What do you get when you take 1,500 basketball players, pitted against each other on a 35’x35’ blacktop court for two vigorous days of street ball? You guessed it, the annual Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Now, throw in a few elbows to the face, rain to wet the courts, and players with long-time injuries and weak ankles and what does that make? It makes for a great weekend to be a Globe University medical assistant degree student volunteering in the first aid tent!
June 17-18 marked the annual event in Wausau, and again our Globe University medical assistant students were invited to help bandage wounds, assist with sutures, wrap sprained ankles and provide a helping hand in the first aid tent—gaining invaluable experience in their field.
“I enjoyed volunteering at Gus Macker,” said Mahad Jama, a student in the medical assistant program. “I think it gives us, as students, the opportunity to get out of the classroom and perform some of the duties that we will be doing as medical assistants. I even learned some new skills and since I was asking questions I think I gained some useful knowledge.”
Under the supervision of a Globe instructor as well as physicians, athletic trainers and personnel from The Bone and Joint Clinic in Wausau, the students were able to clean wounds and apply dressings, hand out ice packs, tape jammed fingers and assist with the more serious injuries that presented over the course of the weekend.
For example, the students were able to see, first-hand, how a ruptured Achilles tendon presents. They helped stabilize a fractured distal radius while a physician wrapped the break. Student Amber Rhyner was able to drop instruments onto a sterile field and assist with sutures for a laceration to the chin. All in all it was a fantastic learning experience for the students.
“I really enjoyed the hands-on part of the Gus Macker,” Amber said. “I saw a lot of things that I would not have been able to see in class. The doctors that were at Gus Macker were very helpful and it was a great experience.”
This annual event has become a useful teaching tool for the medical assistant students. It allows them to gain some valuable hands-on experience related to basic first aid and utilize their knowledge of anatomy when assisting a physician with a strain, sprain or fracture. The students learn to work with other members of a first aid team and have a chance to see how athletic medicine differs from regular medicine.
In addition to all the knowledge the students gain, they are also participating in a volunteer setting, which enhances their resumes. It also gives them networking opportunities they may not always have due to work and schooling commitments. As long as the National Gus Macker 3-on-3 tournament is played in Wausau, medical assistant students at Globe University-Wausau will be offered this educational opportunity.
By Kerry Miller-Mouzon