This week, I was gaining clinical experience at a softball game. We were relocated to the field at Abingdon High School because the game was later in the evening and lights were going to be needed to finish the game. We were about half way through the first game of the double header, and there was an opportunity for a double play. An ball was hit to an infielder, the infielder threw through the ball to the third baseman, and then the third baseman made a throw to first. The throw to first base soared over the first baseman’s head because the third baseman experienced an injury at the end of the throw. The runner from second took a late slide into third base, slid up over the base, and took out the third baseman’s ankle. The player hit the ground and started rolling because of the pain. Melissa and I ran onto the field and saw that there was an obvious deformity of her ankle. Part of her ankle popped back into place on its own, but the ankle was still extremely displaced. Her foot looked as if it was dangling from the rest of her leg. I ran back to the dugout, grabbed melissa’s kit, and starting pulling out supplies to begin splinting the ankle. It was obvious that her ankle was at the least dislocated, but also a possible break. The ankle and lower leg were stabilized while the SAM splint was applied. I wrapped the ace wrap around the SAM splint to secure the splint, and then we lowered her leg and waited for EMS to arrive.
The x-ray from the hospital showed that her fibula was broken along with her medial malleolus. Up until this point, the most serious injury that I had seen during clinical was an ACL tear. This experience truly drove home how a calm disposition during emergency situations is crucial for the athlete and the mental processes for the clinician. After I saw her ankle, I had just a moment where I wanted to freak out, but instincts quickly set in. I knew that it was important to stay calm so that I could think clearly and keep the patient calm.
This week, I received approximately 25 masteries. I did multiple scenarios with my preceptors, and also was able to receive mastery from therapeutic interventions that I performed in the clinic
I do believe that my communication skills have gotten better this semester! Not only do I feel like they have improved with the team that I am placed with, but I feel that they have improved with all of the athletes that are in the clinic. I have been able to create much deeper relationships, especially with the softball team, through clinical experience. One example of this is a softball player who I somewhat knew prior to being placed with the softball team. I used to have classes with this player, but we have not had one together for about a year. This player has recently went through a traumatic death in her family, and she has been struggling with healing from that loss. She was never hesitant about mentioning the death to me, but she has opened up even more since I have been placed with her team. We have had quite a few conversation about this person in her life, and she has been able to open up to me about how she has been feeling, which included confusion, shock, guilt, responsibility for the death, but also happiness because she knows her loved in is in a better place. This was a big turning point in athletic training for me personally. I have often thought about being able to be a person that an athlete could turn to for issues that aren’t always physical, but I have never been able to practice it to this extent. The athlete admitted to me that she enjoys talking about her loved one, but sometimes feels as if she can’t talk about the loss to friends because she’s does not want pity. She also feels as if she can’t express her feelings to other family members because they do not want to speak of the event. It brought my understanding of the weight of this profession to a new level.
Additionally, I feel that I was able to improve my communication skills with my supervising preceptor. My schedule for tennis has been extremely sporadic, and it has caused changes to occur often in my availability for clinical experience. I have had to continually communicate about these changes, and also have discussed other opportunities outside of practices to receive clinical hours. Even though the cause of this increase in communication wasn’t ideal, it was beneficial in the grand scheme of things.
This week, I was able to finish my attempts in my packet.
I think for this journal I will start with the more negative and end on the positive. My biggest weakness in regards to my major is probably my lack of passion for the major. When I first began the major, I was very eager to be involved, and my passion was through the roof. However, as my desire for different career paths have increased, my passion for athletic training has decreased. I still very much enjoy the material that we learn, but being in the clinic has become more of a perceived responsibility than a potential learning experience even though I am still learning while I’m in the clinic. I am unsure about how to change this perception that has weaved it’s way into my academic life. I would love to still have the same passion that I had when I began in the program, and i do still enjoy helping the athletes, but I feel like I am at a standstill. Another weakness that has made its way into my life this semester was my inability to plan efficiently. My planner has slowly made its way out of the picture when it should have been becoming more important. Through this, I have missed important meetings or forgotten about other assignments or studying. This is solely a lack of discipline that I take responsibility for. To fix this, I just need to be more intentional about planning, whether it be through my planner or another resource like Google Calendar. I believe that I have mentioned this weakness before, but I believe I have a weakness in rehab progress. I can continue to improve in this domain by practicing with real rehabs, speaking with preceptors, and studying example protocols.
On the other hand, I believe that one of my strengths is interpersonal skills. I love making new relationships and getting on the same level as others. I feel like I can easily relate with most other people, which I find helpful during treatments with those who I do not know very well. Additionally, I feel like strength and conditioning aspects of athletic training is a strength for me (no pun intended). I have always been very interested in strength and conditioning, and I have a fairly strong background in regards to proper form for exercises. I can continue to get better by playing into my strengths and continuing to pursue knowledge in those areas.
This week, I received attempts from Beth’s PBL, and received attempts while talking with Chaypin during the tennis match.
Challenging conversations are something that I have had no choice but to get better in within the past few months. I have had to have quite a few challenging conversations, and I definitely believe that practice makes perfect. I have learned that the best way for me to handle that difficult talks is to try to approach it from the other person’s point of view. This can pertain to one’s personal life, professional life, etc. Seeing someone else’s perspective can both allow me to go into the conversation with a level head and a sense of understanding, and it can also make the other party feel more comfortable. I believe that above all, we all just want to be understand and feel like we are being heard with a sense of understanding. By putting ourselves in others’ shoes, that can oftentimes be accomplished. Unfortunately, there are other situations where a consensus cannot be mutually found. In this case, I believe that approaching the situation with a desire to know the other side of the story is extremely significant. It is important to be able to hold our own tongues and allow another person to speak. Additionally, it may sound corny, but I strongly believe in “I” statements instead of “you” statements. By using this method of communication, there can be an avoidance of a feeling of blame or pointing fingers. I believe there is a lot to say about someone who can handle conflict with empathy instead of a persona of arrogance and the “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude.
In the past, the challenging conversations with my mother have never had a calm ending. We are both pretty strong in our personalities (I come by it honestly), so we have had the tendency to butt heads. However, after having many literal come to Jesus meetings, I have learned a calm demeanor can put even the greatest qualms to rest. After learning this, I changed the way I talked to my mom about going to Nepal for example, and the conversations have been much more fruitful. I understand that she worries because she loves me, and now she understands that I feel the need to go and devote my time to a cause I care about. Even though we still don’t fully understand each other all the time, we can give each other the respect and kindness that we deserve.
This week, I have received attempts from Beth’s PBL and have been able to fill in much more of my clinical packet.
Hopping into my mental time machine gives me a lot of different options. I have been trying especially hard lately to stay present, while also attempting to stay practical in planning. This has been somewhat of a challenge, but I feel like I’m getting better at it. As of this moment, two different options come to mind when I think about my future. I can definitely see myself having gone through graduate school within the next three to four years. I will have graduated from undergrad with an athletic training degree and gone onto a physician’s assistant studies program (specifically at University of Colorado or California Baptist College - these are the two main ones on my radar at the moment). I imagine myself working in a hospital setting with a pediatrics specialty. In my wildest dreams, I would like to work at St. Judes or a hospital with a similar cause to work with pediatric oncology. A passion to make a difference in a child’s life and his or her family’s lives would be my motivating factor to get up and go to work in the mornings. My main goal in my professional life is to do as much as possible to make the greatest positive and beneficial impact on others’ lives as I can. Additionally, I imagine that a desire to help provide for my family would push me to get out of bed and encourage me to work hard.
On the other hand, I can see my life being very different from what I just describe. I do have a passion for helping patients in the medical field, but I have a burning passion unlike any other to work in the mission field. I can definitely see myself in the rather near future being a missionary in America. I have a desire to be successful, but I have any more of a desire to honor God with my life and be obedient to the calling He has given me. Right now, I feel a strong push to pour into college-aged women in America because college can be such a dark time for so many people. This could potentially mean not being in a set place and having to travel extremely often. Despite how different these two outcomes may look, I can also see how God could weave them together. There is definitely a ministry through the medical field, and that is something I would be open to if the Lord placed it on my heart.
This week, I have made more connections with some members in the ministry that I am passionate about by travelling to Campobello, SC for a gathering. Additionally, even though it be small, I studied fairly hard for the gen med test we were given. I believe that when we are faithful in the small, we will be faithful in the big. Additionally, this week I have received attempts from Beth’s PBL, a safety inspection attempt in the clinic, and attempts from the gen med test in DC’s class.
The idea behind “Compassionate Care for All” may be my favorite aspect of athletic training. I believe that this characteristic of athletic training helps set it apart and makes this profession very special and unlike others in the healthcare field. I have talked about the relational aspect of athletic training in multiple of my past journals, but it is such an important part to me about what I am being trained to do. I feel like it is easy for athletic trainers to display compassion for their athletes because there is a personal relationship between the athletes and the athletic trainer that is built over time. Even if there is not a name to name basis or a past history or communication between the two parties, the athlete is still known the athletic trainer. The athletic trainer is at every practice and game and has at least noticed the athlete at one time or another. I believe it says a lot to the patient when the healthcare provider is simply just present and easily accessible.
I feel like I embody this concept by truly having an interest in the health and overall well being of the athletes. I feel like the athletes can sense when an athletic trainer or any other healthcare provider or clinician is being present with them and truly listening to what they have to say and how they feel. This is something that I work on every time I am with a patient. I want the athlete to feel very taken care of and as if they are truly being heard. Furthermore, I take what the athlete has told me, both considering the injury and other information like family life, mental state, stress level, etc., and take all of these things into consideration while planning treatments and rehabs. I like to put myself into the athlete’s shoes and really try to experience what they are experiencing. However, sometimes that can get me into trouble. I have had to learn throughout my time in the athletic training program that it is important to be empathetic, but it is also important to stay focused and withdrawn enough to make logical and not emotionally based decisions. Finding this balance has been very beneficial to my clinical experience.
This week I received attempts from the PBL in Beth’s clinical class, and I received approximately 3 attempts from working on my packet in the clinic.
This semester, our little clinical question is, “Does tenotomy on the biceps tendon with labrum repair make athletes with overhead activity more susceptible to biceps tendinopathy after returning to play?” Sam is working with a male soccer athlete for her rehabilitation project who had labrum surgery. He is a goalie for the Emory & Henry soccer team, and his surgery consisted of a tenotomy of the biceps tendon. We suspect that this was a good option for him because he does not spend a majority of his athletic participation with his arms overhead. We have heard that the biceps tendon simply regrows, but with a different origin. This sparked our interest. Because the surgery seems to have so much success, we began to wonder if this approach to surgery would be worth the risk despite the seemingly great labrum repair results if the athlete had an increased chance of the chronic injury. Biceps tendinopathy is already a massive chronic issue that overhead athletes struggle with, so I wonder if a surgeon would take special precautions in a scenario with an overhead athlete such as a volleyball player or a tennis player for example.
For our committee, we have asked Hannah Clementson to be the athletic trainer on our team. We picked Hannah because she is athletic trainer over many overhead sports. She works with the volleyball team, the baseball team, and has previously helped with the tennis team. Hannah is also currently working with athletes who are recovering with labrum surgery. It would take further research about their surgeries, but we could potentially compare her athletes progress with those who received a tenotomy of the biceps tendon during surgery. Additionally, we believe that Hannah could offer a lot of insight into our research because of her experience. We also asked Beth Funkhouser to join our committee because we trust her knowledge of surgeries. I feel like as an athletic trainer it is important to know about the nature of surgeries that athletes go through and understand what happens to the anatomy during a surgery. I am confident of Beth’s insight when it comes to discussing surgeries and helping us get a full understanding. Additionally, Beth is very knowledge about current trends and always has useful articles to offer. Lastly, we wanted to ask Coach Caro to join our research committee. I feel like Coach Caro will be able to offer a different viewpoint to the recovery and long lasting effects of a tenotomy to the biceps tendon. I believe that this strength and conditioning perspective will help create a holistic view of the athlete’s recovery.
This week, I received 2 attempts in clinical experience and approximately two attempts from the PBL.
The reason that I appreciate athletic training so much is because of the holistic approach to the care that is provided. I believe that knowing the athlete before the injury is a major cause of the feeling to provide holistic care. Creating a relationship with the athlete makes it easier to invest into them personally, instead of solely investing into their injury. For example, with my rehabilitation project this semester, I know the athlete very well and was previously her teammate. This relationship that I created previously to her injury makes me feel personally invested into her healing process. I want not only her knee to heal, but for her health, both physically and mentally, to be better than it was prior to her ACL tear.
Additionally, I think that it is important to treat the entire person instead of just the injury, especially in the college athletics environment, because of the statistic of athletes with depression. I just returned back from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes - College Advance annual retreat, and many of the testimonies of the athletes there involve depression. Quite a few athletes were only able to come to the retreat because they were injured, and for most of them it is life altering, if only for a season. They explain how they feel useful and powerless because they are not able to do what they have a passion to do. They are a part of a team dynamic, and when an injury occurs, it is stripped from them. They often feel as if they are no longer apart of the team. This can very easily turn down a path of depression and self-destruction. An athletic trainer can be pivotal for the athlete during this healing process. We have the opportunity to be the person that they lean into to share what they’re going through and how their mental health is functioning.
Additionally, I feel that it is important to look at the entire athlete physically as well as mentally because other issues have the potential to arise when an athlete is performing rehab for a specific injury. Because the rehab process can be such a strenuous process, other pains may arise throughout other areas of the body that would need attention. By taking care of the entire body, the athlete may feel more cared about and more trust can established between the AT and the athlete
This week, I didn’t receive any masteries.
I feel like rehabilitation is one of the biggest roles for an athletic trainer. Much of the time spent in the clinic is with athletes who are there for rehabilitation. I feel like athletic trainers have a big advantage when it comes to rehabs because there is awareness about how their athletes operate before an injury. Knowing the athlete’s personality, work ethic, pain tolerance, and other history is very helpful in the rehab if/when an injury occurs. After an injury, an athletic trainer is responsible for diagnosis and knowledge of how to correctly create a rehabilitation plan based on the extent of the injury and the progression of injury phases. Outside of the typical rehabilitation process, I believe that it is crucial that an athletic trainer be there emotionally for the patient. I know firsthand that an injury can really put a damper on not only the patient’s athletics, but on the overall mood and lifestyle of the athlete. It was always nice to know that my athletic trainer was there for my physical health, but to also just be a friend to me, especially in the rehabilitation process.
In the beginning of a rehabilitation, the main goal is to reduce pain, swelling, and increase ROM. Once the pain has diminished according the patient, swelling has noticeably decreased, and some ROM has returned, the next step of rehab can be taken. The next step involves maintaining ROM while establishing neuromuscular control. Strengthening will be the next step as well. My patient’s main goal right now is to strengthen the involved side to equal her uninvolved side.
I feel like having knowledge over the phases of healing and being able to recognize the signs of each healing phase is crucial to knowing when to progress patients. Additionally, I feel like it is important to understand when the athlete is not being challenged enough. Knowing and investing into the athlete personally can help with this step in the rehabilitation progress in my opinion. I personally feel like I need to really improve at knowing when to progress my patients. I always have an underlying fear that I will push them too hard, but also that I might not be pushing them hard enough. I feel like this semester will help me find a balance of knowing how to progress patients through the rehab project.
This week, I received 3 attempts from the PBL in Beth’s clinical class.
As an athletic training student, I think the most obvious challenge we face is managing our time. It is very difficult to spread time between getting enough clinical hours, studying adequately for both AT classes and other prerequisite/required courses, getting enough rest, maintaining at least decent mental health by having moments to ourselves, and time for sports if we are athletes. I like that this major has demanded that I manage my time well, and I believe that it is preparing me for my future with the amount of responsibility that we are expected to uphold; however, I sometimes feel as if I am wishing this season of my life away because I far too often do not enjoy what I do unfortunately. I think it was also hard for AT students to become involved in other things on campus that they may find interesting or engage in volunteer opportunities because of the demand of the major. I am involved in many of the spiritual life activities on campus because it is a very important aspect of my life that I want to share with others, but it is at an expense of much of my study time, sleep, and other activities. Unfortunately, I believe that other athletic training students may choose to not get involved in other activities that they may be passionate about because of the stress that it may add to getting their hours, completing their clinical packet, or studying for their classes.
For the most part I do not find it difficult to manage all of my responsibilities because I feel like I do not think about all I have to do or what I may miss out on, and I just do what has to be done. The most difficult part for me personally is not engaging in some of the things that I love because I don’t have the time. For example, I would love to visit home more often, but my schedule does not allow it. I would love the opportunity to invest more heavily into the relationships and friendships that I have discovered while at Emory, but again, sometimes my schedule just won’t have it. However, I am trying to be content in the time that I have here, regardless of whether I am enjoying it at the moment or not. I have found the most help in my brothers and sisters in Christ when I find myself in a slump. They never fail to lift me up and encourage me whenever I’m feeling down or overwhelmed. Time spent with this family is time that I will never regret, and the moments that I have with them are going to be the moments that I remember most when I look back at my time at Emory.
This week I did not get any attempts or masteries.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.