Affton High School might seem unassuming from the outside, but it is really the Taj Mahal of clinical sites. One of the main reasons is because of the amazing preceptor who resides there, Becky Stigen ATC. Becky has given us the freedom to try new things and fine tune our skills while ensuring proper technique and safety for all the athletes.
We worked with all types of athletes from football to volleyball to cross country which gave us lots of diversity in athletes and injuries. We also had the opportunity to be on the sidelines for a variety of games and learn the different requirements of an athletic trainer on game days. The overall experience has been wonderful so far and has helped expand our knowledge.
Our clinical assignment at a high school has been an extremely good crash course in what makes an AT. During our peak busy times the AT room will see up to 20 students in the course of an hour. In the beginning of our time at Affton, this involved Becky having to take most of the students herself while we stood back and observed. But now there is a definite flow to how all three of us work together, having our assigned jobs and each seeing different patients.
When we arrived at Affton High School we were not confident in our skills and the knowledge that we had. Throughout our time, we have learned new techniques for taping, instructing athletes in exercises, assessing injuries in both acute/chronic and emergent settings, as well as the ins and outs of game day for an Athletic Trainer. Due to all this hands-on learning, we have noticed a significant increase in our confidence not only with our skills but in ourselves and each other as well.
We would highly recommend Affton High School for future clinical placements because Becky is such a wonderful teacher and Affton is such an interesting place. It really makes for a wonderful overall experience.
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.