Friday, September 3, 2010

Tale of the Tape: What Did You Do at Work Yesterday?

Good morning! It's Friday, September 3rd, I think. I made it into work a few minutes early this morning to see if maybe I could get a blog written and posted. I had a very eloquent one written yesterday but I must have waited too long in between starting and stopping and it kicked it out. By that time of the evening I didn't have it in me to start over. And besides, something cool happened at practice that I wanted to tell you about.

First of all, for the new ones - I'm a Certified Athletic Trainer that works primarily with the Football and Men's Basketball teams here at TROY. I live a crazy life at this time of year to say the least. I honestly feel like I'm three steps ahead of the little white rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland." I love my job and like to write, so when they started these blogs a few years ago I jumped on the opportunity to share my side of the story. I promise I'll do a little better at giving you my perspective from the sidelines.

So back to the cool part-

I witnessed two pretty amazing things yesterday at practice, actually. One was good and one, well, not so much. So I'll recap my non-chalant Thursday and see if you can compare it to what YOU did at work yesterday:

Right off the bat at 7:45 AM in the parking lot I had a young man yell at me telling me he needed me. Then before I could get up the elevator and settled at my morning post I had another young athleteic fella tell me he needed me too. Now if that doesn't start the day off nicely, I don't know what will.

The latter of the two had a big bump on his neck that needed some attention from a skilled professional. An ingrown hair had taken a turn for the worse and had become quite the angry pustule. A heatpack for 10 minutes followed by some carefully guided pressure and the protection from a pair of goggles and he was feeling MUCH better. Lucky me!

We worry about these little "bumps" because of a nasty little bug called MRSA (short for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). MRSA is an extremely contagious microbe that wreaks havoc on soft tissue if not cared for expeditiously and in proper fashion. We have a few such "bumps" on the watch list on any given day. This one didn't appear to be MRSA from my "microscopic eye", but we'll watch it daily and see how it progresses. Hopefully it will resolve on its own.

After that, I placed a drug order...with a reputable source, of course. We use a company called SportPharm to assist us in our inventory control of medications for the athletic training room. Not much else to say about that.

Then, I assisted a few athletes with their rehab for a few hours. We implemented a new system of treatment flow sheets over the summer when we didn't have anything else to do. This entails using a red folder for each injured athlete currently undergoing treatment. We ordered 100 of these folders this summer. They've been a great addition in the treatment process for a few reasons. They not only allow the athlete to have a guide for treatment when we're treating 20 of them at a time, it allows us a way to document those treatments more accurately. And when things are documented accurately in the computer, I'm a happy girl. The only bad thing is that we've run out of folders...which means 100 student-athletes (at least) are undergoing daily treatment for injuries. That adds up to 25% of all student-athletes! Now you know why I haven't had time to blog!!

After that, it was lunch (cereal at home while I hung some curtains) and a little CPR instruction.

Then off to practice...and that's where I witnessed the really neat stuff. So, humor me a little more.

Thursday's are typically short, uneventful days. (That's called foreshadowing.)

We had a young man undergo arthroscopic surgery one day and practice the very next. That was amazing to witness. We've had that happen with two or three days in between, but never the very next day. Lots of props go out to our orthopedic surgeon and Team Physician, Dr. Jeffrey Dugas. He knows his way around joints better than anybody else I know! Of course, it takes a special kind of athlete - mentally and physically - to pull off that feat. More on that later, but I think he may be a candidate for "Athletic Trainer Player of the Week" if he gets in the game Saturday....just sayin'.

To bring us all back to reality, though, we experienced a fairly serious injury - fractured and dislocated ankle. You know it's bad when you hear guys on the sideline calling for the athletic training staff. A quick jog to the rescue of a very tough young man lying on the field with his foot pointing in the wrong direction. No crying, no screaming, no flailing...from him or me. We deployed the troops (aka Athletic Training Students) for the splint bag and golf cart, the team went on about practice on other parts of the practice fields, we stabilized and transported with minimal difficulty and we were back to normal practice duty within 10 minutes. We couldn't have asked for it to go down much more smoothly.

So, what do you learn from that? First, that Thursday practices -or any practice, for that matter - will no longer viewed as "light" in the eyes of these Athletic Training Students. Secondly, it pays to know where important things are and how our Emergency Action Plans work. I mean "really" work. Not play-pretend. I'm proud of them for not freaking out and for maintaining composure under pressure. That's the difference in teaching and experiencing this profession. The latter is the most important in my book.

Well that pretty much wrapped up the day. After attending to some after-practice paperwork, I was too exhausted -mentally and physically - to do my Insanity workout so I'll have to make it up today. Hopefully it'll be a "light" day!

See you Saturday - if not before!


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