Archive for March, 2012

Clinical Coordinator in Education: An In Depth Look

Friday, March 30th, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Stacy Walker, PhD, ATC, Clinical Coordinator at Ball State University

Describe your setting:
I am a tenured Associate Professor of Athletic Training at Ball State University in Indiana. Aside from teaching in our CAATE Accredited Athletic Training Education Program, I am the Clinical Education Coordinator. I receive release for my research and for the Clinical Education duties and teach 2-3 classes each semester. This spring, I am teaching Introduction to Athletic Training (1 credit), Organization and Administration of Athletic Training (2 credits) and Advanced Athletic Training (Graduate course, 3 credits).

Ball State University has me along with 2 other faculty, one doctoral assistant, four clinical staff and nine graduate assistants educators as well as over 15 off campus clinical sites. Visit our Facebook page and twitter account@BSU_AT to learn more about our program.

How long have you worked in this setting?
I have been employed at Ball State University since August of 2004. In May of 2010, I assumed the role of Clinical Education Coordinator. Before Ball State University, I was an Assistant Professor and the Clinical Education Coordinator at William Patterson University from 2001-2004. During my doctoral studies I also taught courses while supervising athletic training students and practicing clinically at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Describe your typical day:
I have two types of typical days: teaching/administrative and research/reading days. On teaching/administrative days, in addition to teaching, administrative tasks include attending the clinical staff meeting, meeting with our doctoral assistant, and attending our meeting with the entire athletic training teaching faculty. We have students who are engaged in clinical education on and off campus; therefore, I am often either receiving various forms (e.g., mid-practicum student evaluations, preceptor [clinical instructor evaluations], etc.)  or communicating with those students or preceptors on those days as well. Any service (e.g., university, reviewing articles, committee work), site visits to off campus clinical sites, is also performed mostly on these days.

On reading/research days I am reading through literature to assist with my publication and grant writing and/or writing abstracts, presentations, publications or grants. I have three papers I am writing, performing data collection, and mentoring our doctoral student on a recently funded research project. I also am creating future research projects for myself and mentoring junior faculty.

What do you like about your position?
I love the involvement with the students. It’s wonderful to see them grow and change over the course of the 3 years they are in our program. I also love to perform, publish, and present research as well as mentor our doctoral student and junior faculty.  

What do you dislike about your position?
Unfortunately, I do not engage in clinical practice. I would love to be more involved and provide athletic training services to patients while educating students. Also, the administrative tasks can be time consuming.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?
Avoid any type of administration for at least your first 5 years after obtaining your terminal degree. I advise finding a teaching position where you have dedicated research release, limited clinical responsibilities, but no administrative responsibilities.  This would provide you time to adjust to faculty life without the pressure and distraction of administration. You can still be a valued contributing member of the athletic training program faculty while learning the educational and accreditation processes. I also recommend finding a strong mentor who can assist with planning a research line and devise methods to focus your time to help you be a successful as a faculty member. No college course or PhD prepares you for administration!

Team Approach to Concussion Management and Return to the Classroom

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Last fall, I approached a local physical therapy clinic who is actively involved in providing CEU opportunities for Athletic Trainers (ATs)  in the region.  The idea I had was to facilitate a conference and round table discussion with ATs, school nurses, guidance counselors and school administrators on returning concussed students to the classroom.  The clinic was very receptive to the idea, so we decided to make it happen. 

The Buy In

Is this opportunity worthwhile for school nurses, administrators and guidance counselors to attend?  The ATs needed CEUs which the clinic would provide and my school district provided Act 48 hours (teacher education requirements) for all who needed those hours.  A few of the nurses were given a certificate of attendance to report in their CME folders. 

The Need for Discussion

Did we want to address very basic concussion management or really focus on establishing a protocol for return to the classroom?  We developed a web based survey to see how to move forward. The survey asked respondents to rate their school’s return to classroom policies and procedures.  With 100 ATs, school nurses and administrators responses, the survey came back overwhelmingly in support that a team approach was lacking but desired. The nurses and ATs felt competent in concussion management individually, but it seemed that the school’s lacked procedures and knowledge in what to do for concussed students.  Respondents saw the need for accommodations but lacked formal plans to establish those accommodations.

Who and Where

There are two doctors in our area that are very articulate, experienced and supportive of ATs who were willing to speak on the process of returning concussed students to the classroom.  They have laid back personalities and their speaking style is more of a short lecture followed by in-depth question and answer time.  This format would fit what we wanted to accomplish.  We didn’t need a lecture hall or a formal classroom; we decided to meet in my school district’s library.  As the time approached though, the attendance number out grew the library and we moved it to a cafeteria which fit the informal discussion theme we wanted to establish.

The meeting was on President’s Day at 9:00am.  This was a teacher in-service day for a vast majority of schools in the area so the school nurses, counselors and administrators had no responsibilities at their schools.  9:00am is usually a down time for school-based ATs and this date was between the winter and spring seasons in Pennsylvania, so it seemed to be a good fit for all the professionals we targeted to come.

Over 50 people attended and the lectures, questions and answer time and ensuing discussion went really well.  There was a lot of very positive feedback and the principles were well laid out so that the attendees could return to their school and begin to establish a formal return to the classroom policy and procedure within the school district.  A team approach is best with the Athletic Trainer, school nurse and guidance counselor each having distinct roles in caring for the injured student.  Once each team member understands their role and what the other roles are within the team, the student can better recover from a concussion, even if that is a short period of time.  The goal is full recovery and best practice in management of the injury. 

How does your athletic training staff work ubiquitously with school nurses, guidance counselors and school administrators?

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Athletic Trainers Add Value: NATM

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

It’s the final week of March’s Athletic Training Month, making me think about why Athletic Trainers add value. 

The following scenario helps show the importance of Athletic Trainers (ATs):  A college athlete enters the athletic training facility first thing in the morning. She complains of persistent abdominal pain. Upon examination, the AT determines that the patient has a slight fever, palpable abdominal tenderness, and describes unremitting nausea. The AT calls her supervising physician with a differential diagnosis of ovarian cyst or appendicitis. The supervising physician agrees, and a plan is made to transport the athlete to a nearby hospital for further examination. A CT scan reveals an inflamed appendix, with subsequent surgical intervention and successful recovery.

This type of case, played out in athletic training facilities across the country, illustrates exactly how Athletic Trainers are an integral part of the healthcare system, making access easier and lowering costs. Early detection of the problem, coupled with phone consultation with a physician (as opposed to waiting for an appointment), followed by quick care - all of these actions save money and improve patient outcomes. That's the value of the Athletic Trainer. 

Written By: Sara D. Brown, MS, ATC
sara@bu.edu

Physician Extenders: An In Depth Look

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Daniel Ruedeman, MS, ATC, LAT, OTC; Physician Extender with Lubbock Sports Medicine, Lubbock, Texas

Describe your setting:
My current work setting is at Lubbock Sports Medicine (LSM), a private practice for orthopedics and sports medicine; consists of four orthopedic surgeons, one nurse practitioner and one physician assistant. I currently am the clinical coordinator for a sports medicine fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon as well as his physician assistant (PA-C).  

Lubbock Sports Medicine (LSM) employs Athletic Trainers for 30 area high schools.  The Athletic Trainers either staff the high schools daily or only contract to staff football. We also have a long standing relationship with other area high schools that employ full time athletic trainers, where our orthopedic surgeons are the team physicians.  

We also have a well established Saturday Morning Clinic, during the fall sports season that allows athletes the opportunity to see an orthopedic surgeon the morning after football games, to be evaluated for sports related injuries. During this time they are thoroughly evaluated and have the opportunity to work with other athletic trainers and physical therapists as well.

Lubbock Sports Medicine also owns Lubbock Sports Rehab. A great place to allow a fellowship trained Athletic Trainer work with you as well as our staff physical therapist. This is another well established facility in town that takes great pride in treating their patients. 

How long have you worked in this setting?
I have been employed at Lubbock Sports Medicine for just over 3 years.  During my time here, I have helped start a Monday Morning Meeting where all of our Athletic Trainers come to discuss special topics with our physicians; a great way for our Athletic Trainers to continue their education.  They utilize what they learn in the meeting and are able to apply those skills out on the field. 

I am also an Approved Clinical Instructor (ACI) through Texas Tech University.  Texas Tech has an Entry-Level Athletic Training Masters Program and each semester I have one Athletic Training student shadow me during the school year, in our clinic as well as the outreach contract that I have. During this time they learn how an orthopedic clinic functions, review radiographic information, perform a history and physical exam, present information to the physician and help coordinate treatments.

Describe your typical day:
My typical day begins with arriving to the clinic 30 minutes before our clinic opens at 8am. During this time I catch up on voicemails, organize material to review with my physician/PA-C and prepare for the day.

On clinical days, by 9am we are geared up and seeing patients. We continue to see patients till noon. After returning from lunch, we start at 1:30 seeing patients and finish at 5:00pm. After clinic I check voicemails and have materials reviewed with the physician/PA-C and make phone calls regarding MRI’s, etc.  I make an effort to communicate with the Athletic Trainers at the area schools regarding their athletes and discuss treatments.

On off-clinic days I make phone calls regarding reports, return other phone calls, check on the progress of patients at physical therapy etc. These days are used to catch up with patient’s phone calls and MRI reports.  On these same days I staff a local private high school. At the school I staff all football games, and all home events for all the other sports. This usually starts around 3:30pm and ends when practice or games are over. I check in with all the coaches and, if needed, evaluate injured athletes and possibly set up appointments for those that need them.

I also act as the liaison between Texas Tech University (TTU) athletics and our clinic. LSM has a great relationship with TTU, their athletes and staff and help provide the best medical coverage for them.  I help coordinate MRI’s, appointments, etc for injured athletes and help expedite their care. 

What do you like about your position?
This position is unique. The position of Physician Extender is still emerging as one of the newest sought-after settings in athletic training. This setting allows the athletic trainer to see the patient/athlete from the time they are injured to the time they are release for full participation. It’s a great setting in which to have direct access to injury evaluations, radiographic review, surgical intervention, physical therapy, etc. 

This setting allows the Athletic Trainer to build patient rapport and establish great connections with people.  Having the fellowship training that I have had has allowed me to have connections with some of the greatest Athletic Trainers around. Having those resources, specifically the Athletic Trainers that have physician extender experience, provide me support with problem solving questions.  This setting can be a great experience for building customer service skills.

This clinic is unique in many ways. The orthopedic surgeon that I work with trained at The Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, CO (now The Steadman Clinic), the physician assistant worked at The Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas and I myself was trained at The Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail as well. This has allowed us to be able to communicate and read each other, considering the similar training we have received.

Since I have my Orthopedic Technician Certification (OTC) I am able to scrub in on cases with my physician and his PA-C.   This allows me to see first-hand what is going on with the patient and how the orthopedic surgeon will treat the patient. Being scrubbed in and assisting in a case such as an ACL reconstruction is a pretty amazing experience.

I also have participated in being a guest speaker in TTU Masters of Athletic Training program classes. I was able to educate athletic training students on post graduate education and the opportunities that each of them had available to them. I am grateful that I am able to lend a helping hand to future Athletic Trainers.

What do you dislike about your position?
In my current position, time management skills are a great attribute to have. Things can change fast and patients may need something ASAP and it may be up to me to make sure things are done. There is a sense of pressure to make sure things are done as efficiently as possible, which I strive to accomplish on a daily bases.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?
Have a strong work ethic. That was something that was instilled into me from my mentors and I continue to build upon. I was always told to remember your roots. Remember where you came from and how you have made it to where you are today. The people you work with need to have an understanding of who you are, what you are about and how you do things. Build your team around the common goals of your setting, place of employment and continue to strive to be the best you can.

Athletic Trainers Save Lives and More…

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

March is National Athletic Training Month and this year the National Athletic Trainers’ Association is celebrating it with the theme “Athletic Trainers Save Lives.” I believe this is a great theme because athletic trainers are healthcare providers often responsible for potential life threatening injuries on the athletic fields and off! But Athletic Trainers are so much more than just emergency personnel.

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals licensed in nearly every state and nationally certified. Over 70% of all Athletic Trainers possess a masters degree or higher and that number continues to rise. In order to become an Athletic Trainer, an individual must graduate from an accredited athletic training education program and pass the BOC exam. This grueling 175-question exam in 4 hours tests one’s knowledge in anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pharmacology, physics, chemistry, emergency procedures, injury evaluation, administration, and much more.

From there, one must be registered or licensed according to their respective state laws. In order to maintain that certification and state license, one must complete continuing education. This can take place in self-study, weekend courses, additional formal education, and athletic training conventions. This ensures the Athletic Trainer is up-to-date on the latest information and prepared as best as possible. In addition, an Athletic Trainer must possess current certification in CPR and AED use as a professional healthcare provider.

So what else does an Athletic Trainer do?

  •  Athletic Trainers prevent injuries through proper conditioning, taping and bracing, and evaluating facilities prior to use
  • Athletic Trainers recognize orthopedic injuries and evaluate injuries
  • Athletic Trainers provide immediate treatment for injuries ranging from blisters to life-threatening events
  • Athletic Trainers are rehabilitation professionals
  • Athletic Trainers manage budgets, personnel, facilities and most importantly medical records of their patients
  • Athletic Trainers strive to develop as professionals each and every day

So yes, Athletic Trainers do save lives. Hopefully you see they do a lot more than that too!

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer

Written By: Mike Hopper, ATC
michael.n.hopper@gmail.com

The Power of Gratitude During NATM

Friday, March 16th, 2012

National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread the word about the profession of athletic training and how it positively impacts the world.  The goal is to reach individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers with regards to legislation, employment and public health.  During this time, athletic trainers across America are recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active. 

The general public can participate in NATM activities in a number of ways.  Often a simple “thank you” can make an ATs day.  The power of gratitude is colossal.  With burnout rates higher than ever before and young professionals leaving athletic training to pursue other careers, expressing thanks to those who provide quality care everyday and keep patients safe is important.  Employers, parents, coaches, athletes, administrators and others can participate by using the postcard below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC 
JessicaO@bocatc.org

 

Public Service Announcements for NATM

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread the word about the profession of athletic training and how it positively impacts the world.  The goal is to reach individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers with regards to legislation, employment and public health.  During this time, athletic trainers across America are recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active. 

One way to promote the profession is to recognize athletic trainers through public service announcements.  Radio and television stations are required to broadcast stories of “public interest.” PSAs are one way stations receive credit from the Federal Communications Commission for following such rules. PSAs are used to promote non-profit organizations or cause-related activities.

Announcements through radio and television are an effective way to reach a large audience.  To request a public service announcement, follow the instructions provided by NATA below:

Contact your local television and radio stations and ask for the public affairs director. This is the person responsible for scheduling PSAs. Find out what PSA length the station prefers (15 or 30 seconds); format (single or double-spaced); how it should be submitted (via e-mail or regular mail); how much advance notice the station needs; and any other information required. Some TV and radio stations also offer PSA submission details on their websites.

On your PSA sheet, include your name, title, phone number and e-mail address. If mailing, include the information on your letterhead stationery. Send the PSA along with a cover note asking the public affairs director to consider running your PSA. Follow up a week later with him/her to find out if the station will be airing your PSA and, if so, when.

Below are sample PSAs provided by NATA for your convenience.

 RADIO OR TV PSA (30-SECOND)

CELEBRATE NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH THIS MARCH BY FOLLOWING THESE IMPORTANT SPORTS INJURY-PREVENTION TIPS:

  • BEFORE PARTICIPATING, SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR A PHYSICAL EXAM.
  • ALWAYS MAKE SURE THERE IS AN EMERGENCY PLAN IN PLACE.
  • DRINK SEVEN TO TEN OUNCES OF WATER OR SPORTS DRINK EVERY TEN TO TWENTY MINUTES DURING EXERCISE.
  • AVOID TOBACCO, ALCOHOL AND OTHER HARMFUL DRUGS.
    AND, FINALLY…
  • HAVE ACCESS TO A CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER.

THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION – NATA.ORG.

 RADIO OR TV PSA (15-SECOND)

SIDELINED WITH AN INJURY? MAKE SURE YOU CONSULT A CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINER, WHO SPECIALIZES IN THE PREVENTION, ASSESSMENT, TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION OF INJURIES AND ILLNESSES. AVOID INJURY AND STAY ACTIVE WITH AN ATHLETIC TRAINER. A REMINDER FROM THE NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION – NATA.ORG – DURING NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH.

Put the AT Face with a Name at Sporting Events

Monday, March 12th, 2012

National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread the word about the profession of athletic training and how it positively impacts the world.  The goal is to reach individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers with regards to legislation, employment and public health.  During this time, athletic trainers across America are recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active. 

One way to promote the profession is to recognize athletic trainers at sporting events.  While the coach and athletes may understand to a degree the role of an AT, parents and the public audience may not.  The AT may be individually recognized during half time or a break in action.  This also puts a face with a name for the audience.  

Announcements at sporting events are an effective way to reach a large audience.  To request a public announcement for a sporting event, start by contacting the appropriate individuals.  For high school sporting events, the Director of Athletics may be able to assist with the project.  When contacting college/university athletics departments or professional sports organizations, the Sports Information Director or Marketing and Promotions Team are usually better contacts.  The key is to do as much of the work for the organization as possible so all they have to do is read the announcement.  Hook the organization with a personal reason for why they should take time to make the announcement.  Provide them with the game you would like the announcement presented (look at the team’s game schedule using the Internet for potential opportunities at home contests).  Provide the verbiage to be shared at the game.  Below you will find a sample public announcement from the NATA NATM PR Toolkit.  Be sure to adapt it as appropriate to fit the needs of the event. 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT FOR A SPORTING EVENT OR OTHER COMMUNITY FORUM

(EVERYONE/LADIES AND GENTLEMEN) PLEASE TURN YOUR ATTENTION TO (CENTER COURT/THE 50-YARD LINE/THE HEAD TABLE). IN HONOR OF THE 12TH ANNUAL NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH, (INSERT YOUR SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION HERE) WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE SPECIAL VIP MEMBERS OF ITS (ATHLETIC/CORPORATE/COMMUNITY/MEDICAL) FAMILY – CERTIFIED ATHLETIC TRAINERS.”

DURING MARCH, ATHLETIC TRAINERS ACROSS AMERICA ARE BEING RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO HELPING PEOPLE PREVENT INJURIES AND STAY HEALTHY AND ACTIVE. ATHLETIC TRAINERS ARE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. HIGHLY EDUCATED AND DEDICATED TO THE JOB AT HAND, ATHLETIC TRAINERS CAN BE FOUND IN HIGH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, CORPORATIONS, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, THE MILITARY, PERFORMING ARTS AND CLINICS, HOSPITALS AND PHYSICIAN OFFICES.

 (INSERT SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION) WOULD LIKE TO SALUTE THE FOLLOWING ATHLETIC TRAINERS FOR PROVIDING QUALITY HEALTH CARE FOR OUR (ATHLETES/EMPLOYEES) EVERY DAY.  

(AT THIS TIME, ANNOUNCE NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE RECOGNIZED)

WE APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. JOIN ME IN APPLAUDING THESE HEROES AND IN CELEBRATING NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH!

Take a moment to step into the spotlight and be recognized for providing quality health care everyday!

Written By: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC
JessicaO@bocatc.org

6 Word Declaration: Shout It Out!

Friday, March 9th, 2012

National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread the word about the profession of athletic training and how it positively impacts the world.  The goal is to reach individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers with regards to legislation, employment and public health.  During this time, Athletic Trainers across America are recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active. 

Participating in NATM is simple. Throughout the month of March, a variety of thought provoking questions will be posted on the ’s Facebook page called Certified Athletic Trainers. In SIX words, make your declaration and shout it loud. Step into the spotlight and post your declaration on Facebook: Certified Athletic Trainers page.  New questions will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning March 7, 2012.  Join in the fun and make your declaration today!
 
Sample questions to be posted on the Certified Athletic Trainers Facebook Page:
·         What does NATM mean to you?
·         What is your athletic training elevator speech?
·         Why should ATs be in all high schools?
·         What is the value of an AT?
·         What do you love about athletic training?
·         Why should your Legislators support HR 2785?
·         Why are you an AT?
·         How are you successful at work?
·         What makes you smile at work?
 
6 Word Declaration Examples:
·         Time to step into the spotlight.
·         ATs treat the hurting and wounded.
·         ATs keep student athletes safe.
·         ATs keep the physically active healthy.
·         ATs are experts in immediate care.
·         ATs are health care providers too.
·         Athletes returning to activity with smile.

Written By: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC 
JessicaO@bocatc.org

Create Displays to Promote NATM

Friday, March 9th, 2012

National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread the word about the profession of athletic training and how it positively impacts the world.  The goal is to reach individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers with regards to legislation, employment and public health.  During this time, athletic trainers across America are recognized for their commitment to helping people prevent injuries and stay healthy and active.  

One way to promote the profession is to create displays or billboards that promote the profession.  Create displays at shopping centers, hospitals, clinics and schools.  This activity can be as simple or complex as an AT wants to make it.  Creating a simple bulletin board with supplies from the athletic training facility can promote the tools ATs use on a daily basis.  Including photos, posters, brochures or journals provides in details about the profession and education that is accompanied.  Display your state license/certification/registration card and BOC certificate or plaque proudly!  Many of these resources can be found at www.nata.org by searching for National Athletic Training Month and www.bocatc.org.

Here are samples of bulletin boards to help with your creative efforts.

 

 

 

 

Written By: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC
JessicaO@bocatc.org