Injury Care Clinic Serves Campus and Community

Injury Evaluation and Care Clinic stock photo

Northern Michigan University athletic training students are getting hands-on experience at the Injury Evaluation and Care Clinic powered by the Health and Human Performance Department. The clinic also provides the campus and community with a healthcare opportunity that specializes in the assessment and primary treatment of sport and physical activity-related injuries.

“The foundational purpose of the clinic is to enhance education opportunities for athletic training students,” said Julie Rochester, NMU athletic training professor. “Our clinic has grown tremendously. We are now in our own space, and we were able to develop a partnership with U.P Rehab. The partnership came about due to the expansion of the clinic and the need for more staffing.”

U.P Rehab has provided the clinic with two certified athletic trainers, who are also NMU alumni. They work there 20 hours per week, enabling the clinic to be open nearly 40 hours per week. That is a noticeable increase from the six to eight hours it operated initially.

“The athletic training clinician slows things down and hones in on what athletic training students might be need more experience in,” said Nicole Coleman, Injury Evaluation and Care Clinic supervisor and athletic trainer for U.P Rehab Services. “Whether that be evaluation or rehabilitation skills, we can evaluate what students need and what they struggle with. This allows them [athletic training students] to learn at their own pace. Once they get into athletic training rotations with patients, they have to be on their A-game.”

The clinic treats sprains, strains, contusions, anything musculoskeletal in nature and pre/post-orthopedic surgery cases (ACL reconstruction, joint replacement, arthroscopy, etc.)  It also provides the following services: primary injury treatment and evaluation, injury rehabilitation, home exercise care plans, athletic taping and bracing, and information on physician care and outpatient physical rehabilitation services.

“It's nice for the NMU and Marquette-area communities to have access to affordable care and shorter wait times compared to a larger health care office,” said master's athletic training student Emma Johnson. “When I worked in the clinic, I worked with the young, students and retirees. You get a base of how to treat different age populations because exercises are going to look different, and explaining how to do everyday activities is going to be different. It gives you the knowledge of how to become a better healthcare practitioner.”

“Were trained how to examine musculoskeletal injuries, whereas in the ER, that's not their primary training; they're looking for serious issues,” said graduate assistant Abby Knight. “They're [ER] trying to triage and take care of the person who needs it most. We can differentiate which type of actual acute injury it is, or if more care is needed.”

The clinic provides internships to second-year master's students in their last semester of graduate school. It also offers internships for students from Marquette Senior High School's health occupations course.

The clinic started small, out of one of the athletic training classrooms, in the early 2000s. Rochester came up with the idea after seeing a similar clinic developed at Central Michigan University. Northern began offering athletic training services between faculty class schedules.

All athletic training students sign a form that ensures they do not give out any health information about any of their patients.

“It's very common to have multiple patients being treated out in the open by multiple clinicians, so people see each other, but as far as protected health care information, we apply patient privacy like any other health care provider within the state of Michigan,” said Rochester. “Additionally, students who work in the clinic are required to maintain patient confidentiality.”

The clinic is located in suite 226 at the PEIF. To schedule an appointment, call 906-227-2174. For hours and costs for services visit this link.

Prepared By

Bridgette Bowser
Student Writer

Categories: Around NMU, Strategic Plan