New PY1 AT Student Blog Post - Marissa Uecker (MAT Class of 2024)
This spring I had the opportunity to visit Pattonville High School during direct observation with PY1 Emily Haley and her preceptor, Alex Hubbs MAT, ATC. During this experience, I learned more about the environment of an athletic training room. I experienced a very social and inviting atmosphere in the Pattonville athletic training room, which made every student feel cared for and welcomed.
This environment made me excited for my future clinical experiences and professional practice. I also learned more about the professional phase of SLU’s program during this observation opportunity. At Pattonville, I observed Emily perform a joint mobilization and drain blood from under an athlete’s toenail. I was pleasantly surprised by her wide span of knowledge and capabilities, and I was excited by the realization that I will be in her place in just a year. With this understanding, I made sure to ask about her experiences and for any advice that she had.
Accordingly, she shared her experiences with everything from gross anatomy to clinical sites and preceptors. I found great comfort in our conversation, as it came from someone who has experienced everything that I am getting ready to go through.
Furthermore, I learned more about myself during this process. I surprisingly found joy in Alex’s immaculately organized athletic training room, which I will note when it comes to my future clinical experiences. Additionally, Alex helped me to realize exactly how I learn best. I observed that Alex allowed Emily to do most of the work in order to gain hands-on experience, but he was there to guide her and give her feedback. He also fostered an environment where questions were always welcomed. Before coming into this experience, I didn’t know how to exactly explain the environment that I learn best in. However, after observing at Pattonville, I came to realize that I learn and thrive best where there are hands-on learning experiences with feedback and welcomed questions. This realization will definitely help me when finding a clinical site that best suits me.
Ultimately, this experience gave me an opportunity to look into the future and finally experience what I came to college for. Direct observation allowed me to learn more about athletic training in general, the professional phase of SLU’s program, and myself. After this experience, I am even more excited for the hands-on learning experience that is to come in the professional phase of the program.
This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 3000 - AT Student Development II.