SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - Edwardsville High School
By: Carlton McDonald-Jordan (MAT Class of 2024)
My time at Edwardsville High School thus far has been a spectacular experience. From learning and acquiring knowledge useful for propelling me as an athletic trainer to establishing new relations with different types of people involved in the AT environment, I would not change anything about my experience thus far. From the first day I arrived on EHS campus, my preceptor Katie Hamilton ATC made it her mission to ensure I felt welcomed and comfortable learning beside her. Those involved with EHS Football (players, coaches, etc.) also did a wonderful job of making me feel a part of their big family. I can honestly say that my perception of what it is like to work in the high school environment has done a complete 180 which is more-so because of my experience at EHS.
Initially, I was doing more observing at my site than hands-on. I watched the way Katie liked to do things and accompanied that with the way in which I was taught to do things to sort of get the best of both worlds. Katie told me there was no rush and that I could jump into the swing of things whenever I felt comfortable. I started out with a bunch of ankle and wrist taping, filling ice bags, and other such things that I learned over the summer. I seemingly progressed to walking athletes through exercises that worked on ROM, palpating and assessing injuries, and even evaluating. I would say that in these short five weeks, I have seen major improvement and have even received similar praise from the athletes and Katie. I have rounded out my expertise, being able to touch on multiple aspects of different areas. One area that I am still weak on and hoping to improve is assessing and evaluating upper extremity injuries/complications. This is something that hopefully Katie and I will continue to work on as the semester goes on.
Katie also taught me the importance of professionalism in the workplace. I was able to observe her interactions with student-athletes, coaches, and parents and saw how an athletic trainer is to appropriately conduct themselves in each situation. Communication and honesty are the staples of any relationship, but is readily apparent among AT’s, athletes, coaches, parents, and every member involved in this health care team. I think working in a high school setting presents unique communication challenges. In some cases, I’ve observed situations in which the parent(s) impede the ability for their kids to receive proper care. This obviously brings a huge obstacle into the process of providing the best care possible. I’ve learned that understanding each athlete and situation are unique and treating it that way, as well as establishing relationships with parents, goes a long way.
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.