For this journal I am supposed to talk about how I have been meeting one of my goals I set for myself this semester. I think the one that I have done the best with is my evaluation testing. I wanted to become better at eval by checking functional movements for the athlete and strength testing. I understand the concepts behind them, I just never really used them to help with my decision. I usually just got the history, palpation, and some special tests and called it a day. I still used strength testing and functional movements but not how I should have. I took it upon myself to test the athlete’s function of musculature whenever I was doing an eval. I have became pretty decent with it now but it is still not where it needs to be. I started to improve my functional testing by asking the athletes to perform simple everyday tasks (walking, squatting, throw a ball, etc.). At the beginning of the year it was easy to practice because I had a ton of injuries to eval (preseason) but as the semester has gone on The first eval that I did functional testing was for a wrist. I tested grip strength, made sure he could go through ROM, and asked about daily problems he was having from the injury. It didn’t occur to me at the time to ask about how writing was for him. I eventually did and found out that it was just a little painful. It really didn’t tell me much but I did rule the muscles for the thumb which is important. I understand the testing I am doing will not always show me what the problem is, but it is helping me with seeing what the limitations are. I can better understand what exactly is bothering them which will help me understand what the athlete needs to work on to get back to normal.
My clinical experience this semester has been awesome. I have been fortunate enough to be with Melissa and I can honestly say I have definitely improved my abilities as an ATS. I have been able to evaluate injuries the moment it happens, making decisions for treatments to help the athlete recover and learning more about the legal aspect of the job. I believe that my confidence in my abilities has increased dramatically again and my knowledge about how the body works has helped. Being able to explain how everything to athletes as they are in rehab or just getting treatment is one of my favorite parts. It also helps me study at the same time. My favorite experience so far was actually this past week. An athlete went down during practice, then Melissa just asked a couple of questions and gave it to me. As I went through the eval I was never once nervous about what I was doing, and after I asked how I did she told me that I did what I needed to do. I’m pretty sure that Melissa trust me and my abilities as an AT to the point where she just expects that I know what I am doing (at least I think so). It is so fun actually being able to make the decisions for athletes. Obviously everything has to be ran by Melissa first, but I have yet to be told my ideas/treatments for the athletes. This past week I got to set up the gym for the basketball scrimmage, and I killed it yet again. I think the reason why I take being at the clinic serious more serious than class because I just enjoy being at the clinic more. This has been one of my best clinical placements I’ve had yet and I am going to be bummed when next semester comes. I need to start reviewing my injuries and medical conditions that I will need to know for this upcoming exit. Melissa has been kind enough to help me with that as well.
The journal for this week wants me to talk about how I have communicated with my patients and the care team for them. Whenever I am with a patient I try to be very uplifting and straight forward with them. I found it to be much easier to communicate if I am very clear and concise. My rehab patient and I have had great communication after he met me a couple times. At first he really didn’t want to talk that much, but after a couple of rehab sessions he was fine. I also found it easy if I came into the clinic to talk about his rehab plan with Hannah before I started planning his exercises out. I made sure that if there was anything I shouldn’t do or should do for every step of the way. I would ask him how he felt the exercises were and if there was anything he would like to do as well. I think having to do this rehab project for Clinical really helped me with my communication skills. For my first rehab I wanted to make sure I was up to par with what Hannah thought and my patient as well.
For attempts and masteries. I have a couple more attempts to get and I will have enough to finish my packet. I have fell behind on masteries, but I am confident that I will be able to knock out most of what I have in order to finish my packet. Chaypin and I have been on the packet everyday that I am scheduled. I know I will have my packet done by next week.
My greatest weaknesses would have to be procrastination and time management. Last semester was one of my worst when it came to homework and studying. I got so focused on Chemistry that I would put all of my other classes to the side. It turned around to bite me but luckily I made it through. The time management part goes hand and hand with procrastination. I always did my chemistry at night, but during the day I would just go to class, football, and AT on the weekends. This semester I have done much better with both, but I still need to improve because I know I can. I got a planner and went through all of the syllabuses for due dates. I have seen the benefits of just adjusting my habits by a little and I am ready to do better.
My greatest strengths would have to be determination and confidence. When I first got in the program these would have been my weaknesses. I have forced myself to become a better student/friend/son because I want to be better. I was not confident at all last year or last semester. After staying here over the winter and going over my clinical packet with Melissa and Cole I finally realized that I did know more than I thought. Everyday we would go over that packet and I would get more and more confident. Melissa really helped me get over the fear I had of what if I don’t know it. After passing my exit, I had the greatest feeling and ever since then I have been trying to be better because I loved the feeling of being successful.
For attempts and masteries, I have been meeting my goal. I am about 15 attempts away from reaching the required amount. I am a little behind on masteries though because I haven’t been trying for those as much recently, but I met my goal for the week. Chaypin is still really helpful and encouraging when it comes to the clinical packet.
The National Athletic Training Association’s new slogan is “Compassionate Care for All”. I think the slogan really explains how we approach everyone as an AT. I have seen many people come and go through the clinic and they are always treated the same. My preceptors have really given me a good look at how to be more empathetic to people and actually care how their health is. That outlook has definitely rubbed off on me now. Every time someone walks into the clinic I always try to be as friendly as possible so that they don’t feel out of place. I have been around AT’s in high school that really were just going through the motions and some that really enjoyed it. I can tell you that it did make a huge difference on how I felt about AT’s. Now that I am in the clinic and treating people I know how much better it is to be around someone that cares whether you are actually getting better. Personally I enjoy watching people come back from an injury and able to play again. It is one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever had. When I graduate from here and actually having to care for my own athletes I am sure that feeling will be even better.
For attempts and masteries, I fell behind my goal again. I know I was going to try and get more this week because of the lack of hours I had last week, but I fell short. Chaypin and I have agreed to start hammering that packet out so that I don’t have to try and finish with a month left. I have enough attempts and masteries so far that it won’t be that hard to try and finish my packet with two months left in the semester.
This semester Colin and I have decided to look at the NFL scheduling games. Every season there is a Sunday game and a Thursday game. We are going to see if the short recovery time actually increases the chance of injury. This was brought to me and Colin’s attention when we were watching a Thursday night game. Several players had made comments about how they didn’t like the playing on Thursdays because of an increased injury risk. We knew that was going to be our clinical question. We first asked DC what his thoughts were on the subject and he was really interested. He is going to be our content expert because he has been wondering the same thing as us. He is also very knowledgeable with football. We also picked up Chaypin for our AT advisor. I was talking about it with Chaypin one day while I was at tennis practice and she wanted to be apart of our question. She thought it was a good idea and that it would be fun to look at. I think our investigation committee is going to point us in the right direction and help us figure out how to gather our information. I am very excited to research this question because it will be fun.
For attempts and masteries I am still doing good. This week I did not meet my goal though. I wasn’t in the clinic as much as I usually have been because the tennis match this weekend was cancelled. I am going to try to get more attempts this week than normal so I can catch up for not getting enough this past week. Chaypin is still helping me out and keeping me on track.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.