This is the first of my updates on how my volunteer rotation in Sports medicine clinic in the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs is going. On my long road to get here my patients, family and friends kept asking me lots of questions like what was I going to do when I got here. I would answer with “I will be taking care of the Best athletes in the world, at the best sports medicine clinic in the world with the best healthcare providers in the world. There will be collaboration with other chiropractors, physical therapists, medical doctors, orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers, sports biomechanists, sports physiologists, nutritionists, sport specific coaches and information technologists. The information technologists crunch the numbers from the large amounts of data extracted from all the strength and movement testing. With everyone’s main goal being to increase the athletes performance, recovery and fix injuries. The real goal is to win Gold medals. That I will be working Monday to Friday all day, 8-6 and half day Saturday.
That the resident sports are what I should expect to mainly be working with and on. Which are wrestling, boxing, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, shooting, judo, triathlon, and cycling. That was all I could tell them and if they had other questions about the experience, I would tell them it was a bit of black box.
So now that I’ve gotten here I have learned a lot and thought I should share. So that others that follow in my foot sets are better prepared. If you fly into Denver and take a shuttle to the Colorado Springs airport don't assume that someone will be there waiting for you when you arrive, make sure that you have the athlete's center phone number which is 719-866-4500, they will connect you with the shuttle driver and he will tell you where to meet. I did not know this so spent an hour waiting to get picked up.
I was given the phone info but it was months ago and 15 emails ago. Call them when you are on your way. If you fly into Colorado Springs call them when you land. I flew into Denver because it was 200.00 cheaper to get there from Truckee. I had to fly out of Reno Tahoe International Airport and go to either Colorado Springs or Denver airport. I took Groome transportation, figure 2.5 hours on Sunday. Google maps said 1.5 hours.
So I arrived, checked in and went to my room in the athletes dorm. AKA the barracks, they were former Military quarters. I was lucky to not have to share this room with someone else, some of the other volunteers had to share a room. The rooms we had were very much like a college dorm.
The walls in the room are totally white without a decoration. 2 full beds, a small TV, a loud mediocre air conditioner, and sink, a closet without doors, beat up furniture but functional. There was a shared bathroom on each floor, with a tiny shower, 2 broken ventilation fans, so it was very hot and wet in there. Everything was very clean. I had very nice neighbors that were boxers and coaches in one of the many athlete development camps. I later found out that both coaches and these athletes were some of the best in the country. Da, your at the Olympic training center.
On Monday morning we had orientation that seemed a bit rushed. The big thing I got out of it was to be very careful about what I call myself in the media. I am not an intern or a medical partner. I am doing a rotation as “sports medicine volunteer”. No pictures in the clinic due to HIPPA medical privacy rules and do not interfere with any sport practices. After the orientation I was pulled aside and told that I could not where shorts in clinic and I need long pants. I was sent a dress code before departure but it was not clear, I thought I could wear shorts, oops I was wrong and off to Lulu Lemon to buy pants.
We were then taught how to use the medical record system. It is very cumbersome to use and I am being nice. This was the general opinion of the other volunteers.
I started to work on some Olympic athletes today and that was pretty fun, it was really nice to be able to work with people that are super receptive, that are very body tuned in, that have a large anatomical basis of knowledge, which is close to a lot of healthcare professionals have. This enabled us figure out problems and get way better results. I look forward to keep doing that through the rest of the next two weeks. In addition to the work I already knew about, we would each work an on call shift from clinic closing to clinic opening every third day. On Saturday, work medical coverage at athletes camps till 6. On the first Saturday after working in the clinic, I had 2 emergencies. The first was a camp athlete with an ankle sprain, that was treated with ice and too visit there at home healthcare provider. The second was a guest of the public tours of the Olympic center that had fainted. She had some pulse issue so she got sent to ER.
More to come.