This semester I didn’t think I would have much trouble with my classes except for Chemistry. My last chemistry class was my junior year of high school. So I knew I was going to have to study extra for this class. However, I do not think this is the most challenging class I am taking this semester. For me personally, I believe my Human Anatomy class is the hardest. It doesn’t seem like this class would be challenging, but for some reason I can not grasp the material well. I know a lot of the material he teaches in class, but I cannot do well on the tests. I think one part of this reason is because I am very intimidated by Dr. Graham. He teaches the PA students at Emory’s Graduate school, which is where I want to go. So I feel a lot of pressure in his class to make myself do well because I want to be able to open up to him and let him know I am very interested in Emory’s PA program. However, I have not felt like I have been doing good enough in his class to be able to do that, so I am trying to push myself to get better grades so I can open up to him. I think that’s a main reason I find this class challenging because I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to do so well in that class that I begin to second guess myself. Since our first test, I have changed how I have been studying. I have been reading the chapter before he goes over it in class which has been really helpful. I have also begun to do this in all of my classes. I have been finding it hard to find time to do this in all classes, but it has been so much helpful to know the material before the lecture. I think this is a good way to change the way I study. I have been focusing a lot of my time on Human Anatomy. I have a test coming up this Tuesday, so I have been studying for this test for the past two weeks. So hopefully I have figured out a way to increase my grade in this class. This week I was able to get 3 attempts. I have been slacking a lot in clinical book, so I am trying to plan time this week where I can go into the clinic and get masteries.
My clinical question this year is “Does consistent lack of sleep affect sports performance in collegiate athletes.” My clinical committee consists of Am as my group partner, Melissa Davis as my AT advisor, Brianne Kilbourne as my Faculty Advisor, and Mike Caro as my content expert. Am and I decided to research this clinical topic because as athletes we feel we do not get enough sleep. Of course there is multiple variables that take into account when complaining of not having enough sleep. This question is more personal to us in order to find the answers to how to better ourselves as athletes. There is also a player on our team who does not get enough sleep each week, and we wanted to know if this affects her performance. However, this question is a lot bigger than just personal use. We are very curious to research the different amounts of sleep needed in order to have the highest performance rate. Being a part of the SAAC committee, I have been able to hear a lot of complaints from the athletes. A big complaint involves getting back from an away game around midnight and having to go to classes or practice early in the morning. This research would be good information to relay back to the SAAC department to show what the studies have proven about collegiate athletes, and their performance based on their sleep. Lastly, this research will allow me to be able to help other athletes in balancing their time to either get more sleep or prioritize when they have multiple games during that week. So far we have been able to find three articles that will be really beneficial to our question. Coach Caro has read many studies on this case and is eager to work with Am and I on finding the best articles for our clinical question.
This week I didn’t have much time to get many masteries or attempts because it was fall break. However, since it was fall break I was able to attend a practice (which I haven’t done in a long time). It felt really good being back in the clinic for pre practice, because I was able to do a lot more things like taping, bracing, and ultrasound. I was able to get three more attempts this week. I know this is not my ideal goal, but I am planning time in this upcoming week to meet my goals.
I do believe what I have been learning in the classroom has paralleled to my clinical experience this semester. My clinical class this semester has brought up a lot of topics on the things I have seen when I am clinically experiencing in the field house. Throughout my clinical class this semester, we have learned about different injuries from PBLs. Since I do not spend a lot of time with the football team when they practice, I get to see a lot more injuries/rehab because I am scheduled for clinic times. Recently, I was able to observe/assist Cole with a back injury. The athlete had already had an evaluation, so it was a following rehab that I assisted Cole with. Cole walked me through what happened to the athlete and the steps taken to help him recover. I was able to talk with Cole about different back injuries as in: lordosis, kyphosis, swayback, and forward head posture. We were able to assess that the athlete had a significant forward head posture, and we immediately started rehab to decrease this action. It was interesting to bring this situation to Cole because he was impressed I knew these terms. So I felt like I gained some brownie points from this experience because it helped my confidence. Another class that has been really helpful for me is my Human Anatomy class. Throughout this class we have gone over the integumentary system and the bones. Even though I knew a lot about this already, I was able to review these subjects which has been very helpful. Cole has taught me that knowing anatomy helps a lot with an evaluation. So this class has been really helpful because it has refreshed my memory. For example, an athlete came in with a hand injury and Cole asked me to perform an evaluation. I was able to tell Cole which carpal bone I thought was injured because I had just recently gone over the anatomy of the hand in my class. This is just a few examples of how my classes have been tying into my clinical experience. It has been really helpful this semester, even if some things are a review. This week I was able to record 1 mastery and 7 attempts. However, I did not meet my goal for this week. I was able to clinically experience the football game, which allowed me to get most of my attempts for this week.
This semester I have not performed a lot of evaluations yet, however, I have performed evaluations on PBL’s. One PBL in particular that stuck out to me was the high jumper injury. Every year, our preceptors have emphasized how important it is to know how to properly c-spine. However, I feel confident to c-spine an athlete because of all the practice I have done throughout each semester, one PBL through me for a loop. The PBL was specifically about an athlete who would need to be c-spinned. Although, the tricky part of this c-spine was the athlete was on a foam pad. I never thought about the actions that would need to be taken with an athlete not on a firm surface. I honestly never thought of a situation where the athlete wouldn’t be on a firm surface. This PBL has broaden my idea of c-spinning. In order to allow the athlete the safest way to be put on a spine board, one must take into consideration all the surroundings. This scenario has taught me a huge lesson about different settings an athlete may be in. Once we went over this in class, I was able to figure out different ways to properly c-spine the athlete. This will definitely help in the future because now I know multiple options I can perform if someone if not on a firm surface. It was also very important because I realized there are so many different scenarios that can happen to an athlete, and I need to be able to have an open mind about how to help them. Its not always a certain technique. If I want to become an athletic trainer, I need to be able to understand that some situations are not textbook answers. I have to be able to find the safest option for the injury. This scenario will influence my clinical decision making because I am not going to worry on being 100% correct. Sometimes I get in my own head about knowing the correct textbook answer, when in reality the textbook doesn’t have the answer to everything. I need to be confident in my abilities to be able to figure out the best ideal situation for the athlete. PBL’s have been really helpful to me lately because they allow me to work my way through the scenario on my own. I am able to understand what I should perform first, and what I shouldn’t perform at all.
Lastly, this week I was able to get 5 more attempts and 1 masteries. This is not in my goal range, but a lot of my clinical experience time was performing/initiating rehabs.
This week has been very hectic for me. I have been having a hard time completing my clinical goals because I am only scheduled during clinic hours. Due to my schedule, I am not able to complete my clinical goals. I wanted to challenge myself this semester, but I am not giving the opportunities because I am in season and do not get to attend practices. My big goal this year was to be able to perform as many evaluations as I could because I only performed one the entire last semester. However, I finally got the chance to perform an evaluation. I clinically experienced the men’s soccer game on Friday, and an athlete had an ankle injury. I was actually nervous when Melissa called me over to perform this evaluation. I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t know how to, I was nervous because I hadn’t performed an onsite injury this semester. I feel the most confident with an ankle injury out of the entire body, but I wanted Melissa to believe I was capable of this evaluation and this made me second guess myself. I didn’t have confidence in my voice when I was talking to the athlete because I kept looking at Melissa to make sure I was right. After I performed a short SOAP note with the athlete, Melissa asked me what my final decision was for the player, and I was gained confidence in myself and told her exactly what I was thinking and she looked at me and said “I agree.” Even though this was an ankle injury, and I should know this injury the best, this lesson helped me gain confidence in myself because I was right. I learned that I shouldn’t second guess myself and be hesitant, I should just go with my gut feeling. This was a great way to start my semester off with getting an evaluation correct on an athlete. I believe this is just the beginning for my experience. I have been working on my confidence so far this semester because I have had the mentality that I can’t be wrong. However, clinically experiencing with Cole I have learned a lot. He quizzes me every time I am in the clinic, and I have been wrong. But when I am wrong, he explains to me the correct answer, and he shows me how or what to do when this happens. Being able to be quizzed has shown me when I am wrong its ok. I believe this will reflect on my clinical evaluations because I get nervous that I am going to be wrong, and this experience has shown me I can not be right 100% of the time. Also this week I only received 3 attempts.
This year I created my clinical goals as a way to challenge myself. So far I have been doing sort of good. I haven’t had much time in the clinic because of my schedule. When I am in the clinic I am performing a lot of rehabs because I can not make a practice. However, I have learned a lot while performing my rehabs, and grown as a student because I have been challenged to do my own rehabs for athletes. At first I was nervous, but I have gained a lot of confidence in myself. Moreover, this past week I was only able to get two attempts and no masteries. This week I am going to double my attempts and get four masteries. I have had an extremely busy week, and I wrote down in my planner a blocked time for me to achieve this goal. I have also been performing a lot of ultrasounds while I am in the clinic. Cole has quizzed me every time I use the modalities which has really helped me. I picked the goal of expand my knowledge in modalities, because I do not feel as comfortable when performing these actions. However, I do feel a slight bit more confidence in myself since I made this goal. Cole has also taught me a new way to approach performing an ultrasound to find the correct settings for the heat, so it has been helpful because I have been able to work with him on getting the right parameters. Next, my other goal from my clinical packet was to go over a body section a week. I was able to achieve this goal! I looked over my notes, and brought my evaluation book on my trip to Greensboro this weekend. I chose to start with the ankle because I haven’t reviewed the anatomy since my anatomy and kinesiology class. It felt really good to review the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones to reassure myself where they are located. This week I want to work on the knee. I am going to break it down every day by anatomy and special tests. I also want to do this throughout the week, so I am not stuck with a lot to do every Sunday night like usual. I am trying to get myself on a good schedule, so I wont be as crammed especially if I am traveling on the weekend.
This past week I have been able to perform two evaluations, which is already more than I have done all semester. Every time I have been clinically experiencing I never had an athlete come in needing an evaluation. Due to my busy schedule last year, I was scheduled to come in the middle or end of practices which doesn’t allow much chance to perform an evaluation on an athlete. However, I wasn’t too upset about not doing an evaluation because I have been very timid about evaluations, so this year I wanted to challenge myself. As stated in my first journal, I made one of my clinical goals to perform at least two evaluations a week because I wanted to make myself branch out of my shell. This week I have been able to perform two evaluations, and I have learned so much from them, especially having Cole as my preceptor because he has taught me different ways to approach injuries. I was very nervous with my first evaluation because it was just my preceptor, the athlete, and me in the room. At first my confidence was down because I was afraid to mess up, however, Cole talked with me throughout my evaluation and reassured me I was on the right track. After the evaluation was over, I was able to talk with Cole about my thought process and he gave me a lot of feedback. Once I perform my second evaluation I was a lot more confident in myself, and I know the athlete felt confident in me because I never looked or ask Cole for help. After performing these two evaluation I have learned that I need to touch up on my anatomy to remember where the origin and insertion of certain muscles are that way if the injury is a muscle I am able to specify/target which muscle it is. Due to this experience, I have gained more confidence in myself and seek more opportunities to perform evaluations. This has not only influenced me to look over anatomy, but to also continue my goal of reviewing each section of the bodies special tests. I believe with these two goals, I will help prepare myself for my exit interview and build my confidence when I am in the clinic. I know I have the ability to perform any evaluation, I just haven’t had much practice which makes me timid, so I believe this goals will push myself to become a confident athletic training student. Lastly, throughout this week I have been able to get 7 attempts and no masteries.
Throughout my preseason experience I would say its been a rollercoaster. I have had a lot of mixed emotions about how I have felt. I came into this semester with an open mind because I was struggling last semester with enjoying the clinical experience. I enjoy this major so much and I don’t want the clinical experience to ruin the enjoyment for me. Last preseason I was new, and I didn’t know much so I was really hesitant to help athletes or tape them. However, this year I have felt so confident in myself tried to help the sophomores not feel the way I did. However, this semester has been sort of challenging being with new preceptors. I believe now I am going to have a better view on how I am feeling. Recently I have under estimated my skills because of my preceptors, but I have been able to talk with them about how I feel. I do believe this upcoming week I will have a better experience. Being with football lets you interact with the athletes a lot because there is so many of them so they are bound to need some type of type of wound care. So this year, I have been jumping at opportunities to go out and assist an athlete unlike last year. I wait at the door for the athletes to come in and need an ankle or wrist tape. This preseason has been a lot better with my confidence and I feel like I have grown as a student because I have been thrown at so many opportunities to either tape or wound care. Although, I have not been performing a lot of evaluations which I am nervous to approach. I have been trying to refresh my memory when I am in the clinic on special tests, or modalities, but I know when the chance comes for me to perform either one of these I am not going to be as confident in myself. So in order for me to feel confident in this aspect I have chosen one of my clinical goals to review one body segment a week. For example, this upcoming week I am going to start with the ankle then build my way up to the head. Another goal I have chosen is to get 10 attempts per week and 5 masteries per week. My next goal I chose was to expand my knowledge in the area of modalities by the end of the semester. My last goal is to perform at least 2 evaluations every 2 weeks. Futhermore, I chose these smart goals to help challenge myself this semester. I believe this goals will help me expand my knowledge.
Going back and reading my reflection made me realize that one I had really bad grammar, two I began a foundation as an athletic training student, and three I was very happy. This semester I have grown a lot. I have become more consistent, if not more prepared, with all my assignments and tests. My freshmen year helped me build a foundation on how to become successful in this major. I have figured out the best way to study for me (which took me a while, but was worth the wait) to allow me to have the best success. I believe last semester and this semester have been around the same range. However, first semester I never went through a struggling phase while I was in the clinic, but this semester I did. I was able to push myself because it was not only school that was getting down, but everything else around me. I realized that I am in this major because I am fit for it. I still enjoy every class I take, and I am excited to continue to new classes. I have become more aware of time management compared to last semester. The journals have helped keep me straight with my clinical book which is a great relief, especially for this coming up week. I am very happy with my progress as an athletic training student. I am very happy where I am, and thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. This major has allowed me to come out of my comfort zone because it forced me to be put on the spot in front of others when answering questions. I go into the clinic every day and have to perform a rehab by myself or treatment. I was able to grow more as a person because I wasn’t afraid I was doing something wrong. I have been able to grow and realize being wrong in front of others is ok, it is a way to learn. This is helped me as a student and as a person.
For my clinical journal this week I took a practical which gave me 15 masteries. I have another practical this coming up week which should push me over 170 masteries! After I get all my signatures, I should be done with my clinical book for this semester which is a very good feeling. Now I can prepare for my finals and exit.
Its finally come to the time that I am back with my preceptor. This means that the semester is ending which is either a scary or exciting. First, I do believe I have gain a lot more confidence in the clinic. At the beginning of the semester I was afraid to take on more athletes in the clinic; however, now I go over to each preceptor and ask to help with their athlete. I also believe the preceptors have more confidence in me too. I am now asked to do pretty much any athletes treatment when they walk in the clinic. I also know more things, which helps me when different athletes come in. For example, I am a lot faster with wound care. I know what kinds of ointment to use for certain burns which is very helpful because I do not have to go and ask my preceptor what I should use. I am also faster with ankle taping. When I was on the rotation with football, I was able to tape more athletes ankles than I did in the beginning of the semester. It also helps that I am not as nervous and now I go up to athletes asking them what they need instead of waiting for them to say they need something. This semester I believe I was able to bloom. I have been able to open up and feel confident in the clinic. However, I am also able to go and ask for help when I am performing a treatment. I am not afraid to be wrong or embarrassed when I am performing treatment on an athlete and I go ask for help. I have been eager to understand my mistakes to fix them.
This week I was not able to get a mastery. I did receive multiple attempts. I was able to write down 11 attempts for this week. This coming up week I am going to get around 20 masteries, which means I will double in attempts. I am getting very close to having my clinical packet completed which is very exciting. I feel ahead of the game with my clinical packet because been writing down each week my attempts and masteries. My goal in my clinical packet has been very helpful because I have been able to follow it in order to achieve having my clinical packet finished and also branching out of my comfort zone to become a better student.