My favorite part of doing clinical experience is I get to take what I learn in class that day and apply it to what I see in the clinic. If I were just a normal biology or chemistry student, it might take years before I get to apply what I learned in class. As much stress as doing clinic experience on top of a busy course load can be it is definitely worth it. I feel like because I get to practice a lot while I am learning, I will be a better prepared AT when I get out on my own.
My clinical question is,"Do different types of footwear predispose marching musicians to lower extremity injuries during the season?" I was inspired to make this my question when I heard a peer say "Oh my gosh! The marching band has awful gate! They all hyper-dorsiflex!" After explaining why the marching band does that on purpose, I decided I wanted to do something about marching band for my question. I have 6 years of marching band experience, and over those years I have had many different shoe suggestions. I want to find out if a certain kind of shoe will create injuries over the course of a season. I picked Kris Johnson (AT Advisor), Brianne Kilbourne (Faculty Advisor), and Kathleen Jacoby (Content Expert/ Band Director) to be on my team because they all have some form of marching band experience. I hope through my question I will be able to determine the best shoe for marching musician to reduce lower extremity injuries.
I'm back with my primary preceptor doing men's soccer. It feels like it's been forever since I first started. I have learned so much already, and I am able to do a lot of things to help out in the clinic. We just finished learning about ultrasound and stim, and now I am able to do these proficiently in the clinic. I feel a lot more confident in my abilities. I think even the athletes are realizing I'm not too bad. Even when I am working on an area I don't have a lot of knowledge on, I'm able to think through a process to achieve what needs to be done. In the beginning of the semester, if I didn't know something, I probably would have just stepped back and let someone else do it, or ask for a lot of help doing it. I'm excited to see where I will stand by the end of the semester.
My most challenging class this semester is Chemistry. It's really frustrating because there is so much material, and we have to move through it so fast. The only way I am coping with it is trying to stay on top of it. I know if I slip up even in the slightest I will be lost and I will struggle to get back. I have already slipped up a bit, but not because I forgot something or I just didn't do something. It was because I spent a bit less time studying chemistry to study for 2 tests I had on the same day. The way I'm making up for it is by talking to my teacher. He is very helpful and takes the time I need to help with things. I'm sure he is aware how fast we go and this is why he offers this amount of attention outside of class. Besides chemistry, I feel very comfortable in all my other classes.
Finally we are starting to experience some overlap with our classes and clinical. We have learned about stim in modalities, and now we are able to set people up on our own and actually know what we are doing and what it is used for. This week I was able to set up a player on IFC without any trouble. Of course other classes that overlap are anatomy and kinesiology, and evaluation of lower extremities. Being with women's soccer now, I can apply a lot more knowledge from lower into clinical. I'm really interested to learn about the knee in lower because I'm in women's soccer now and I go to men's soccer after this. There is a case of ACL tears on both teams and they are both at different stages. I would be interested in doing a comparison of how they are treated once I have more knowledge of the knee.
I have had many opportunities to watch and preform evaluations. The first one I got to do was a back evaluation for a softball player. Because I don't have a full understanding of the back I only did the history and observation portion of the eval. After, an ATC came in and finished the eval. As a class we have done a fair amount of foot and ankle evals. I feel like I am getting better with my palpation and this is helping me rule out specific injuries. My take away from these evals are to remind myself I am capable of doing one. This helps with my confidence and ability to perform an eval. No one wasn't an unsure and awkward examiner, so being able to demonstrate confidence in an evaluation is important.
This week I was on rotation with football. There was an away game which I got to travel with on Saturday. During the game I got to run onto the field to see if an athlete was okay for the first time. Thinking back this is kind of dorky, but I was super excited and I felt like a super hero going to save a life. The athlete was fine in the end, and we didn't have to do any emergency techniques, but I was totally geeking out about running out on the field. Also during the game it was really hot and one of our players started throwing up on the field in the middle of the play. The reaction of our opponent was pretty funny, and we gained a few yards because of it. Maybe puking is a new game advantage.
One of the most exciting things about the field of athletic training is how much is under our scope of practice, and the relationships we build. As an athletic trainer we get to do emergency response and rehabilitation. It's super exciting when we get to run out onto the field and see if the athlete is okay, but it is also highly rewarding to see an athlete through their recovery. Being able to see patients before, during, and after an injury adds an element of rapport and relationships to the field. I think this is important not only in a way that will help an athlete have better treatment, but also because I get to make the relationships and friendships which could help me in the future. Who knows if I will be helping out a high school baseball team, swim team, or basketball team, and one of those kids moves up in the world to the big league. If I have built good rapport with that athlete there is a possibility I can make an advancement to where I want to be in my career.
I think I will be a successful athletic trainer because of how dedicated I am to my studies. On top of taking 18 credit hours I do about 25 hours of studying a week and 20+ hours of clinical a week. Needless to say I'm a busy person, but I know if I didn't do this there would be no possible way I could be successful. Another reason I think I will be a successful athletic trainer is because I genuinely care about the sports, the human body, the people, and the profession. If someone lacked in any of those aspects they would either be a poor athletic trainer, or hate their job, which is unacceptable in this field of practice. So with how much time, effort, heart, and soul I put into this field, I know I am going to be a great and successful athletic trainer.
This week was my last week with volleyball. Again, I'm reminded how fast 2 weeks goes by. Honestly, nothing extremely bizarre happened. I continued to learn how to release knots by doing pressure point, which I feel I am very competent at doing now. I also got to attempt cupping on an athlete which was pretty cool. This week I also volunteered to help out with the football game. I was really excited for this because I love football. I got to tape a lot of ankles which is always fun, and I was also in charge of the teams hydration. I really didn't think filling up water bottles was going to be so tiring, until I realized how much water football players drink. THEY DRINK SO MUCH WATER!!!! I basically ran up and down the sideline the whole game making sure the bottles were full. To an outsider this probably sounds awful, but honestly, I was just happy to be there. Also, the players were very thankful, and the other athletic training students were essentially cheering me on, so I maintained the energy to keep going.
An update on my goals
I feel like my goals are currently struggling. The main issue I am facing is that I can't get masters on many of the topics because we have to learn them in class before we can attempt them. I'm assuming this is because it is the beginning of the semester, and we can only go so fast. I have been able to stay on track with one of my goals, which is "I will work towards mastering all tape jobs by preforming at least 3-5 tape jobs a week." I have done several tape jobs this week, and I am starting to feel fairly comfortable doing them. Another way we can get masters is by explaining them to a certified athletic trainer. This week I plan on going back to the masters from preseason and explaining them to gain more attempts and masters.
This week I have been working with the volleyball team. It has been really easy going. There are not nearly as many injuries on the volleyball team as the men's soccer team, but the injuries I have encountered are new and I am slightly unfamiliar with them. Currently, I am not familiar with the anatomy of either the shoulder or the hip area, but my preceptor has been great at explaining everything to me so I can help out and learn. This week I got to work on the piriformis muscle located deep beneath the gluteus maximus. I forgot what the technique is call, but I applied direct pressure onto the muscle with my thumb while internally and externally rotating the leg. This was really cool because I could feel the muscle pass under my thumb as I was releasing the pressure in the muscle. I have also learned how to massage knots out. I worked on a patients cafe muscles for about 20 minutes massaging out the knots. I found this interesting because I had always heard people saying they have knots somewhere, but I have never actually felt one before. I was trying to explain what this felt like to some of my friends. The life of an athletic training student entails practicing everything on your roommate and friends. Practicing finding knots ultimately turned into us giving each other massages. A win for everyone!
An assignment for this journal entry is to look over our class objectives and relate something we have seen or done to one of the objectives. The objective I chose is "Know and apply the commonly accepted standards for patient confidentiality." This week I was talking to a friend of mine who is also friends with a member of the volleyball team. My friend was asking if they were one of the people who I treat. I almost slipped up and answered them, but I caught myself before I did. If I had answered yes or no to my friends question I would have violated the confidentiality rights to HIPPA, FERPA, and the athlete. Clearly, this would be bad. I could have been sued and lose my place in the athletic training program if I had answered the question. In the future, I know I need to be more consciously aware of people asking those types of questions, especially if they are my friend. To prevent this from happening in the future I plan to practice being asked those questions, and coming up with my personal way of saying, I can't answer your question.