Every year the students and staff of the LSU Athletic Training Program participate in an extensive review of all the skills necessary for the year ahead. This year was no different. Preseason is always a busy time in the program because in-services are an essential part of the student's learning experience and helps the new students to get their "feet wet" before working hands-on with the athletes.
This year, much was accomplished at in-services. Staff and GA expectations were openly discussed with the athletic training student. Such topics as professionalism, respectfulness, and responsibility were laid out for the younger students and served as a reminder for the older ones. Like in year's past, in order to get to know everyone, we all had to share a fun fact. Some interesting fun facts included a fear of sneezing! Allergy season in South Louisiana will be a challenge for this student! One student experiences goose bumps every time she sneezes, and another student simply believes it is gross. It was also discovered that Andy Barker is not alone is having a “toe thumb”. Another student revealed that she too had a toe thumb. Those who have known Andy for some time know how random that find was! Sharing a fun fact and listening to other students is always one of the highlights of in-services.
Along with expectations and fun facts, the students received a modalities in-service, which taught them the basics of modalities and which ones are most effective. The students also learned about the HIPPA and FERPA policies, as well as bloodborne pathogens and OSHA training. With training from former LSU Athletic Training Student Phil Page, the athletic training students learned how to use Therabands correctly and efficiently for stretching and strengthening different parts of the body. As you can probably tell, in-services are a time when a lot of information is shared and learning is done, and this is only a small portion of all the information covered.
Lastly, the students at football were treated to a special in-service with Head Athletic Trainer Jack Marucci in which the focus was becoming more hands-on with their athletes this year. During this in-service, Jack reviewed the proper techniques in using ASTYM, which is a form of soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to simulate the remodeling and regenerating of tissue. (Therapeutic Associates, n.d.) He also taught the students the proper technique in using Graston Tools, which is also a form of soft tissue mobilization that allows the clinician to break down scar tissue and restricted fascia. (Graston Technique, n.d.) The students learned how to use the traction table, a form of manual traction that aims at alleviating pressure on the spine. Also reviewed was the Fascial Distortion Model, which is a model that aims to uncover an injury and use one of six different manual techniques (depending on the injury) involving manipulation of fascia (connective tissue) to treat it. Additional training was done on the proper use of the Hivamat, which stimulates the lymphatic system to reduce pain and inflammation. Lastly, the Class 4 Laser, which is a laser that stimulates photoreceptors in the cells to stimulate and boost the healing response, was revistied. The students believed this to be a very beneficial learning experience. Senior football athletic training student Laura McKowen told us, “our in-services with Jack really made a difference in how I think about treating on our athletes. I am now more inclined to use manual therapy, and FDM because of the results that were seen from it. It works like magic!” Junior football athletic training student Macy Simoneaux also said that, “Because of the in-service we did with Jack, we have been more hands-on in terms of treatment choice. We’re a lot more comfortable performing manual therapy and most of us now prefer it over any other treatment options.”
It had been a very busy pre-season for the LSU Athletic Training Program. It will only get busier from here but the preparation the students received have made them more than ready for any challenges that lie ahead.
Therapeutic Associates. n.d. retrieved from http://www.therapeuticassociates.com/treatment/services/astym/
Graston Technique. n.d. retrieved from http://www.grastontechnique.com