I feel less confident as an ATS when asked to do an evaluation alone. I feel okay until I receive an answer from the athlete that I do not expect. For example, I recently did an ankle evaluation on a female basketball player and she complained of pain being on the medial side of her ankle and some on the medial malleolus. I did not expect this; therefore, it was harder for me to try to decide what exactly was wrong. While preforming evaluations, I believe that I am least confident in my palpations, and I often worry if I am checking all the different ROMs that should be checked. I believe this is because I am very inexperienced in evaluations, palpations, etc.
On the other hand, I feel most confident as an ATS when helping with rehab or taping. Because I have made a point to do as much taping as possible, I believe that it has greatly influenced my confidence level. I feel as if I am a perfectionist in regards to taping, and do not mind taking extra time to ensure that everything fits and looks correct. Also, I have not been able to help with many rehab sessions, but the ones that I have attended, I have loved to help with. I get a lot of happiness from seeing the athletes work hard and accomplish things that they couldn't do the day before. I enjoy encouraging them and pushing them to get better. I think I feel confident in rehab, especially when it is in the weight room, because I really like to pay attention to form and the quality of movements. I think because of my own experience in the weight room, it has been able to translate into my confidence level when helping others in a similar setting.
I performed massage therapy on a volleyball player's back and shoulders in the clinic as a therapeutic intervention. I selected this treatment because she was complaining of tightness and knots in her shoulders that were causing her pain. I am partial to this treatment because I know how effective it has been for me as an athlete. I intended for this treatment to remove the tightness that she was experiencing and to provide pain relief from the knots that were in her shoulders. I hoped that this would increase her ROM and better the quality of that ROM. I used the effleurage technique with petrissage and trigger point. After performing the treatment, I assessed the effectiveness by asking the athlete about her pain levels. The pain levels had decreased along with some of the tightness she had been experiencing. Despite the pain that accompanied the treatment, the athlete experienced immediate relief post treatment. This will effect my future clinical decision making by recognizing the effects that massage therapy have on athletes and utilizing it the best I can. I favor the immediate effects that massage have on the athlete and strongly believe that the athlete also receives beneficial psychological effects from the manual therapy as well. It causes athletes to relax in that moment which may be something that they do not get to do very often. Therefore, while receiving treatment, the athlete also receives a mental break, which may increase their athletic and academic performance.
One of my clinical goals was to refine my taping skills by practicing a minimum of two tape jobs per week with my preceptor. I believe that this goal has gone very well, and that my taping skills have improved tremendously since the beginning of the year. I feel much more confident when taping now, and am not so hesitant to offer my help when taping needs to be done. My preceptors have done an awesome job of taking time to teach my taping jobs that are not as common, and they make sure that I do them correctly. I have learned how to do a spiral tape job, a figure eight thumb spica, use moleskin stirrups, offer an alternative to a spiral wrist tape, and others on top of making my ankle taps better by reducing wrinkles and being able to alter the tightness of the tape to best suit the athlete.
My clinical packet has been getting a lot more love recently than earlier in the semester. Early on, the clinical packet really just made me frustrated because I had already gotten masteries for the things that I knew how to do, which wasn't a whole lot, so it became sedentary for a while. However, once we really got into the swing of the semester, I started realizing that it was time to bring it back out. I am fairly pleased with the progress I have made in it so far, even though I am not meeting my goal every week. With that being said, during weeks that we have practicals, I am exceeding my goal which is hopefully making up for the weeks that I do not have as much luck. I am missing a few signatures for what we have had tests on to get a mastery and have a plan to get those this week to catch up so that I can get a numerical idea of the progress I have made so far. Because I am only a couple hours short of meeting the minimum hours needed for clinical, I am hoping that I can get more times during day treatments and rehabs instead of pre- or post-practice treatments to try to focus on skills within the clinical packet that are not as common as others.