This past week I was able to work on my evaluation skills. Being on Kris’ rotation, I have gotten a lot of experience in regards to the rotator cuff and back muscles. Many baseball players come into the clinic with pain in their infraspinatus, lattisimus dorsi, pectoralis, and supraspinatus. I have been able to do a lot of trigger point on these muscles, and become very familiar with palpating these muscles. This has worked toward my goal of studying anatomy, studying signs and symptoms, and working on my evaluation skills, which cover all of my clinical goals for this semester. The most prevalent of these goals in my opinion is working on my evaluation skills. With the repetition of the same problems in the clinic with the baseball team, I have been able to learn a lot about what muscles are affected by specific motions. For example, I know that the infraspinatus is often irritated during the deceleration phase of a pitch because of the nature of the muscle to slow down the arm. Kris has also done an excellent job with explaining to me why the baseball players are having the signs and symptoms that they are experiencing.
A specific instance when I was able to put this knowledge to use was when a tennis player came into the clinic over spring break. She was complaining about shoulder pain, and Chaypin was not there to perform the evaluation. Kris was finishing a treatment on one of his athletes, and he asked me to perform the evaluation on this athlete. She was complaining of pain in the posterolateral portion of her shoulder, so I asked her at what time in her serve does she experience pain. She continued to explain that her follow through causes her the most pain. Using what I had learned through baseball, I palpated her infraspinatus and was able to determine that it was the source of her pain. Kris confirmed my suspicion, and we were able to perform some trigger point as treatment in the time that we had left in the clinic. I was apprehensive about performing the evaluation at first because I still feel unfamiliar with the shoulder, so it was encouraging to make the correct diagnosis with this patient.
This week I performed approximately 24 attempts during my elbow and forearm practical test with Brianne. These ranged from ROM to MMT to special tests.
This year’s NATA slogan, “Your Protection is our Priority”, I think accurately describes our profession very well in just five words. This slogan can be interpreted a couple different ways, each pertaining to a different area of athletic training. One of these interpretations being putting the athletes first. That is the whole reason that we do what we do. Everything that is seen and everything that is done behind the scenes works toward the protection of the athlete. Even ensuring that the athletes have water or making sure that there is sunscreen available work towards the protection of the athletes, as small as they may seem. On the other side of the spectrum, the “big” things that we do work towards the athlete’s safety just the same. All of the complex tape jobs, the modalities, the rehabs,learning as many injuries as possible, and the outside research conducted in hopes of injury prevention help protect the athlete.
Another way this slogan can represent our profession is through privacy of the athlete. It is our job to protect the athlete as well as his or her own personal right to their privacy concerning any of the medical history or any other information that they entrust us with. We are held responsible under the law to ensure that all of the information that we either are told by an athlete or that we diagnosis or discover concerning the athlete are handled appropriately and professionally.
I think this slogans help remind us and others of the importance of this profession. It is easy to get caught up in a routine, but once reminded of why we do what we do, it is also easy to remember that it is definitely worth it. It takes an individual with a servant’s heart to be involved in athletic training, and one can see this plainly when in the clinic. I think that the slogan for this year also helps portray that one of the most important aspects of the profession is putting other people first. Remembering this makes me very proud of what ATCs and ATSs are known for and what they are responsible for doing.
This week we continued working on the elbow unit and started the wrist, hand, and finger unit. I had nine attempts for nine different elbow special tests, including the varus and valgus stress tests, radioulnar stress test, hyperextension test, golfer’s elbow test etc. We began learning palpations for the wrist, hand, and finger unit.
This semester, I am feeling very good about the semester clinical packet. I have slacked off within the last week, but up until then I have stayed on top of what we have been doing in class. It has been hard so far to practice some of the skills in actual practice in the clinic because we have complete the cervical spine, and we just finished the shoulder. Now that I feel more confident about the shoulder, it will be nice to get some real practice in the clinical setting. I have yet to go through the packet with my practical tests from Brianne’s lower extremity class to finalize all of my masteries, but that is something I am hoping to accomplish over spring break so that my masteries are ready for signatures. It has been very different than last year for me because last year I struggled the most with remembering to write down dates as we went along in class. It was difficult to try to remember when we did what in which class when filling out the packet. However, I learned from last semester and have been making notes of dates on which day we practice the tasks in class beside the list of competencies in the front of the clinical packet. I have also found that by filling out my packet as we go, it makes me reflect on what I learned in that class period and helps me to remember the special tests much for efficiently.
I know that the packet is a source of stress for me and many other of my classmates; however, it is very encouraging when i look through the packet and am able to see progress within its pages. By adding the dates of attempts beside the list at the beginning, it shows me how much progress I have made and some sort of gauge as to how much farther we have to go. So not only I am saving myself from heartache in the future by filling out the packet in a disciplined manner, I am also helping myself to stay encouraged and positive concerning the semester.
This week we started working on the elbow in Lower Extremity, so we have just went through the elbow palpations and ROM this week. This means that I have four attempts which are constituted of the ROM for the elbow motions. Even though we have not specifically covered manual muscle testing for the muscles associated with the elbow, we discussed where to find the muscles and what motions that they are responsible for.