Monday, February 28, 2011

Athletic Medicine Internship

My first day as an athletic medicine intern went surprisingly well. The first half hour was mind-numbingly dull and entailed a lot of standing around by the cabinets trying not to get in the professional's way. But after most of the athletes had evacuated the athletic medicine room, the trainers had more spare time to show us the ropes. I basically learned how to operate most of the machines in the room and make an ice pack.

Surprisingly, there is a lot more technique to packing a bag of ice than I previously thought. To prepare an ice pack, you have to place one scoop of ice into a plastic bag. Then, you suck out all the air from the bag (yes, using your mouth) before tying a knot on the bag approximately three inches above the ice. You place the ice on the athlete's body part of choice and wrap it with clear tape. Oh, except if the athlete needs to place the ice bag in a more awkward body part, have them do it themselves. My athlete needed an ice pack on his groin...

There were a few USC football players in the athletic medicine room preparing to train for the NFL combine. The head trainer asked me to wrap a football player's ankle (to prevent severe ankle sprains). Only problem is that I had no idea what that entailed. The football player saw my hesitation - "Coach, she's scared of me, huh?"

No, I'm not scared. Okay, maybe just a tiny bit. It's a little unnerving when your patient stands about 6'5", is approximately double your weight, and possesses a set of ankles that are twice as thick as your own. Not to mention a set of freakishly bulging biceps.

Despite the long hours I have to put in for this program, I'm excited to be in athletic medicine! I'm even excited for the start of spring football season despite the fact that practice starts at 6am on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I thought it was bad enough that I have a shift once a week from 5:45am - 8:45am).

One of the perks of working for athletic medicine is that you have access to the weight training room at Heritage Hall. I accidentally walked into the weight training room this morning instead of the athletic medicine room and all of the big, beefy guys in there laughed at me. "You're in the wrong room" they informed me as they continued lifting. The weight lifting coach was nice enough to direct me to the right room afterwards. But before I left the room, I saw a few 200lb weights sitting on the rack. 200lbs??!?!?!!?

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