This semester at Washington University in St. Louis, there are two of us assigned to this site for our clinical experience. We are currently gain clinical experience alongside three full-time athletic trainers employed by Washington University, and our role is to assist them with any needs they may have with their respective teams. Once spring sports fully start up, we will begin to focus on athletes with specific sports more, rather than simply whoever comes into the athletic training room. It is somewhat more challenging to situate ourselves with the winter sports that are currently going on since we were not a part of a good majority of their season since they began late last semester and through winter break. That being said, all the athletes are very welcoming to us providing care for them.
So far this semester we have been mostly helping with men’s and women’s basketball as their seasons wrap up. We help with gameday setup and assist the head athletic trainer for each team with any treatments or athlete care that may take place. On non-gamedays, our roles consist of helping with anything in the athletic training room such as evaluating an athlete who comes in with a new injury, setting up modalities for treatments, assisting an athlete through their injury rehabilitation plans, or anything else that our preceptor and other athletic trainers may need assistance with. Most of the treatments we administer consist of GameReady, electrical stimulation, instrument-assisted soft tissue massage, and ultrasound. We will begin to see an increase in our responsibilities and time spent at our clinical site with the spring season inching closer. Since it hasn’t been too busy currently, we have been split up between days as there isn’t the need for both of us there at the same time. We’re looking forward to being a part of more home sporting events and getting to experience new and different sports. We have begun treating athletes who play spring sports as they prepare for their upcoming seasons, so there should be a very easy transition once those seasons begin.
We have been able to gain the trust of the athletes and the athletic trainers on staff and we are respected within the athletic training room. Our preceptor truly values the aspect of us learning the most that we can when we come in each day and giving us the opportunity to practice skills we have learned. We are provided with opportunities to not only learn from our preceptor, but also from physical therapists from an outreach clinic that some of the athletes are sent too, as well as the doctors that come into the athletic training room each week. Throughout the remainder of the semester, we will continue to grow with our skills and knowledge of athletic training, and it will shape us into being better professionals in the future.