Students begin their careers at OHS
November 4, 2019
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While OHS athletes are out competing on the court, on the field, in the pool, or on the track, the sports medicine trainers are continuously working behind the scenes to prepare, rehabilitate, and fuel all the athletes. Alongside athletic trainers Courtney Woodward, Melissa Portela, and Jessica Bridgeman, are the senior interns.
Seniors who have taken both Introduction to Sports Medicine and Advanced Sports Medicine are eligible to apply for the senior internship at OHS. These students are enrolled in an online class and are required to obtain a minimum of five observation hours each week.
“Here at O’Connor we act as their employers. We do a mock business for the training room. We hire senior interns through an application process. We do employee review and all that kind of stuff afterwards to get them used to the work field,” Woodward said. “They can shadow off campus, too, with a physical therapy clinic or a chiropractor. We’ve even had students shadow EMTs and nurses before. It really lets them get an idea of the field they want to go into. It gets them exposure to that field before they have to start making college decisions.”
Outside of the classroom, the student interns can be found at all sports practices and games. Five of the interns cover morning practice, while the remaining eight cover after school practices. The interns focus on keeping the athletes hydrated, and do their best to prevent and tend to any injuries.
“They have to complete proficiencies that are related to sports medicine such as taping, stretching, modalities like ice bags and heating pads, and then rehab. They have to understand the rehabilitation process and be able to run an athlete through a rehab program,” Woodward said.
Quinn Dickerson, senior, President of the Sports Medicine Assistant Club and sports medicine intern, is currently working toward getting his CNA (certified nursing assistant). Thanks to the hours of work he puts into this program, Dickerson will be able to graduate and become a nurse practitioner ahead of his class.
“I thought I wanted to be a surgeon or something, and then I started thinking about being a physical therapist. But then, I started thinking that nursing was more my route just because I like that patient one on one interaction. I learned that through this internship. It has helped me discover who I am and what I want to be,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson has fallen in love with this program and the overall atmosphere.
“I think my favorite part is actually helping people and having one on one contact with the athletes or patients and being able to treat them. It can be a lot of fun, and it is a lot of work, but I think it is super rewarding. You actually get to be on site, on the field,” Dickerson said.
Whether it is icing, getting a limb taped, or using a Band-Aid, the majority of OHS athletes have most likely received help from an intern. Varsity basketball player, Malia McIver, senior, has received extensive help from the interns all throughout her highschool career.
“Honestly, they have been really great. Last year I had a stress fracture and I kept playing on it, and I ended up partially breaking it. They’ve helped me through a lot of rehab that I had to do with my foot,” McIver said.
As well as help with major injuries, the interns are there to help ease any pain, big or small.
“I go there if I have any minor inconveniences and they make me feel so welcome. It’s so easy to just go there and say, ‘I have this problem or it hurts while I’m doing this,’ so then they’ll give me a minor adjustment and then it’ll be perfectly fine the next day,” McIver said.
Attending games means that the interns must travel with the teams. This means long bus rides, bags full of medical supplies, and buses packed with athletes and interns. The long and late hours can be tedious, but it means the world to each team.
“They are probably one of our number one supporters, which is honestly the best thing ever. They get to be on our bench, they see most of our season, and they see extra practices. They usually know how much hard work we put in. It’s really great having them be there throughout all of it,” McIver said.
All of the hours spent at the school and at sporting events can seem like a hassle, but for students aspiring to become a medical professional, this internship is a perfect opportunity to introduce them to the medical field.
“I’m the vice president of the sports medicine club, so a lot of people come to me if they have problems or if they don’t know what to do. I enjoy it. It gets me involved with the school a lot,” said Lauryn Jacobs, senior. “It’s a lot of time commitment. You really have to want it, and want to be a part of it. You really have to be committed and have the time to do this.”
Applications to become an intern next year are open now and can be found on the DVUSD website under senior internship.