Mikayla N.

January 7th – January 14th ( hours) –  One meaningful experiment that I recently had in the internship program was talking to my mentor about working at tournament. Every year, Salpointe hosts a wrestling tournament for many other schools to go to. Each year, John has many students working and even hires help from other athletic trainers to work the tournament. Wrestling is a very high impact sport and has many rules how first aid can occur. There is a time limit on how many times the match can be stopped in order to provide first aid. I am very excited to be part of such a big tournament where help with be needed at all times. I am not super familiar with wrestling injuries, and this will give me a chance to observe and ask many questions.

One time, my mentor had set out a new piece of rehab equipment that I have never seen before. This specific type of equipment is used to ankle and knee injuries. The exercise is called “skater jumps” and the athlete has to slide on a slick board, with booties over their shoes, side to side. He had explained the exercise to me, but had to get on with working with other athletes. So, one of his other interns came out and helped me with the exercise and even let me try it out for myself to see the difficulty. Experiencing the exercise gives me a much better understanding of how it works as a whole and what muscles the athlete is working.

After the brief time that I was able to experience the exercise myself, I was then able to understand how the exercise worked. I also had to learn how to clean and put away the equipment. Now, when my mentor asks me to go get the equipment, I know exactly what I need to do, how to set up, and clean up the equipment. I have also learned corrections that need to be made to the exercise. Many athletes try and lean forward, and may fall as a result. But, I am also there to catch them if anything does go wrong.

While my mentor was taping the wrist of a student athlete, he showed me the correct form that the wrist needs to be in. The wrist needs to be in flexion, when your palm is facing towards the ground and your fingers are out straight. This allows for the wrist tape to go on tight and not leave much room for the wrist to move around and injure itself.

January 15th – January 28th (7.08 hours) – One meaningful experience that I had in the internship program was that I was really able to take a moment to relax and see what life is like in the athletic training room when there isn’t much going on. Friday and Saturday of last week, there was a wrestling tournament going on. Many schools had dropped out of the tournament and it ended before I had be able to get there. Since the tournament was going on, all the rest of the sports either didn’t have practice or they had a game at the away school. This left only some straggling athletes needing treatment, and the rest of the time there was very mellow. Since the athletic training room is always chaotic up until the very start of practice, it was nice to see what it is like in downtime.

One word that I learned at my internship sit was hydrocollator. The hydrocollator is a metal cart that is plugged into the wall, heating water that creates moist hot packs for rehab treatment. Since it was the beginning of the day and it had just been cleaned, I was asked to fill the hydrocollaotr with water to be ready for treatment that day.

January 29th – February 11th (0 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have recently had in the internship program was again being able to experience a switch in sports seasons, now going into baseball and softball season. I am already seeing some of the baseball and softball players come in for treatment in the athletic training room and it is good to get to know them and what their needs are before their season. I am also already starting to get to see some of the changes in injuries for these specific sports. Each sport has very specific injuries, and I have already seen treatment for shoulders specifically. I am really excited for the baseball season because last year, as a part of sports medicine at Empire, I was a part of their annual baseball tournament. The baseball team at Salpointe also went to their division championships last year. I am also really excited to be working with sports I have never worked with before, such as lacrosse and rugby. This season will bring a lot of new changes for me.

When I first started at my internship program, I honestly thought that I knew enough in order to get around. I have been in sports medicine for 2 years, with experience on the field, court, and track. This year, I am enrolled in the Physical Therapy Technician class in JTED. I have also been managing the baseball team since middle school. But the moment I got to Salpointe, I was immediately proven wrong. Empire is obviously a smaller school and does not have as many athletes, especially those that need treatment. At Salpointe, I have seen many similar faces everyday, with twenty to thirty student athletes coming in for treatment before and after practice and games. Salpointe also has a lot more equipment for different treatments that I had never been used to before, such as the Game Ready machine, separate cold and hot whirlpools, and a Theragun. But one common rehab technique that I thought I was completely aware of how to do, was taping. In sports medicine, I learned how to tape everything from fingers to ankles, knees, elbows, and even wrists and hands. For my first SMART goal, I decided to work on taping of the wrist and hand. In sports medicine at Empire, I mainly worked on taping ankles. So at Salpointe, I decided to working on taping hands and wrists, something so common, yet something that can become complicated. I started to work on taping hands and wrists towards the beginning of the school year. During this time, my mentor had two physical therapists that were working on their sports certification. One of the requirements of this was being able to learn how to tape, so they were constantly practicing. One day, I was a model for one of the physical therapists to practice on. One of the things she saw was that my hands hyperextend when they are out flat. This is a modification that a physical therapist or athletic trainer has to adapt to while taping a wrist. Some other modifications are the injuries to the wrist and the hand. One of the most common is the way that you tape the wrist and hand. Depending on the injury, you want to tape in the opposite direction in order to create a stretch in the muscle. One of the obstacles that I faced was adding the thumb to the hand tape. In order to do this, I needed to be aware of the injury that had occurred to the thumb. As said before, the thumb needs to be stretched in the opposite direction in order to promote healing. This is the most complicated step. This step requires smaller strips of tape that have to be ripped in half, and placed specifically around the thumb, connected to the tape on the wrist. I overcame this by practicing on different interns and sports medicine students with any downtime that we had in the athletic training room. I was also trusted to do hand and wrist tapes on different athletes during the football season. I believe that I have gotten a lot better because of the practice that I have had in the athletic training room. I am very excited to learn more taping techniques in the sports medicine field. I believe that this will help me in my future because I want to eventually become an athletic trainer at a high school, where I will be all on my own for rehabilitation techniques. I will have nobody there to help me, so I will have to practice multiple times in order to master this skill. I believe that mastering this skill now will help me while I am studying sports medicine in college. This will give me a head start because I need repetition in order to master a skill. I am also very excited to start being trusted in order to tape wrists in the athletic training room at Salpointe, with extra help if needed. I have come a long way since the beginning of my internship, but I believe that with all of the practice and time spent at Salpointe, I have grown. I believe that my SMART goals have pushed me to become better and prepare me for the world of athletic training, a field that I hold close to my heart.

One vocabulary word that I learned at my internship site was the rotator cuff. While working on rehab in the athletic training room, one of the baseball players came in with a sore rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles in the shoulder, primarily used in pitching in baseball and softball, that help stabilize the shoulder. It is very common for baseball and softball players to injure these muscles and tendons because of the movements done while pitching, which can take them out for their entire high school or even college career.

February 12th – February 25th (8.5 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was scheduling conflicts. We recently had to ask our mentors their schedule for SEP presentations, and my options were very limited due to the fact that I have JTED on Mondays and Wednesdays. So, the only days that worked for me were Tuesday and Friday. I ended up successfully scheduling a time that worked for my mentor, but it’s hard when my schedule is already tight. Another scheduling conflict I had was going in to get hours. Since rodeo break made the week shorter, I had less time to get hours. Because Salpointe and Empire have different schedules, the had conferences on one day and half days on another. This made it really hard for me to find time to come in.

One vocabulary word that I learned was second impact syndrome. I had recently been reading a book about the dangers of concussions and wanted to know a bit more about concussion protocol. Second impact syndrome is when an athlete has a pre-existing hit to the head or concussion that was not taken care of. In the case of another hit to the head, can cause serious injury or even death.

February 26th – March 11th (14.05 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was being able to work a baseball game. During the game, I was able to sit in the dugout and see the game at a closer distance. Since I was a baseball manager with Empire, it was a familiar environment that I missed very much. I was able to develop a closer relationship with some of the players and coaches. I am really looking forward to another baseball game with Salpointe.

During my years in sports medicine class at Empire, we learned everything from basic wound care to extensive injury evaluations. Being able to work on the field gave me an insight on how to evaluate injuries quickly and determine proper care, but I never had enough time to collect a subjective, or history, and evaluate the injury to start to determine the best care for the injury. During a JV football game at Salpointe, I was faced with an injured player of the opposing team. During the game, a football player went down on the field with a hit to the head. After running out on the field, I assisted my mentor with helping the player to the sidelines and sitting him on the bench. We officially started a concussion injury evaluation. First, we asked initial questions about pain and what had happened that caused them to get hit in the head, and thankfully the player didn’t have much pain. We would be more concerned if the player developed a headache or was feeling any pain in the head or neck regions. After that, we started different concussion tests in order to evaluate the mental capacity of the player. Some of those consist of remembering things like numbers and words and being able to repeat them back to the athletic trainer. The player should be able to tell the athletic trainer their name, where they are, the score of the game, who they are playing, what time of day it is, what day of the week it is, and what month it is. The player should be able to show they have balance and be able to show hand and eye coordination. All of these different tests show the mental capability of the athlete. The football player did really well on most of these tests, but failed to remember the words and numbers given to him. He was said to have a minor concussion. From there, we left the player on the bench and communicated to the coach, and later the head athletic trainer at the opposing school, about the situation. After the game, we made sure to remind the student to see their head athletic trainer and rest that night. Concussion testing is very common yet very important in the field of athletic training. On my research paper for SEP, I touched on the importance of athletic trainers in a high school setting. Athletic trainers are the first ones on the scene to be able to help assess the injury and determine further action for the athlete. Concussions are on a clock especially. One thing that can come from a concussion untreated is second impact syndrome. Second impact syndrome is when the athlete gets a concussion, the brain does not heal, and gets hit a second time. This is a life-threatening injury and can result in serious brain injury and even death. I believe that this will help me in the future because injury prevention is one of the main jobs of an athletic trainer. It is something that they deal with on a daily basis. So, being able to practice and understand injury evaluation is vital to the profession. I hope to become and athletic trainer and look out for the care of all of my athletes, being able to figure out their problem and help them in the best way possible.

One vocabulary word that I learned was heat exhaustion. During this time of year, the baseball and softball players are very prone to heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is when the body is overheating and starts to sweat heavily and become lightheaded. To fix this, players need to make sure they drink lots of water and stay out of the sun.

March 12th – March 25th (28.65 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was being able to work the Lancer Classic baseball tournament. It was a five day tournament that consisted of many Tucson, Phoenix, and out of state baseball teams. During the first couple of days, I worked really long hours. As the week progressed, I was able to cut back on my hours some and relax at home a bit more. I worked with different athletic trainers, including my two mentors, my athletic trainer at Empire, and athletic training students from Salpointe, Empire, and other schools that came to play in the tournament. I did a lot of basic wound care and icing players after the game, but I was also able to see some really cool injuries. I was able to see a dislocated finger, a fractured finger, an MCL sprain, and a few hamstring strains. I was able to work this tournament last year with Empire, but now I had a better relationship with the athletic trainers and athletes, making it a very fun experience.

One vocabulary word that I learned at my internship site was meniscus. During one of the baseball games, a player had injured his MCL, and may have hurt some of his meniscus in the process. Your meniscus is cartilage between the knee joint in order to absorb the shock of injury. Meniscus tears are a very common injury due to how easily they can tear when twisting the knee.

March 26th – April 8th (3.32 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was working on my SEP presentation. I had my practice presentation at school on April 2nd. There, a teacher and some of my peers listened to my presentation and gave me feedback. The teacher in the room gave me a perfect score and told me that I had done a very good job on adding detail to my presentation. The only feedback from my peers was to slow down my talking a little bit more and look at the audience a little bit more, rather than looking at the screen the entire time. One of the people that gave me feedback had said that it seemed I was very passionate about the athletic training line of work and should keep up the good job. I have always had a hard time trying to decide if athletic training was the right path for me, but that feedback reassured me and gave me confidence in my presentation and future career decisions.
One trait that I had learned about myself is that I am very introverted. Since Salpointe is a completely different school with student trainers who are my age, I tend to shy away, keep to myself, and don’t ask for help. Throughout the year I have seen that I have gained closer relationships with not only the athletic trainers, but the interns and athletic training students as well. Once I got to know them more, I broke out of my shell. Another trait that I learned is that I am very hardworking. Not very many people know what goes on behind the scenes of athletic training. After multiple games, tournaments, or long practices, I would go home sore or extremely tired from that days work. But, that didn’t stop me from coming back for more.

One tip that I have is to pick an internship site that you know you’re going to love. The internship can be very stressful at times with the amount of assignments and close due dates, so make sure you pick somewhere that you love going to ease some of the stress. At first, Salpointe was very far for me and I dreaded the 30 minute drive, but eventually I found myself waiting for the school day to be over so that I could go! Along with that, I would also say to allow yourself some breaks. This is an internship, yes, but you are still a student first. Make sure you are up to date with school work, projects, and give yourself a mental break from being a senior. Lastly, I would say develop close relationships with those not only at your internship site, but in the class as well. Developing those close relationships with the ones around you can make the internship a lot more enjoyable, and all of the projects and assignments will be easier.

One vocabulary word that I learned at my internship site was compliance. My mentor had showed me pictures and videos of student athletes who had not taken care of their injuries. This is an example of a patient who is not complaint. When this happens, the injury can worsen or not heal correctly and lead to multiple other problems.

April 9th – April 22nd (3.53 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had in the internship program was the end of the regular season. I have been working with these athletes all year long and it is finally the end of the regular season at school. Because of this, I was able to watch the baseball team’s senior night. I was nice to be involved in a different environment for sports at the end of the season. Both the baseball and the softball team are in the playoffs for the state championships because of their amazing seasons. It is starting to hit more and more that I am not going to be working with this group of student athletes anymore because of the end of the season. I am excited to see how far these teams make it in the playoffs.

One word that I learned at my internship was a play-in game. I was talking with some of the baseball players about their status in the state playoffs. A play-in game is for teams that are on the very edge of making it into the playoffs in order to secure their spot against a team in the playoffs.

July 20th – August 13th (12.2 hours) – Sometime during work, I was told to organize the back cabinet. It was full of a random assortment of endless metal fixtures, knobs, tools, and screws. With such minimal direction, I was not at first altogether confident in my ability to get the job done correctly, but it was with a sigh and a sway, I decided to start anyways. As I sorted through the dusty and rusty odds and ends, I was overwhelmed, but as I continued, I started to see patterns and recognize the shapes I saw. It took a little bit of guessing and some thought and some trial and error, but eventually, the shelves were square and ordered before me. I realized that I didn’t need to understand how and why everything functioned, but just that I needed to start somewhere and get the job done.

I hope to be able to weld and have the ability to craft from metal. I understand it’s a lofty goal, but there is little more I would find being more beneficial to learn from a metal shop. I hope that I will be able to spend more time in this pursuit once I have some more time to spend. Organization is a tricky word. Although I may have my shelves clear and all my shirts hung straight, I am pretty scattered with remembering to contact people and deal with distant deadlines. The phone reminders have been a big help, but I hope I can continue to improve on this very critical business and personal skill.

I have learned that while I can be very personable, I can at a later time be very off-putting. Although I may still be polite, I sometimes lose the energy I often meet people with which sends mixed signals.In terms of being a student to my mentors, I’m learning that I pick up learning fast, but that I can’t assume so. While I often get most of what I’m told to do right, I still need to be cautious and slow down in my work.

August 14th – August 27th (8.5 hours) – I have begun to better utilize my digital calendar which has proven a great benefit to my professional life. When my reminder went off for my second reflection log, it had completely slipped my mind, and it was thanks to my reminder that I was able to meet this deadline. I suppose it is important to believe ourselves capable to do hard things, but not to make our lives harder than they need to be. With dive, government projects, calculus, and friendships, due dates can so easily remain undetected until that stomach sickening feeling of missing an assignment. It is better to plan ahead and casually swipe away an expected notification than to miss a deadline, because life is sometimes unexpected.

August 28th – September 10th (7.42 hours) – This week I had the opportunity of having my own project at the shop. A unique contract was made where an older lady wanted a metal planter to put a small rose garden in. The planter was cut and welded and looked something like a heavy, square tub. It was my responsibility to prep it for rusting and to lay down a HERCULINER finish inside of the planter. If you’re not familiar with this product, it’s the black sealer that is often used in truck beds. I was left to learn how to properly apply the sealer, to actually apply it, and to reap the rewards of Tito, Tommy, and Randy admiring its finish. It wasn’t a big job, but it was mine, and that’s exciting.

There isn’t too much expected as far as personality or professionalism at the work site. Loose language is used, often mixed with Spanish, and Sterling enjoys raising his voice in exclamation or enjoyment. However, everyone is expected to be working and everyone is expected to follow what Randy asks. There’s oftentimes disagreement between how and why things should be done; Tito is the go-to, but nothing gets passed without an okay from Randy. It’s also important to stay out of the way of everyone as they execute Tito’s orders. There’s not a lot of space, and everyone has there own work area. This is especially important for me as the intern to be extra mindful of the more important work around me. My job is to make there’s easier, not stand awkwardly by.

Considering I don’t understand how to use much of the equipment, it’s important that I am careful in finding or utilizing tools around the shop. It is a little embarrassing having to ask how to take off a grinding head or loosen a certain wrench, but I know its understood by the workers that I’m learning and that is my purpose for being there. This however makes it difficult to follow the expectation of doing your work without too much interference on others’, because I am more dependent on other’s knowledge than anyone else in the shop.

I learned what “12-mesh” was when Tommy asked me to wash some. It is a commonly used wire sheeting that is made of 12-gauge wire. 12-mesh is used for screens on doors or gates as a sturdy, but see-through cover.

September 11th – September 24th (9.7 hours) – I have been given the job recently of making cut-outs of cactus leaves and agave plants. Like everything, the plasma cutter takes a little bit of skill to successfully maneuver, and like anything, I have had to practice this skill. Seeing my first cut-outs compared to my later ones was uplifting; I was able to observe the change that I had taught myself, but I realized that I still could do better. I had to swallow my pride and ask for advice from Joseph, the most quiet of the metal workers that I have never really approached. It was simple, and I felt a little silly for asking, but his advice helped me realize what else I needed to change to get cleaner cuts. I could’ve eventually learned it by myself, but I saved a whole lot of time, metal, and frustration by asking someone who knew more than I did.

Xylene is a chemical solvent that is used to clean grease or other industrial waste that cannot be dissolved in soap or water. After applying a metal planter with a coating of truck bed liner, I used xylene to clean off the top edges of the basin where the Herculiner had rubbed on, because it didn’t contain a water-soluble base.

September 25th – October 8th (0 hours) – Last week, I broke my foot. I had to contact Mrs. Polivchak and my mentor about in inability to work for the next several weeks. Luckily, my condition was well accepted and both parties were understanding, but what would my news’s reception had been if I was a working 30 year old and not a teenager? As an intern, my place in the shop is easily undertaken by the other workers, but if I was a more valuable member to an organization, my inability to work could have much more profound effects. I’ve learned to think a little more before my actions, and not only think of the effects on my own life from my decisions, but also the effect it could have on others.

All communication at the metal shop is in person. Often, this communication relays secondary or tertiary information that is required for a job which can be slightly misinterpreted as it passes from person to person. The most frustrated I ever see Tito is when a gate is sent back into the shop because it is too long, wide, or thick. The importance of accurate communication in the shop is critical, and the most effective and practical method of communicating is face to face. The vision that the owner or customer holds of a gate can be very different from what the metal worker envisions, and it is very common for potential customers to meet with Randy in the shop and look around at some of the projects being currently worked on so that everyone is on the same page. Whenever I have a question or uncertainty about what is desired from my work, I ask someone directly, so that what needs to be done is done how it needs to be.

Since all communication is done orally at the shop, there is not too much need to spend time debating the most appropriate medium, but deciding who to communicate to can have more implications. The foreman is usually the most busy on the most valuable job, but he is also the one who is most knowledgeable about materials and the details of other jobs that need to be completed. It takes some experience to understand what you can figure out yourself, what another worker would know, and what only Tito would be able to help with, but after this time, I’m usually comfortable in making that decision.

I learned what a plasma cutter was. Air from the shop is blown through the small end of a torch which is lit to create an ionized and therefore conductive plasma. Reaching up to 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the plasma easily cuts into conductive metals and blows away the liquid metal.

October 9th – October 22nd (0 hours) – I still have a broken leg, so my ability to gain new and insightful experiences has been slightly hindered as mirrored in my inability to move at a pace faster than a mild jog. I was reminded about my hours requirement for this reflection log, and I have not meet that requirement. While I am somewhat excused for the time being, it’s important to realize the reality of deadlines, and that a lot can happen in the year never anticipated at an initial planning session. It’s important to have goals, dates, and plans, but it’s also important to be flexible and to understand that life doesn’t always make room for plans. We have to find a way to deal with it anyways. As I’ve learned, things that refuse to bend are often the things that painfully snap and break.

MIG welder – metal inert gas welder is used to bind metal materials together. A thin welding wire is feed through the welder that is instantly a puddle, the process is easier to use and faster than its cousin, TIG

October 23rd – November 5th (0 hours) – I really haven’t had any new experience – I’m sorry. As mentioned many times before, it is critical to the shop that each coworker communicates with each other. Everyday in the shop, I’m required to ask Tito or Tommy what assistance they require and run communications between the two. When I was in charge of prepping some bars for painting, I needed to ask Tito what bars he had completed and then bring them out to wash and dry. When the bars were cleaned I brought them to Tommy. The order in which the bars were painted was critical for the structure’s assembly and so I needed to confirm with both the order of which bars were sent through the process.

Tommy is really the only coworker with whom I discuss nonprofessional things. It is common for us to report on our weekend activities and complain about the heat. Our conversations are usually very simple, short, and initiated with a question of mine, but I’ve never really felt uncomfortable with Tommy. I’ve had short conversations with the two installers, but my most uncomfortable conversations are with Joseph and Tito with whom I never really discuss anything. As the shop workers, they are both quiet and involved, rarely with time to leisurely converse. I have never really understood what they do professionally, and I think that, coupled with their personality, creates a barrier that is very difficult to comfortably pass.

angle grinder – A handle with a rough spinning disk. It has different attachments that can either cut, grind, or polish metal surfaces, and is the most applied tool in metal work. Most angle grinders have a rotatable shield that protects from the shower of tiny metal fragments that spark off material as it is ground down.

November 6th – November 19th () –

November 20th – November 28th () –

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.