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Sports Med Students reflect on their experiences

We are only 6 weeks into the semester and students are already having hands-on experiences in the field of sports medicine. We are fortunate to partner with University of Kansas Health System Certified Athletic Trainers Christy Grimes (BVNW), Caitlin Truhe (BVH), Myles Wilcox (BVN), Tyler Sleeper (BVW), and Chris Poskey (BVSW). Our students spend time being mentored by and learning from these outstanding medical professionals. 

While working with my athletic trainer I learned and experienced a vast amount of situations so far. I mostly was on blood work during football games. Every time there was a timeout we would circle around the players checking for any open cuts or scrapes that we would need to cover up. I learned how to test for an ankle sprain on the field and the rules and regulations of what trainers are allowed to do and not do to the players. In conclusion, it has only been 6 weeks and I have already learned so much by experiencing instead of sitting down every day writing notes. The nice thing about CAPS is the hands-on work that we do. It helps us not only learn, but also decide by putting us in situations that adults who work in these professions are in. -Zainah Abdeljawad

What is CAPS? CAPS is a place where students can become and turn into professionals. This place gives you the opportunity to experience a real-life work experience, with everything from the things we get to do, to the building itself, and even down to the dress code. CAPS is an obvious advantage to have in the Blue Valley school district because students get to try out professions early, without having to go into college and change their major a handful of times.

This year in Sports Medicine I have learned and experienced a great deal. I have learned that I want to possibly become a Physical Therapist in the future, through the activities and projects we have done in CAPS. So far, I have learned how to wrap an ankle, make an ice pack and apply it to an athlete, people skills that are needed in life in general, and a ton of knowledge that will help me no matter what direction in medicine I would like to go. Another awesome thing that CAPS allows you to do is shadow professionals in the area of study you would like to learn more about. In Sports Med it is required that you shadow your home high school athletic trainer and an additional professional in the medical field. This allows you to begin networking. Networking is important because in the real-world knowing people and having connections is an advantage. It allows you to become more connected with society and many great opportunities come along with it.

Without this program I don’t know where I would be today, in regards to the decision of what I would like to do in the future. For example, I would not know that I would like to attend the University of Arkansas and pursue a career in healthcare. I believe that everyone should take CAPS if they have the opportunity to. It gives you experience, helps you make important decisions in life and most importantly helps you develop a professional network. I’m very excited to see where this program goes and how many students it helps in the future.  -Jordan Berry

So far in my Sports Medicine course, I have had the privilege to learn a variety of different crucial skills that a health care provider would need to know. I have already been CPR as well as first-aid certified, and learned a lot about things like taking vital signs and providing emergency care.  I truly enjoy the combination of learning about the musculoskeletal system of the body as it relates to sports and medicine with the ability to participate in real-world experiences that a health-care provider would encounter such as simulation labs.

One part of the sports medicine course that I have grown to appreciate is the opportunity to work with the athletic trainer at my own high school. I have already shadowed the trainer at BVNW several of times and find it genuinely beneficial and intriguing to have a first-hand look at the tasks that they perform every day as well as the extent of the care they provide. Along with the chance to get to see what it is like to be a trainer on and off the field, I have already been able to pick up a few skills such as icing an injury, taping an ankle, and wrapping a wound. Based on this experience as well as future experience I know I will be able to discern what parts I like and maybe don’t like about an athletic trainer’s profession, and I will be able to make career path choices based on that experience.

I think that the most important piece to take away from the experience that I have had and will continue to have in my sports medicine course is the familiarity with what it is like to work in a professional environment and get along with others, even when they may be very different people from myself. I have been given the chance to start building on my professional network that I have no doubt will benefit me in the future. -Timmy Fanous

So far this year I have worked with my athletic trainer at my home school, administering care to athletes in the training room during the lunch hour. The training room is small, cramped and chaotic. There are people who need treatment for a variety of injuries. I have learned how to wrap ice bags on people, use the game ready machine, and use e-stim on injuries. Every person is unique and has different needs for their injury. I have also seen the athletic trainer use different recovery techniques for knee, and ankle injuries. Learning these different techniques has made me more comfortable in the training room and made me more efficient and faster in getting people treated. I also am understanding rehab techniques every day. I am excited to work a volleyball game or a practice soon.  -John Fischbach

The sports medicine CAPS program gives you a first-hand experience in the world of sports med. You learn how to treat and prevent injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports Medicine students learn and train on how to restore a patient’s injury so that they can get back on the field and moving as soon as possible. Students learn CPR, First Aid and how to stop a bleed, how to do vital signs, and get to shadow an athletic trainer and another medical professional. This program has given me a chance to understand what to expect if I were to go into the medical field. It is informative for many areas of medicine besides sports medicine: clinical, emergency, and orthopedics. -Jordan Henington

While shadowing my high school athletic trainer I learned how to assess a patient using an acronym. We learned MAPPSS, which allows you to walk through an evaluation with a patient. The M stands for mechanism, which is what happened and how it happened. The A stands for acute or chronic. Acute would be an injury that just occurred compared to chronic which would be a previous injury. P stands for previous history of any injuries to that area. The second P is for pain scale to determine the seriousness of the injury. S stands for sounds that may have occurred during the accident, the second S is for any signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms of the injury can help determine the injury. Learning this acronym can help lead me through future evaluations with patients to determine an injury. -Sophie Jones

Over the past few weeks, I have gained a multitude of new information relating to the Sports Medicine field. I have learned CPR, first aid, wound care, and how to tape an ankle, just to name a few skills. I have been able to put together the knowledge I have learned in school, and am currently learning in anatomy, and put it together into a real-life situation. Not only does this better my understanding of the anatomy of the human body, but it also has given me the opportunity to experience situations that I would otherwise never be able to practice in. -Abby Kreisler

This year so far has been extremely exciting and informative. I’ve learned about how to handle situations professionally and I’ve learned the importance of working as a team in the medical field. The staff here at CAPS exemplifies what it means to work as a team and truly look out for one another. There are many important components to being a part of a team which include: communication, professionalism, positive attitudes, problem solving abilities and much more. CAPS has afforded me amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to receive anywhere else. I am able to learn about career paths and I am given the opportunity to discover if this is really something I would like to major in. I’m are also afforded the chance to work with our athletic trainers at our local high school. Myles Wilcox is my high school athletic trainer and I have been able to spend 10 hours with him so far. He has taught me that knowledge is power. For example, the first time I worked with Myles was at a C-team football game, this afforded me the chance to look through all of his equipment and discuss the importance of each thing in his bags. I’ve learned about how to protect someone if they are having a seizure, wrap their ankle, help with blood and other things like that. I have actually been able to apply some of the things he has talked to me about. -Mallory Krueger

CAPS is a unique opportunity for students to learn about many professions and find their passion and dream job. This program teaches professionalism, focus, and how to deal with real world situations so that students are prepared for their future in the workforce. It exposes students to situations they would likely encounter if they enter the field of sports medicine so they can decide what they would like to explore as a career. Recently, we learned how to tape ankles, a very common job for athletic trainers. I thought this was interesting and fun as it was something I had seen done before, but never known how it worked. This experience was eye-opening to me as I discovered the skill, technique, and knowledge of anatomy that is necessary to become an athletic trainer.  Without CAPS, I would not know how much I enjoy the medicine field. -Sidney MacGillivray