This week’s journal topic is: Review the list of course objectives & outcomes from one of your ATR 340 course syllabus. Relate one of these course objectives to something you experienced this week. How has this experience enhanced your learning in that course? So when I looked at the syllabus I found this objective, “Use clinical reasoning skills to formulate an appropriate clinical diagnosis for common illness/disease and orthopedic injuries/conditions.” On Thursday I was clinically experiencing with Men’s basketball. After practice I was waiting for the men to come back, but the softball team came in first. A lot of girls came in so I decided to help them with getting ice. A girl asked me If I would look at her foot, and I thought I was going to have to do an evaluation, but it was just a bruise. I told Melissa, and she said it was fine, just give her ice which is what I figured I should do. I was ready to do a full ankle eval, so this experience change my view on clinical injuries. If it’s obvious, I should just use my best judgment to correct and help the situation.
This week I wrote a paper for exercise physiology on if fast twitch muscle fiber transplants are ethical. I said the procedure is not ethical due to no evidence based research on the procedure. There is also a high risk of injury and infection due to little to no physician certified to do the procedure. Finally, I compared the transplant surgery to blood doping that happened a lot in the 1960’s. I stated how the procedures both theoretically gave the person a physical advantage, while still technically using their own body tissue. Then I went on to talk about how the International Olympic Committee banned blood doping and set out rules and regulations. I said those rule should be applied to muscle fiber transplant surgery.
Also this week, I took a cervical thoracic eval practical. I feel like I did really well. This is going to give me about 30 masteries when I get the test back. I also got a mastery for lower extremity taping this week.
Katie, Colin, and I are in a rotation group together this semester. When our placements came out, I was excited to see that we are in a group together. All three of us are the uber nerds of our class. We are always finding new ways to study and keep everyone on top of the game. Other schools and classes are competitive and have people who are trying to be the best in their class. What is great about our class is that we all want to see each other succeed, so we help everyone out the best we can. Katie and I are called “mom” in our class because we look out for everyone to make sure they are keeping up with assignments, and are understanding concepts and techniques. Colin is always getting study groups together, and making everything a group effort. I believe having us three together is going to bring forth a new level of excellence. In clinical, of course we joke around with each other, but we also study together and go over difficult topics from class. During this week, Katie and I were reading over a practice BOC book. This week we were learning special test for the cervical and thoracic spine. Katie and I came up with a memorization tool to remember Allen’s test. It is up up and away with Tim Allen which stands for arm up head up and away, then Tim Allen plays buzz light year, so it was fitting. That could stand as a testament for how nerdy we are. Our class is always encouraging each other to achieve greater things, and that is what makes our rotation group and our class so special.
Below is a picture of our group. Just to prove how super awesome we are, we didn’t even plan to match that day. It just happened.
Not too much happened when I was clinically experiencing this week. It seemed our schedules were messed up a bit because one day our preceptor had 6 of us scheduled for just men’s basketball practice. With that being said, there were not too many opportunities to do much. I wrapped a support brace onto a player.
In class I made a model sarcomere that could actually move. My partner and I geeked out over us getting it to move. I put a video of that below as well. Hopefully, us geeking out will bring good grades on tomorrows test.
This week I got 17 attempts.
This week I was able to do my first non-simulated evaluation. This was on the first day I was back and I felt like I had forgotten a lot of evaluation skill. I made myself do it anyway because I knew it would be good for me. The patient was complaining of lower back pain. He said it was so bad that he had to stop doing his work out and the strength and conditioning coach made him go to the athletic training room. I took a history and did the observation which I felt confident with, but when I got to special tests, I realized I had forgotten a lot. At this point with the history I was between a muscle strain and SI dysfunction. I consulted with the ATC and we decided to start with special tests for SI dysfunction. I did the compression and distraction test which was positive, then I did gillet test and the stand and bend over test, and only one of them was positive. Then I did the long sitting test which was crazy positive. I felt like I had pretty good proof for SI dysfunction by then. I reported back to the ATC, and she told me I was going to realign his hips. Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I was really excited to learn how to do this. She said first I have to determine which side of the hip is raised and which side was lowered. We did this by checking the alignment of the iliac crest, ASIS, and PSIS. Then we did a method where the patient placed his foot on my shoulder and I pushed down on his other leg and he pushed against both resistances. I checked the progress by doing another long sitting test and the results were a lot better. I felt pretty cool for being able to do that. I then hooked him up to IFC and gave him ice to help with the pain and soreness he was feeling. I felt like the process was very slow, but I am glad that I was able to come up with a diagnosis and be able to fix it.
In addition, I have re-stated my goals for this semester. My first goal, I will complete my clinical packet by attempting at least 10 tasks a week. Second, I will become proficient at doing evaluations by attempting or practicing at least 1 a week. Third and final, I will become proficient at doing tape jobs by attempting or practicing at least 3 a week.
This week I have attempted 14 tasks.
This first semester in the program has been the most intense change I have ever gone through in my entire academic career. I feel like I have learned so much new information, yet I know I have so much more to learn. The best part of this semester was doing Emergency Room observations. I really liked the energy in there and I got to see some crazy things too. The toughest part of the semester was time management issues. I have always been proud of my time management skills, and I am very strict about staying on schedule, but for most of this semester I felt like I was just floating in the wind and I couldn't get control of nearly anything. I found myself living one second at a time which is very different for me to do. Finally, my favorite part of the semester was becoming good friends with the other kids in the program. When I felt like nobody understood what I was going through, there were 8 other peers going through the same thing as me and we could come together to make a plan for all of us to succeed. As stressful as this program has been at times, I know it will be worth it when I have my degree. I'm looking forward to the new content I will learn next semester.
As an athletic training student I feel less confident when I am taking a test and having to explain a concept in specific details. However, I feel most confident when I can just go and do something in the clinic. An example would be having to explain in detail how to splint a fracture. It is difficult for me to describe it, but I am very confident in actually doing a splint. This happens with other scenarios too. In general, I am more confident when I am actually doing what I learned than trying to explain what I am doing.
A therapeutic intervention I had was giving a women's soccer player a sports massage for her tight calves. I did a bit of effleruage then a long period of petrissage until the tightness of the calf was relieved. My intended outcome was for the calves to be less stiff. I know I was effective because when I was done with the fist calf I compared it to the other calf that was still tight. The calf I just worked on was much more pliable and relaxed. Then at the end I always ask if they feel like the treatment was beneficial, or if I need to hit any other spots.
Clinical packets are so weird! I am keeping up with it task wise, but actually taking the time to fill it out is what's getting me. As of now I have 15 documented masters, but TONS of undocumented attempts and masters. I plan to sit down and go through the packet to catch myself up to get a true sense of where I am on my masters check list. Then I will truly get a sense of my progress.
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 is where I do my weekly clinical blog assignment. There is either a prompt I am responding to, or I just talk about something exciting I saw during the week.