Mikayla N.

July 20th – August 13th (11.45 hours) – One meaningful experience I have had in the internship program was that I was able to learn about and experience a heat related injury on the football field. During football practice, a football player walked over to the athletic trainers and was not feeling well, and passed out on top of me. They were able to go get ice towels and water and move him to a cool place in order to cool down. I learned the proper technique of how to treat a heat related illness. I also learned that I need to check health conditions and be aware of problems that may arise during practice because the player was on a low calorie diet, restricting him from getting the proper nutrition need for rigorous exercise. I was able to grow from this because now, we put out Gatorade, water, and have ice towels ready for these kinds of injuries.

Something that I hope to learn from my time in the internship program from Mrs. Wahl is that I want to be able to learn how to manage my time wisely. I have 4 school classes, JTED, the internship, and an online class, along with multiple clubs and organizations at school I am a part of. I want to learn how to set reminders and dates on my calendar and squeeze my schedule in order to make things work. Something that I hope to learn from my time in the internship program from my mentor is that it is ok to make mistakes on an injury evaluation. During an injury evaluation, you ask the patient for the source of what happened and where the pain is coming from in order to define the injury. But every once in a while, it is always ok to say that you are not sure, and send the screens and information taken down to a higher professional for further screening.

One thing I have learned from my time in the program as a professional is that it is very important to communicate with teachers and mentors. It is ok to make mistakes and have things going on that prevent you from being able to make it to professional development meetings and your internship. That is as long as you communicate and make sure they are aware of your situation so you do not make yourself look bad. One thing I have learned from my time in the program as a student is that I need to take time to give myself a break. I am so overwhelmed with trying to make it to my internship every single day I have time. I need to be able to give myself time to do my homework and have a social lief before I keep going in for more. I am on track for hours, and as long as a I continue to be on track for hours, I should not stress.

August 14th – August 27th (o hours) – One meaningful experience I have had in the internship program was being able to learn how to communicate with my mentor properly. In this reflection log period, there were multiple times where either my mentor or I could not make it to the internship site on the day that was planned, for multiple reasons. I have been emailing him during the day, but as an athletic trainer, he can not take his email with him on the football field. So during a football practice, he gave me his cellphone number and told me to communicate with him that way instead. It was more convenient for the both of us and less time consuming, waiting on replies from each other. This will help me in the future because if I cannot make it to the internship site, I am able to call him on his cell phone instead of trying to reach him at his office phone or his email at a time that he might not be there.

August 28th – September 10th (6.23 hours) – One meaningful experience that I had at my internship site this past week was that I was able to be given more power at the facility. The past Friday was the first football game that I had worked for Salpointe. I follow orders from a few people at the site, because just like me, they are there to work alongside my mentor. One of the other students handed me a small med kit in order to take out with me during the game, even though I had already packed one specifically for myself a few weeks ago, just for this type of situation. John, my mentor, took the small med kit away from me and gave me mine and told me that I shouldn’t feel like I had to do small things like water and basic wound care, but that I was trained enough to help him out with bigger projects. I was also invited to travel with them to their away game next week. This showed me that I shouldn’t be afraid to speak up because I had some power at this facility and did not have to take orders from students of his who are underneath me.

The expectations for my conduct and personality at my internship site is to be open. I am working with other athletes and sports medicine students that are my age. I need to be able to comfort them when they need someone there, and help those students who need help. My internship site is very open because everybody knows everybody, and you want the person taking care of you to not be so stuck up. We laugh and make jokes a lot, and I have even been told to smile more once or twice, so we have gotten a lot closer as a team. But, there are some times where we need to be serious. Dress code during practices is very laid back, but during games, we need to be very professional and speak with parents and coaches with respect on the sidelines.

I think that this is a very natural fit for my conduct and personality. I have taken two years of sports medicine at my school, so I am already familiar with the situation. These football, volleyball, and cross country athletes are all around my age and are in high school. So, during practices and getting rehab treatment in the athletic training room, students are often very comfortable with talking and joking around with me. This has helped me start to develop a better relationship with some of the athletes on campus. But during games, I am used to talking with coaches, referees, and parents. Since I have been doing this so long, I have learned to use that in my daily life as well, so it is just a natural occurrence for me.

When I was working in the athletic training room, my mentor asked me to set up an athlete on the electrical stimulation machine and start it for 15 minutes while he took a phone call. An electrical stimulation machine is a machine that sends out energy waves into the muscle in order to help it contract. This helps when a certain muscle is injured and the athlete is not able to exercise it. This athlete had an injured ankle, and the electrodes were stuck between her leg and her foot in order to send waves through the muscle in her ankle to help rehabilitate it after injury.

September 11th – September 24th (15.25 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had at my internship site was that I was able to travel with their football team to Phoenix. Salpointe is very different from how Empire deals with away games because they take a lot more supplies with them and they are very prepared for anything that happens. They also take a bigger team of people, including students, assistant athletic trainers, and physical therapists, and everyone is designated a job for the night. I was also able to meet the athletic trainers at Cactus High School and see how Phoenix teams and their athletic trainers are a lot more advanced than Tucson teams. It was a really cool experience to see how every athletic training team is different on how they run things at their school. I was also able to talk with some of the coaches and players on more of a personal level on the way up to Phoenix. This experience helped me gain a connection with the people that I am working with, in order to create a more friendly environment.

I was filling up water jugs before a game and I was asked to fill up the ice bath in order to conduct cryotherapy on a student athlete. Cryotherapy is a form a rehabilitation using ice such as an ice bath, ice massage, ice bags, etc. Cryotherapy is used in order to reduce swelling in the affected area. I helped the athlete put his ankle in the ice bath and turned it on for 20 minutes in order to reduce the swelling in his ankle and alleviate some of the pain after his surgery weeks ago, in orde to promote healing in his ankle.

September 25th – October 8th (0 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was that I was able to have a football player reach out to me outside of practice with questions about an injury. Friday night after the football game, I had gotten a text from one of the football players about a possible shoulder dislocation. I had looked at what he had already told me about his injury, and proceeded to ask some more questions. Some of these questions included his pain scale, his range of motion, and if there were any deformities in the area. From my training, I had concluded that his shoulder wasn’t dislocated, but it still sounded very serious and he needed to go see my mentor during practice the next morning. It felt very comforting knowing that I am getting closer to some of the student athletes and that they feel comfortable coming to me with their issues.

The method of communication we use most at my internship site is radio conversation. Most of the time I will be with one mentor or the other, I might be grabbing something from the athletic training room for an injury, or I might be helping a student athlete with rehab. The radio communication makes it easy to be at a different place at a different time and still be able to communicate with each other. The radio communication is also a lot easier than calling or texting. It is a direct line to the people in the athletic training facility and makes it so we don’t need to have our phones out during practices or games. These radios are also portable, and easy to use, which is very useful for this type of work which is always on the go.

At my internship site, I am pretty comfortable with choosing the appropriate method of communication. Over my time of being in the athletic training team, I have gotten very close to my mentor, as well as his assistants and some of his students. As an athletic trainer as well as a teacher, he is very used to being asked questions about injuries, treatment, etc. on the filed, during practices, or in the athletic training room. I am comfortable asking him questions on the sidelines when appropriate, usually as soon as I think of them. I am also very comfortable with using the radio if there is an emergency of something that is needed quickly when my mentor is out of sight. My mentor is very laid back and always loves to help when needed, and I am so lucky to have a mentor who is always willing to help, even if sometimes I am afraid to ask.

My mentor had recently got a shipment of new equipment for the athletic training room. One of the student physical therapists noticed that he had bought a TheraGun. A TheraGun is a high-amplitude neuromuscular percussive therapy device that helps to aid in muscular activation, pain relief, and recovery. Essentially, the TheraGun is used by many athletic trainers and physical therapists in order to massage the injured muscle at a more rapid pace by using an easier tool than the hands, in order to aid in recovery.

October 9th – October 22nd (18.04 hours) – One meaningful experience that I experienced this week was that I was able to connect with some of the football players on a more personal level. This week for senior night at Salpointe, and the school recognized the seniors at the game. They not only recognized the seniors for football, but also cheerleading and sports medicine. It felt like a rewarding night because I was able to congratulate some of the players after the game, mostly one I had been working with in the athletic training room. It tied together my whole experience at Salpointe and I was able to make lasting memories. It felt like my own senior night as well, since I wasn’t able to be at my own this year.

One word that I had learned this week was the game ready machine. I was asked to set up this machine during rehab, mainly for the arms or ankles. The game ready machine is a cryotherapy technique is order to hold the joint in place, while applying cool pressure in the bag.

October 23rd – November 5th (6 hours) – One meaningful experience I have recently had in the internship program was that I was able to experience round one of the playoffs with the football team. Salpointe is the #1 seed in the division, because they went undefeated the entire season. It was exciting getting to experience their win for the first round of the playoffs because Empire does not typically go that far. Many of the football players were excited after the win, and will be playing in the second round of the playoffs at Salpointe against another Phoenix team. The players typically look back and appreciate everyone that was there for them during the season, and the athletic trainers get a lot of praise for all of their help. The volleyball team is also on their way the semi-finals of the playoffs. I am very excited to be a part of a playoff winning team, and can’t wait to experience many more games.

A time that I had to interact with one of my coworkers in a professional reason is when we have to conduct rehab. Every one of the students and other interns are in charge of setting up the field for games, while others are in charge of doing rehab exercises. We delegate tasks and help eachother in order to get everything done. Recently, I was in charge of helping some of the student athletic trainers learn how to use the e-stim machine. The e-stim machine can be very harmful if used in the wrong way, so I needed to teach them how to use it correctly. One of the football players was in for rehab, and we helped do the treatment on his ankle.

A time that I interacted with a coworker for social reasons is usually when I am out on the field. Sometimes, practices and games can be slow, and we have a lot of downtime on our hands. I get to meet a lot of the student athletic trainers that I had never seen before, and even talk to ones that I already know. Many of the times, I’m introducing myself and telling them what I am in this program for, and answer all of their questions. I have made a few friends of the athletes and student athletic training by getting to talk and joke with them during practices and games. We also travel with each other on the bus, usually to far away Phoenix teams, so we all laugh and joke around there too.

One vocabulary word that I learned at my internship site was crepitus. During rehab before football practice, one of the football players came in with an injured finger. It was later found out, that he had crepitus, which is a grating sound and feel of the bone and cartilage rubbing together. In order to treat this injury, we have to use a special gel and a scraper in order to smooth it out over time.

November 6th – November 19th (10.5 hours) – One meaningful experience that I had in the internship program this week was a switch between the different sports seasons. Mostly the entire semester, I have been working with the football team. Although, I was able to work with the volleyball, cross country, and cheerleading teams in the athletic training room a few times. I am very eager in a switch of environment. I am most excited to get to see different kinds of injuries and treatments for those specific sports. Salpointe started the season out with a bang by hosting two different tournaments. They hosted a basketball tournament and are currently hosting a soccer tournament.

I think that this semester, my mentor would rate my punctuality as fairly decent. I am able to text my mentor, so I have quicker access to tell him ignore I am available or not for the day. Recently I have had some medical and school things that got in my way, but I was able to let my mentor know what was going on and when I could come in. I am very lucky to have such a flexible mentor! I don’t go in as often as I had planned in the beginning of the semester, but since I work practices and games, I am able to go in for a longer period of time. I think that I got very burned out very quickly, and should go in less days next semester.

I feel that it was difficult to juggle all of my classes and my internship program. This semester, I ended up having to drop one of my classes, that was not needed to graduate, so that I wouldn’t be as burned out because of school. I have JTED Monday’s and Wednesday’s which means that I can only go in to my internship Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I normally get home late from my internship, and have to work on homework and class work at that point. I ended up being in the hospital a few days this semester, and being sick multiple days, so I was missing school quite often. I had to finally get back on track.

One vocabulary word that I learned at my internship site is pre-wrap. I was learning about pre-warp while organizing the tape baskets underneath the taping tables. Pre-wrap is a thinner wrap that goes on to the injured area before the tape is applied, in order to create a layer between the skin and the tape.