At the start of each semester, we are required to create three to four goals. These goals are supposed to help us become better Athletic Training students. We use the SMART goals method. SMART stands for a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal. Our goals are aimed to be something that we strive for, not grades. My first goal is that I will expand my skills in an injury evaluation by attempting at least one eval a week. I wanted this to be my goal because last semester I did not get to complete any evaluations of any athletes. That was mostly my fault. So this semester I want to try and complete one eval a week. This will help me in the long run because an eval combines everything that I have learned. Injury evaluations are ways I can showcase my skills and see what I need to work on. My second goal is that I will complete between 10-15 masteries a week. I wanted to have a plan in which I will be able to complete my clinical packet in a timely fashion. Last semester I had to rush at the end of the semester, and I was not able to study as much as I wanted the last few weeks. I would rather have my clinical packet completed so I can focus on exams and my comprehensive exit exam. All exams are stressful, but having to worry about something that I could have completed before the last is foolish. This is why I chose this as one of my goals. Last semester I took the ATR modalities class. In the class we learned and practiced ways to treat injuries. We used modalities anywhere from massage to electrical stimulation. The next stage in caring for an injured athlete is rehab. This semester I am taking the ATR rehab course. In this class we will cover ways of the rehabilitation process with specific injuries. My last goal combines both of these classes. My third goal is that I will develop my skills of treatment and rehabilitation in injuries by taking advantage of opportunities in the clinic. In the clinic there are plenty of athletes that are getting treatment and rehab. I hope to be able to use these opportunities so I will be a better Athletic Training Student. I hope that all of my goals will help further my knowledge in the AT field.
Looking back on my first semester as an ATS, I must say I have come a long way. I am happy with my progress learning about athletic training and I am excited to learn more. The bad thing this semester was getting bad grades at the beginning of the semester, but it also made me a better student. This stepback led me to learn new ways to study, which was the good thing about my semester. My favorite experience this semester as an ATS has to be clinically experiencing a football game. I like to be very involved, so helping out with football was a great opportunity to showcase my skills and my ability to connect with people. I liked how I was able to treat many athletes and I was always able to help the team on the sideline. This semester will help me in knowing how to pace myself throughout the semester. I will already know how to balance soccer, class, clinical experience, my clinical packet, friends, and family. This will help me not have super stressful semester.
As an ATS, I do not feel as confident when I am dealing with the legal and environmental aspects. My lack of confidence is due to the fact that I did not pay enough attention last year in my emergency course. I hope to review these topics so I can become more confident in my ability as an ATS. As an ATS, I feel the most confident when I am working hands on with any injury and athlete. I feel this way because I have continuously practiced these skills to the point that they are second nature. I plan on improving on these weaknesses, which will overall increase my confidence.
Today Kris gave me an athlete that suffered a quad contusion. Kris let me handle the situation, and I chose to stretch him and make sure he stays warm. Whenever the athlete had a break or downtime in a drill, I stretched his quads. I kept watching him throughout practice to see if the knock got better or worsened. The injury stayed the same. He mainly just complained of pain, and was tender on the impacted area of the quad. After practice he came into the clinic, with the same chief complaint. I ultimately decided to do IFC 1-150 for 15 minutes, with the knee in a stretched acute angle, wrapped with ice. I chose to do IFC 1-150 for pain management and some swelling. Then I chose ice on a stretch to reduce tightness. Im curious how the athlete will respond to the treatment, giving that after the treatment he reported feeling a lot better, I’m curious to see how he is tomorrow. This experience gave me the opportunity to decide what treatment I like the best. Depending on how the athlete responds tomorrow, I will ultimately decide if I keep this treatment for future use due to the effectiveness of my treatment.
One of my clinical goals was to master the skills of knowing how to do a knee evaluation by the end of the semester. With recently confidently completing my knee practical, I believe I have met this goal. At first the knee seemed foreign to me, but after studying and attempting the knee practical with my preceptor and a junior ATS, I felt like I was ready to wear a knee mastery black belt. Along with practicals in lower, I have been able to practice and master many modalities during my practicals with D.C. These classes created opportunities in which I was able to get many attempts and masteries in my clinical packet. Every Tuesday I spend time filling out my clinical book from the previous week. I recently was reminded that PBLs can be used for our clinical book. Now I have a lot more ground to cover in my book. Overall, I would say I am not ahead on my clinical book, but I am not behind. I need to spend a day filling out my clinical book to make sure I don’t fall behind or forget anything.
Throughout my rotations during my clinical experience, my favorite part has been doing a football game. Before the game numerous athlete came into the clinic to get treatment, tape, or to say hi. I think in that day I taped 20 ankles and stretched at least 10 athletes. I got to meet a lot more athletes that I did not know. Along with the pre-treatment I got plenty of water ready for the game. I did not realize how much water the team needed in one game. Once the game time started, the high tempo atmosphere erupted. It seemed like I was truly part of the team. Many players thanked me for taping them and I was happy being on water duty for the first half. This experience and atmosphere was special to me because it was the first game I clinically observed. This was the first time I was able to see how my taping and treatments changed the way an athlete plays. This was also a special moment to me because the thanks from the team was very uplifting after a long day.
For my Little Clinical Question, I am partnered with another ATS, Joel Tidman. Our question is, what is the effect of a placebo ankle tape job on college athletes speed? Our question was inspired after two football players spoke to us during preseason. They asked if there is a tape job that helps with sprint speed. We had no idea what the answer was, therefor we constructed and recruited people to join our investigation team. Our AT Advisor is Kris Johnston, our faculty advisor is Dennis Cobler, our content expert is the MS,PT, and CSCS Ryan Lockwood, our Ampersand Center Rep is Joe Vess. Using our question, I am hoping to discover how taping assists in stability, prevention, and psychological benefits. Combining knowledge from my AT classes I have an idea to our question that involves combining anatomy and the gate theory.
After rotating through all the sports and preceptors, I must say there is no place like home! I am now back with my primary preceptor. Being with my primary preceptor makes me feel comfortable because I am going back to someone I’m comfortable with, along with my favorite sport, soccer. I am with the amazing and hilarious Chaypin Buchanan (ATC). Chaypin always furthers my AT knowledge giving me scenarios in which I would choose a treatment or perform certain actions. This helps me know what to do and what not to do in certain scenarios. After going through lots of material in Lower Extremities, Anatomy and Kinesiology, and Modalities, I feel a lot more comfortable in my clinical setting. Using these three classes allows me to reason through injuries, stretches, treatments, and patient care. Doing this shows me how far I have already grown in my journey to become an ATC, and shows me what I need to work on. Overall, I feel a lot more comfortable when I am gaining clinical experience. I know what to expect in each setting and how to care for each athlete and sport differently.
This is my primary preceptor. Some people get confused when they find out this is my preceptor. I am often asked "How? That makes no sense! Really!?" I know it may be hard to believe, but Athletic Training is just that cool. It is just that simple!
In the fall 2016 semester, kinesiology has been my most challenging class. My struggles have occurred in remembering the origins and insertions of muscles. I have been fine learning the bones but for some reason the muscle get me. At first I would just use flashcards that came with the book. This study method worked, but did not meet to my standards. I had to change the way I was studying. I tried writing out the muscles with the flashcards and drawing the muscles on my body. The next test I had much more success as I could visualize the muscle’s origin and insertion on my body. Now I have continued using this study method and my grades on each test are increasing. This class has helped me as a student, because it shows me that sometime your normal study methods will not work for certain classes. You have to adapt and overcome before you are stuck in a hole. This will help me further along the road on my journey to becoming an ATC.