So far my internship has reached the two month mark and I couldn’t be happier. I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I not only love my job but all the people I have met thus far. The staff here at the clinic and throughout the complex is some of the nicest people I have ever met. I have even befriended a handful of athletes who I not only eat with but hangout with on and off complex.
The past few weeks have been busy. As an intern in the clinic I was required to meet three goals of my choice while completing my internship and have been working to complete them. Thus far, I have completed my first goal of learning about each rehab modality and actually learning how to use them with athletes. After learning about what each modality does and what injuries require what specific modality, I was ready to use my new skills. In no time at all I got my first recurring patient; a wrestler who has acute pain in his right shoulder located in the AC joint. So far I have done laser treatments on his shoulder 4 times over the past two weeks. Besides laser treatment, I have administered electric stem, set up athletes on the “Game Ready” and “Normatec Pro” systems. I also learned about the diagnostic ultrasound machine and Joe an ATC did a demonstration on Shayla’s (the other clinic intern) ankle to show how the machine works. The day before, Shayla had fell and hurt her ankle so we actually could see the images of her tendon sprain. Besides the smaller modalities, I have learned all about our x-ray system. The x-ray we have here in the clinic was donated to us by Kodak and is priced at 500,000 dollars. As a small project, I was to type out all the radiologist notes from all the x-rays from the past two months and put them in each athletes file. The project took almost all day since there were about 45 x-rays to print. While typing each report, Dustin told to me to write down the interesting ones and he would show me the actual x-rays. I wrote down about 10 of the most interesting and for about 30 minutes we had “x-ray class” and he taught me all about x-ray and how to read the x-ray images.
With my knowledge and time here extending, the staff has felt confident to allow me more responsibilities within the clinic. One of the major assignments was to work with Dr. Moreau the clinic manger and begin assisting him with treatments of patients from beginning to end. The first athlete I worked with was a figure skater who came into the clinic extremely sick. I began the initial evaluation and Dr. Moreau even had me diagnose the symptoms. This particular case was quite interesting since I had to accompany the patient to the restroom about 6 times within the evaluation because she kept getting sick. Eventually we were unable to handle the seriousness of the issue and actually sent the patient to the emergency room to control her nausea. To complete the treatment I had to do a follow up the next day and turns out she was diagnosed with food poisoning. Other huge projects included the task the calling every single NBG or National governing body of each sport which is about 40 or so and locate their updated accident/injury insurance policy. The task at first was pretty daunting since we were not even given names or numbers to contact. We began the project by surfing the internet finding national team office numbers. After we got a phone number we took turns calling sports looking for the needed documents. The responses have definitely been interesting to say the least. When we would call the offices, they would either have no idea what I was even asking for or they could send the document almost immediately. The project has now taken over two weeks to complete but within the next few days all sports should have all the documents submitted.
Along with duties as the sports med intern I also work in the recovery center. Sarah, the full time employee, was taking a vacation from Thursday to Sunday so the recovery center was left in my complete care. Working in the recovery center for the full day meant I had to work the 12-8 shift with no dinner break! The recovery center is always fun cause not only is it a change in scenery but its fun to socialize with athletes and talk about their training, where they keep their Olympic medals and what they do for fun. They are always interested about what interns do and especially what Alabama is like because I guess we have a lot of stereotypes and they like the southern accent when I talk. While working, I did all the random chores of laundry, filling shampoo bottles in the locker room, cleaning the flip flops they wear, stocking the drinks and snacks and scheduling all the athletes for their weekly massages.