AT Students Volunteer in Honduras

 

AT Students Volunteer in Honduras

By Caitlin Deems, ATC
 
Hi, my name is Caitlin Deems and I would like to share an experience that my husband (Joshua Deems, ATC) and I had last year when we were seniors in the athletic training program at the University of West Florida. We spent spring break in La Ceiba, Honduras with an American internal medicine doctor who works at a local clinic for the disadvantaged.
 
Our original goal was to bring our knowledge of orthopedic injuries and interventions along with literature and supplies to help him treat patients who were coming to him with things like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and various overuse injuries related to manual labor and sports. He and his tech found they lacked the knowledge and supplies to address these common conditions and heard we were interested in medical missions from a contact I had made on a previous visit to Honduras. He invited us to visit this clinic, and we were able to show him various taping methods, how to make a swathe sling, fit a SAM splint, do a simple shoulder eval, and assess wear patterns on shoes, to name a few.

 

Overall, the experience was incredible and eye opening for everyone involved. I was newly certified at the time, but we were able to make a difference and impart the knowledge we received through the curriculum and clinical rotations at UWF. We spent a few days with a children's home, helping them move into their new home, bringing supplies and teaching in their school. That experience gave us a new outlook on our education and treating patients. We want to hopefully inspire others to use the education they have received to give back to others, whether that is a sports team or people in a disadvantaged country. It has been a year since our last trip, and we are working on going back soon. We wanted to share our story and how athletic training gave us the ability to serve in such an amazing capacity.
 
Caitlin sent this video she and Joshua made to show their ATP program classmates when they got back:

 

If you're interested in international athletic training, visit the International Athletic Training page or join the International AT LinkedIn group.

Posted by Jordan Grantham (jordang@nata.org) on behalf of blog author Caitlin Deems, ATC (caitlindeems@gmail.com).

 

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