November 10, 2020

SLU AT Student Adapts to Changing Conditions to Learn at Multiple Clinical Sites

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Cardinal Ritter College Prep and Harris Stowe State University
By: Katie Wissing (MAT Class of 2022)

“Unprecedented,” “new normal,” and “fluid” are some phrases that are becoming more and more common during this COVID-19 pandemic. I would agree that my clinical experience has been unprecedented and fluid as I try to adjust to this new normal. Although the pandemic has created restrictions or delays in athletic seasons and protocols, Cara Bowton, ATC, MAT, at Cardinal Ritter College Prep and Tim Herlihy, ATC, at Harris-Stowe State University, have shown me what it means to be a flexible, efficient athletic trainer. 

Between the mundane tasks of COVID-19 screening and temperature checks, I have been able to develop my repertoire of rehabilitation exercises and interprofessional relationships. Tim has taught me the importance of focusing on the big picture of rehab; exercises need to encompass total body stability and strengthening. He not only focuses on the issue at hand, but ensures the athlete can address functional issues to reduce chances of reinjury. Cara has reminded me that rehab should be user friendly and accessible to anyone. Ensuring that the athlete can do all exercises at home without needing special, expensive equipment allows for a more complete rehabilitation that can be done anywhere. Athletic training truly is a collaboration with any other health-care providers (whether that be a team physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, or otherwise) and the athlete; this requires constant collaboration and communication. 

Additionally, with limited interactions due to the pandemic, I have learned how important it is to make lasting connections with your athletes. The trust that is built between an athletic trainer and her athlete is crucial to providing quality care; when face to face interactions may be limited, the opportunity to build this trust is expedited. Communication, especially during an uncertain time, is crucial; every day brings a new adjustment or protocol. Learning to work and connect with school administrators, the athletes, and parents has been an invaluable opportunity I get to experience every week at Cardinal Ritter College Prep and Harris-Stowe State University. 

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

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