While in the program, I have found it hard to get athletes sometimes to trust in what I say. Other times it took no effort at all for an athlete to trust me. This was usually because they already knew me before any kind of treatments or evaluation. For the athletes I never got to meet beforehand, I found it difficult for them to trust in my advice. Trust is very essential for the relationship between Athletic Trainer and athlete. Without trust, an athlete will always be skeptical of any intervention, diagnoses, or advice from the Athletic Trainer. I have seen this first hand during my early years in the program. I do not blame upperclassmen for not listening to me when I was a sophomore because I was not confident in the information I had at the time. Confidence and the detail for what I was doing at the time were not there, so naturally people probably thought I did not know what I was talking about. This is why I do not blame them for not listening to me. I would not want to listen to a physician who was not confident in his decisions. As the months went on, I started grow my weaknesses and began to build trust with some athletes. I took time to reflect on those relationships to better understand how I got their trust. Majority of it was just explaining what and why I was doing, with a smidge of confidence. As more athletes began to seek out my advice, I noticed myself not worrying about what I knew but instead what I could for them. Trust can be built through many different ways, but I focus on the patient and what their needs are. I try to be a friend to them first so they can feel comfortable telling me their issues. I am not trying to show them I know what I am talking about because they expect me to know more about what is going on with them, in most cases. Once I have some kind of positive relationship, I use honesty to tell them what I see and what I can do. I know that sometimes the truth hurts, but if it can ultimately help someone then it must be utilized. That is why trust is such an important tool Athletic Trainers should use. We are here to take care of people when they are need, so must show care and compassion for them to let us help.
The BOC exam is something that have been dreading and looking forward to. I am not overly fond of very long test that mean very much on my years here in the program. I get very anxious about it because there is just so much material to go over and I feel like I will not be prepared regardless. With that feeling, it drives me constantly be thinking of how I am going to study. Since the practice test two weeks ago I was too confident in myself and thought that I could not study much and be fine for the next one. I found out how wrong I was and saw more things that I did not know well. It is time for me to really sit down and evaluate how I am going to take this beast of a test down. I was very upset with my performance on this last test, but I sat down and asked myself what should I have done differently. The past two weeks I haven’t studied very much at all. I let distractions take place and got behind on some homework that I should not have. My overwhelming feeling got the better of me, and every time I sat down to study all I could think about is how much material there is to study. I am not going to let that happen again by, calming myself and focus on the material that I am currently looking at, going over the material two or three times instead of just once, and try to create questions or quiz myself from the material. I am going to prepare for this next practice test as if it is the real one. I can’t afford to let the little things pull me away from my goal of being certified after years of making sacrifices. If I let the distractions win then my goal becomes the sacrifice and that is not who I am or who I want to be. I know what I need to correct and I am excited to improve. I am not looking at this anymore as studying for a test, but as preparing for my life after Emory & Henry College.
The topic for the journal is what I think challenges are for the profession. There are many that I am sure I will leave out, but I am going to talk about a couple that I have seen first hand. The first challenge would have to be the lack of knowledge people have about Athletic Training. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked about my major and said that sounds fun to train athletes or what kind of workouts do you prefer to do. I have no hard feelings toward people who don’t know about the profession because more than likely they just didn’t know or have never heard of it. I actually like explaining to people what exactly I can do and my knowledge I have. I always get a kick out of people when their faces are wowed by what I know. I think it would be easy to fix this by having it more advertised to the general public. Another setback from the same issue is people not trusting my opinion. During my offsite time at Virginia High, I saw this first hand happen as my opinion was not taken seriously. I know that I am just a student and it's hard for people to trust someone who is not certified or they don’t know in general. I think getting a second opinion is great because I know that I am not the smartest and am human. Everyone makes mistakes and that is okay. During my high school days I would hear people talk about our AT as if he had no clue what he is doing. I know now the education he went through more than qualifies him to know what he is talking about. If someone wants to get the diagnoses from a physician or rehab with a PT that is perfectly fine with because at the end of day it is their choice. I will never force a patient to do anything just give advice on what I think, and if my advice is not good enough then it is perfectly fine with me. Another issue, people thinking that AT’s are only with high schools. I have had many people ask after explaining my major, what high school are you gonna try to work at? I always reply back, If I can land a high school job that will be great or at a clinic, hospital, etc. Whoever I am talking to is always surprised to hear this and it makes me laugh. I like to explain different settings I could work in and what my preferences are and they seem to find it really interesting. After thinking about all these issues, the major cause is a lack of knowledge people have about the profession. It is a newer profession some many people have never had the personal experience, but I think more people are learning now more than ever.
During my time in the program I have experienced many lows and highs. Everything that I have been through has molded me into who I am now as a student. I know I have not been the best student at times but my work ethic in the clinic is what has saved me. Having all of the preceptors that believe in my skills has helped me tremendously. Confidence in the beginning was my biggest weakness early on. The material was not that hard to learn, but I let distractions enter into my life which made it harder to learn. I think in this last semester I want to prove to myself how much I’ve learned while being here at Emory. The reason I feel the need for this is because of the certification test I am going to take in March. My confidence in the my ability to learn is at an all time high along with my confidence in my knowledge and skills. I believe that this semester is going to be my best overall because of my confidence and that I like my classes. The past couple of semesters I have dreaded going to class because I always felt like I was behind. That feeling completely eats up my motivation to be successful. When failure seems like you’re only option it is hard to see the bright side. I have learned to overcome this by just sitting down and doing what needs to be done. I feel so much better after and my stress goes away. These are the reasons why I see this semester being my best in the program. I am ready to elevate myself higher than I’ve ever been. I am just curious at this point about how good I can do if I really try. I have all the tools and skills I need now after 3 years.
This semester had many ups and downs throughout. The good thing about this semester is that I am done with the biology components of the major. I let myself get to worried about those classes that I pushed away the rest of my classes. I got satisfied with doing the bare minimum which showed in my final grades in class. I know what I need to do in order to fix my motivation to be successful in each of my classes from now on. I felt with my schedule this year that I couldn’t be successful at all. I kinda gave up during the middle of the semester to be honest. Going from class all day straight to AT until 8 or 10 at night just drained the life out of me. When I would get back I wouldn’t want anything to do with homework because I just wanted to go to bed instead. I now see that I have to take advantage of the time off from AT hours and class to get my work done. If I just do the little things I know that I will be more successful than I ever have been. On the bright side, with everything that I was going through I still managed to be successful. In the clinic, Melissa said I was a rock star and that really means a lot to me. Majority of my motivation comes from how well I do in the clinic. I enjoy the clinical experience more than anything I do in school. I feel the clinic is where I evaluate myself the most. I know that this time next year I will have a job (hopefully as an AT), so I treat the clinic as if I am an employee and not a student. There are obviously differences between the two, but to me it is a way to see what exactly I am going to do later. I know my strengths and weaknesses now better than ever and plan on working on them. As a student, I am going to take class the same way as I do with clinical experience. I have sacrificed a lot of things to better myself so there is no excuses anymore for my mistakes. Learning from these and actually trying to better myself will be the most challenging part for the next semester.
At the beginning of each semester, we are required to set goals for ourselves to better our AT skills or knowledge. The goals I set for myself were set up for me to improve my evaluation skills in general illnesses, areas of the body that I didn’t feel comfortable with, and my knowledge of testing muscle strength and function. During the men’s soccer season, I saw many hip problems (an area that I wanted to improve on) ranging from chronic to acute. Most acute injuries were just strains that happened in practice or during a game. During the evals I tried to distinguish which muscle was exactly injured by manual muscle testing. I would ask Melissa if I was not confident by explaining how I would test the muscle. She corrected me several times in the position I would have the athlete in. I never really thought of how important the position of the athlete is when testing strength. As the semester went on, I refined the techniques Melissa taught me by performing them during evals and on myself. I would put myself in the positions that I would ask the athletes to in order to get a feel of what it is like. The only goal I feel like I didn’t improve on is general illness evaluation. The only real illnesses that I got to see were with Dr Handy. Being on his rotation was awesome because I saw illnesses and conditions I learned about in class. Although this rotation wasn’t as hands on, I still learned a lot during my time there. Dr Handy explained everything very thorough and what I should look for as an AT and how to treat these illnesses. Of course for most part I would just refer because the treatments are out of my scope, but it was still very interesting to learn. I think being with Melissa and Dr Handy elevated my knowledge of evaluation very much. I know how to differentiate illnesses, conditions, and injuries much better than I ever have. There is still much room for improvement and I am looking forward to it.
For the five domains in AT, I feel most confident in evaluation of injuries and emergency care. I feel like those have been drilled in my head over and over again. It also helps that the first two years in the program have been based around these two. I don’t know which I am more confident in as of right now because I haven’t really been studying them as much as I would like due to the two biology classes I am taking. They have really taken a lot of my time up this semester, but in the clinic whenever I am doing evals or any kind of emergency situation I never feel like I don’t know what to do. I think going over situations with Melissa have benefitted me very much. When an injury occurs, I think of how the athlete could have been injured worse and go through what action is needed to do. The worst domain for me is budget part mainly because we haven’t finished learning this part. I feel like I still am not where I need to be right now. I want to start reviewing this area. I believe if I go over the types budgets then I will be able to put everything together. I could do mini mock budget for a couple of items that I would need in a clinic with my preceptor or teacher. The feedback on my budget would benefit me in the long run. I also want to go over rehab/strengthening programs so I understand the phases of the rehab process. Transitioning to another phase is hardest part because there is no set time limit for each phase. I want to better understand when I can progress to the next phase because returning to participation is huge part this career. This will help me with studying for the final in clinical, the BOC, and if I will have to create a budget where I work at. My plan for studying is to look over all the previous material during break of what I am rusty on. Looking over my notes from my previous AT classes and comparing them to the book will allow me to look at details I missed before.
For journal 12 of the Fall 2018 semester, I have pick a treatment used for a injury and explain why I chose that specific treatment. An equine athlete came in complaining of back pain. My eval lead me to believe that she had tight musculature at her upper back (rhomboids, upper traps, and paraspinals). So her pain was not too severe and her back was not too tight yet. I had a choice of manual message, cupping or scraping for initial treatments. The spasms were more deep and not very big which made me pick the manual massage treatment. I chose manual massage because I wanted to make sure that the spasms would be effectively reached. If I was to use suction I feel like I would not be attacking the issue as well because the spasms were so small. Using my hands I could make sure all the spasms would be treated. If I would have picked to scrape her back I feel that I would not have good control of the pressure being applied. With my hands I could easily gauge how much pressure I was putting on her. Manual therapy to me is a really effective tool that is underutilized. I like to really feel what I am doing with my own sense of feel. I clarified my treatment first with Chaypin and explained my reasoning as to why. She agreed with my thoughts as to why I chose manual massage. Being able to make the decision for treatments of athletes is very fun and exciting. I get to figure out what kind of treatments might be best for athletes because no one heals the same. It is like problem with multiple ways to figure out the solution, but deciding which one works best is the hard part that I like going through.
For the five domains in AT, I feel most confident in evaluation of injuries and emergency care. I feel like those have been drilled in my head over and over again. It also helps that the first two years in the program have been based around these two. I don’t know which I am more confident in as of right now because I haven’t really been studying them as much as I would like due to the two biology classes I am taking. They have really taken a lot of my time up this semester, but in the clinic whenever I am doing evals or any kind of emergency situation I never feel like I don’t know what to do. I think going over situations with Melissa have benefited me very much. When an injury occurs, I think of how the athlete could have been injured worse and go through what action is needed to do. The worst domain for me is budget part mainly because we haven’t finished learning this part. I feel like I still am not where I need to be right now. I want to start reviewing this area. I believe if I go over the types budgets then I will be able to put everything together. I could do mini mock budget for a couple of items that I would need in a clinic with my preceptor or teacher. The feedback on my budget would benefit me in the long run. I also want to go over rehab/strengthening programs so I understand the phases of the rehab process. Transitioning to another phase is hardest part because there is no set time limit for each phase. I want to better understand when I can progress to the next phase because returning to participation is huge part this career. This will help me with studying for the final in clinical, the BOC, and if I will have to create a budget where I work at.
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.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.