapy clinics with rehabilitation, soft-tissue work and exercises; and lastly as an AT in a high school setting.

For my first two weeks I was at St. John’s Medical Center. I spent a majority of my time with Dr. Eric Jankov (PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, C-OMPT). During my time here, I was challenged to come up with differential diagnoses, rehabilitation exercises, and spot out specific compensations in gait and exercises. While I did not do much hands on work, I expanded my clinical reasoning and mindset to take a broader approach and higher level of thinking. Instead of primarily focusing on the diagnosis, I learned how imperative it is to figure out how and why an injury could have happened. I learned to not just focus on the joint and/or injury area, but rather, take a more complex assessment approach. It taught me how to acclimate rehabilitation exercises to each specific patient. This experience also exposed me to different patient populations and pathologies I may not see in the typical setting.
The next week I spent my time at Brookside High School with Mike Cicerchi (ATC, CSCS).  I started just as the players began their football two-a-day practices. I got the opportunity to hone my taping skills and on-field evaluation/triage skills. While on the sidelines, I was also able to discuss the advancements in Athletic Training from a more seasoned perspective. Since Mike has been working in the field for over 20 years now, I was able to hear about the transition and rise of the profession. I also got the opportunity to experiment with Riddell’s new sensory helmets, which is part of the newest concussion technology. In addition, I got the opportunity to get experience at a Medical Tent in the Cleveland Marathon. I worked alongside Tina Thompson (ATC) and a variety of healthcare professionals.  This was a great way for me to network with different Cleveland medical professionals and practice working interprofessionally in the event of a triage situation.  

For my last week, I was able to experience the hospital setting. I worked under Megan Valentine (ATC, LMT) at the Ahuja Medical Center.  I was able to see the wide variety of responsibilities AT's have in a physician practice. Whether it was billing, casting, prepping injections, history taking or even helping with the diagnosis. In conclusion, University Hospitals allowed me to immerse myself into the plethora of settings AT's are able to work in due to their broad scope of practice.  

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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