What has been your favorite part of your clinical experience so far? Why? What makes that special for you? Is it helping you reach a semester clinical or personal goal?
So far my favorite part of my current clinical experience is definitely the bonds I have made with some of the athletes that are on the football team. Although there are quite a few athletes on the football team that are disrespectful and ungrateful, there are a few that really appreciate all that we athletic training students do during our clinical rotations. I think that the athletes that actually do try to make bonds with us are very conscious and understanding of how much we do for them. For example, one of the players always talks to me when he sees me, and he always says thank you for anything that I do for him. On his senior day, he said and I quote “thank you for all that you do man, I know there are some of us that don’t respect you guys, but just know that I appreciate everything you do. Don’t let anyone stop you from being you.” This really meant a lot to me coming from an athlete that I would consider being my friend. I realize that the athlete that stated this will probably never see this blog post, but I want to make it known that I really appreciate them saying that to me. It has helped me cope with football, and has helped me to try to see the good in the whole football situation. Overall football has kind of been a nightmare for me. I have seen a lot of disrespect from the coaching staff and many of the players, and even disrespect from preceptor to student, and from student to preceptor. Personally I try my best to be as respectful as possible while stating my concerns. I believe one of my clinical goals last year was to begin to be more comfortable around my athletes. This semester that has been one of the best things I have gotten out of this clinical rotation. I believe that even though this hasn’t been the greatest clinical rotation I have had, I am still learning things and getting to be more comfortable around the athletes.
As a senior ATS, how do you model professionalism as a student and mentor younger ATSs? Do you feel you are a mentor/ role model/ resource for other students?
I model professionalism to the younger Athletic Training Students in a few ways. The first way I do this is by treating my athletes in a professional way. I believe that everybody has seen, at some point during their clinical experiences, athletes being treated differently based on how their athletic trainer or their athletic training student likes them. I try to treat all of my athletes the same, because I believe that one person should not receive better care just due to how much they are liked by the athletic training staff. I also model professionalism by always being on time. I believe that in my “career” in the athletic training program, I have only been late one time. I think that being on time is one of the most professional things that someone can be in control of. It is also one of my pet peeves. I hate not being on time. Most of the time I show up to events or anything like that at least 15 minutes early just to make sure I am on time, and to account for any delays. Another way I show professionalism is by always following the dress code. Even though I wear a hat almost everywhere, I never wear it in the clinic. I always wear clean clothes that follow the dress code to practices and games. There are certain instances where I have seen a couple of the girls in the program wear clothes that are provocative, mostly wearing shorts that are too short. I really don’t have any control over that, but I feel that the older girls do a good job of wearing clothes that are not provocative. I feel that in the dress aspect of being professional, all of us seniors set good examples of professionalism. I am always respectful to my preceptors, and I always talk to them when I have problems or questions with anything. Overall, I feel that this shows more professionalism than anything. Openly communicating with preceptors and professors helps build professionalism in the long run by showing how to approach and speak with them.
What is your most challenging class so far this semester? Why do you find it challenging? How are you coping?
So far my most challenging class this semester is definitely physiology. The reason that it is so challenging is because of the depth that the class goes into, as well as the service learning project hours that are required outside of the class. I think that the depth is so difficult for me because I really haven’t had a class that goes this deep into the biological and chemical processes that the body goes through constantly. Some of the hardest things to remember are the things that are involved at the cellular level such as cellular respiration, integration at nerve synapses, and the neurotransmitters that are involved in this process, as well as the endocrine system. The endocrine system is VERY complex, and anything that happens in terms of release of a hormone, has an effect elsewhere in the body, and also has an effect with another endocrine organ and what hormones they release or stop releasing. With neurotransmitters, it is just hard to remember everything they do within the body and within the brain. My grade in this class at that time isn’t really where I want it to be; despite the amount of time I spend studying every week. I think that this is just because of the difficulty of the content and materials learned in this class, and applying them on the tests we are given. So far I am coping but not very well. I find myself stressed about this class very often, and the only way I can really cope with it is to do things that get my mind off of the class. The bad thing about this coping method is that I really don’t have time to do all those things between classes, clinical hours, baseball, and multiple other things going on at school. I am hoping that after all grades are added in and the final is completed, I can achieve a B in the class. As of right now, things are just going rough with all of the things I have going on, I just try to not think about the difficulty of my schedule. I have been just putting my head down and doing the best I can.
Describe your clinical question and what lead you to chose to research that topic. Include the selection of your group, committee members and what have you learned about your topic so far.
For my clinical question, I am teaming up with Brittany Litchford to find some information and research on the following question; Does the implementation of blood flow restriction training improve rehabilitation outcomes in athletes with acute soft tissue injuries?
The reason we chose this question goes back to a couple of years ago. Coach Chip Schaffner, the assistant baseball coach here at Emory & Henry College, brought this topic to my attention about two years ago through a body building article that was found on a well known bodybuilding website (that just happens to be a pretty unreliable source). The article explained how body builders were using blood flow restriction techniques in order to rapidly increase hypertrophy while completing their training session for the day. Since then there has been some research on this topic pertaining to rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries, and I thought that if there is some credibility to this rehab technique, this could have many implications during rehabilitation sessions with patients. For my committee members I chose Assistant AT Cole Ross, Clinical Coordinator and Professor Beth Funkhouser, and Coach Schaffner. I chose Cole Ross because of his extensive knowledge on eccentric exercises during rehabilitation. He completed his masters Thesis on eccentric overload training. I chose Beth Funkhouser for my faculty advisor because she seems to be the only person that I am in contact with that knows any information pertaining to this topic from a rehabilitation perspective. I chose Coach Schaffner as my content expert because he has done some research on how it effects body builders, so he could possibly relay some information and techniques to me and Brittany as we research this question. So far I have seen that body builders are trying to complete this technique for hypertrophy, and they are doing it in completely the wrong way. Some of the information I have seen and videos show that they are completely cutting off blood supply during an exercise through the use of a belt or a tourniquet, instead of restricting blood flow properly, with the use of the correct equipment, and without completely cutting off blood supply. Overall I want to see if blood flow restriction training should be much involved in various soft tissue rehab programs, and to see if the outcomes are better than just conventional rehabilitation programs alone.
were evaluating an initial injury/condition, or
were performing a specific therapeutic intervention
This weekend at the football game, during my clinical experience, there was an athlete that went down for the other team. From the way he went down, it looked like he really did something bad to his knee. The athlete was tackled low, around the ankles, and he slipped one leg out of the tackle. He planted that leg and tried to push off in order to free the other, but when he pushed off he couldn’t free his other leg. It looked like the knee was flexed, and slightly internally rotated, and you could tell as soon as the athlete tried to get away from the tackle, that something happened to his knee, it kind of just moved in a way that it shouldn’t have. It looked as though his knee just kind of separated. Dr. Hannula completed the on field evaluation on the athlete after their athletic trainer had requested that he do so. One thing that was amazing to me was that the athlete seemed like he wasn’t in any pain. He didn’t have any bad facial expressions, and he was calm when he talked. He didn’t roll around on the field, and didn’t scream or anything. We splinted the athlete with an air cast, and put him on the spine board to be transported to the emergency room.
After everything calmed down, I asked Dr. Hannula what he thought about the injury, and he told me he was pretty sure that the Athlete had dislocated his knee, and that it had self-reduced before we were able to get out there. Dr. Hannula also said that it was kind of hard to test because the athlete was guarding pretty bad, and swelling was already accumulating, but he was pretty sure that there was extensive ligament damage in the knee. Dr. Hannula said that he decided to send him to the emergency room due to the fact that there could be some serious vascular damage, and nervous damage in the knee. He said that the emergency room would have better equipment to do a thorough vascular examination.
Really during this occurrence, and after, I am still wondering how the athlete wasn’t in more pain. It seems to me that this injury typically produces a very high amount of pain, and I am just confused as to why the athlete wasn’t showing more pain.