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Students gain athletic training experience, treat injured SAC users

Athletic training students gain entry-level experience by treating injuries sustained at the Student Activity Center.

When a SAC user reports an injury, either the Injury Care Center or SAC staff fills out an injury report. If someone sustains an injury outside the ICC hours of operation — from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday — SAC employees will still fill out a report and make sure they get the care they need. 

In fall 2014, the Injury Care Center — located in Room 057 of the SAC — evaluated 195 individuals and carried out rehabilitation with 51 patients. In spring 2015, the ICC performed 197 evaluations and completed rehabilitation with 50 patients. 

This semester, eight students are enrolled in a one-credit course that requires them to spend 14 hours a week treating student injuries and being present during intramural games at the SAC.

“We are (a) third-year athletic training program for students," said Essexville senior and ICC staff member Megan Keen. "We are qualified for all of the work we do and are also supervised by an assistant professor."

The Injury Care Center is open to anyone with a SAC membership. The center is free for students. Prescriptions from University Health Services is needed for rehabilitation services, which operates on a fee for service basis. 

The existence of the center itself is relatively unknown to most people who utilize the SAC, said coordinator Molly Jennings.

"(The ICC staff) has worked on marketing and trying to let students know we’re here," Jennings said.

When it comes to physical injuries from exercising and playing sports, many students aren’t aware that they have actually hurt themselves, Keen said.

“Usually, when students hurt themselves during a workout, they think the pain will go away after a night until a couple days go by and they still hurt," Keen said. "That’s when they contact us."

The ICC operates on a budget of $800 from University Health Services, which isn't enough to cover the cost of tape when students go to the center to get their arm or leg taped after an injury, Jennings said. Patients are required to supply their own. 

The ICC does provide basic supplies for the immediate care of students and also has rehabilitation equipment.

“Something a lot of students ask when they hear we work here is ‘How much do you get paid,’ when in fact we don’t,” said Cheboygan senior Melissa Culfa.

Working in the ICC serves as clinical field experience for students, so they don't get paid for their work.

“This semester we have seen a lot of shoulder and knee injuries, and with intramural sports, we see a lot of sprains and fractures,” Culfa said.

The ICC checks intramural fields to make sure they're in good playing condition. It also modifies rules of sports that cause a lot of the same injuries.

“A couple weeks ago we were playing in our basketball championship and someone took a fall to the ground," said Rogers City junior Kaitlin Horn. "The medical staff did a good job with making sure they were OK by giving a fair amount of tests and a quick examination."

Injury Care Center appointments can be made at (989) 774-2345.