Archive for May, 2012

Get Instant Access to Your Professional Journals

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Keep up on your news using e-alerts or table of content alerts to organize information.

I don't know about you, but it's hard to keep up with some of the literature out there. Google Reader helps tremendously because when journals publish a new issue those come to me through Google Reader (Journal bundle). But for other literature it is not as easy. One thing I have done is signed up for e alerts or Table of Contents (TOC) updates. Basically, when a new issue of a journal comes out, it's delivered right to my mailbox.

This is currently offered by the following journals:

 The American Journal of Sports Medicine 
Athletic Training & Sports Health Care: The Journal for the Practicing Clinician
International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Journal of Athletic Training

You can Be Certain.™ that you receive all the BOC blog posts by signing up your email address on the RSS Feed.  All it takes is for you to enter your email address- it is that easy!

Written by: Stacy Walker, PhD, ATC

Using Technology Shortcuts to Keep Up with the Profession

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Imagine if you could log into one online account and all of the current new/information from Fox news, blogs, journals, was right there for you?

I originally found Google Reader when I was keeping up with some other blogs that were not athletic training related (my favorite blogs besides athletic training are about pugs).

Google Reader is an efficient way to keep up with blogs, news and etc. They now provide bundles of blogs and other new related items. I have created two bundles which are public.

All you need is a Google account and you can start. Here is a short video explaining Google Reader. There are others on YouTube which can help.

View the link to my Journal Feeds Bundle on Google reader.

Here is my Athletic Training and Medical Bundle:

You can Be Certain.™ that you receive all the BOC blog posts by signing up your email address on the RSS Feed. All it takes is for you to enter your email address- it is that easy!

What technology tools do you utilize?

Written by: Stacy Walker, PhD, ATC

Meet the BOC in St. Louis

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Meet the BOC in St. Louis at booth #1040 in the NATA Partner Pavilion during the NATA’s 63rd Annual Meeting and Trade Show June 27-29, 2012. We are excited to see everyone- Athletic Trainers, candidates, BOC Approved Providers and BOC volunteers. There are many activities the BOC will be participating in while exhibiting throughout the week.

Visit the BOC and learn about:

  • Recertification Changes for 2012
  • The new BOC AP logo and updated BOC logo
  • Enter as you earn — view a demonstration about how to  enter CE
  • Low cost CE activities

ATs, stop by and visit us to pick up coupons for discounts from BOC Approved Providers while having the opportunity to win 1 of the following prizes:

  • iPad3
  • Certification Plaque
  • Professionally Designed Certificate
  • FREE Home Study Course

Athletic Training Students, visit the BOC booth and register to win a FREE Self Assessment Exam.

Attend the BOC Staff Sessions:

June 27th at 1:30pm-3:30pm Shannon Leftwich, MA, ATC, Director of Credentialing Services, and the Governmental Affairs Committee will be presenting So You Think You Are Practicing Legally

June 28th at 4:45pm- 5:45pm Denise Fandel, MBA, CAE, BOC Executive Director, David Berry and Gail Samdperil will be presenting Continuing Professional Development in Athletic Training

The BOC will be presenting the BOC Dan Libera Awards at its reception to honor BOC volunteers. The Dan Libera Service Award was established in 1995 to recognize individuals who have shown dedication to the mission of the BOC. Long-standing contributions to the BOC’s programs are the primary criteria for the award. Last year’s award recipients were:

Mark Cherwony, ATC
Joe Harvey, presented posthumously
John Leard, ATC
Joseph Lueken, ATC

Jack McNeeley, AT Ret.
Bernadette Olson, ATC
Bonnie Siple, ATC
Ken Wolfert, AT Ret.

Congratulations to the BOC volunteers for being recognized at the NATA Annual Meeting who will be honored with awards from the NATA. Those volunteers included among the 2012 recipients of the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award are: Jill Dale, Shaun McCarthy, Katherine Newsham, David Stuckey, Leslee Taylor, Tamara Valovich McLeod and Ron Walker. BOC volunteers Marcell "Micki" Cuppett and Lorna Strong are included among the 2012 recipients of the NATA Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.

Written by: Brittney Ryba


Mothers Advocate for ATs

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

In high school, my brother was hurt during a football game and had to be spine boarded.  I remember the panic my mother went through, even though she stayed calm on the outside.  I also remember her being relieved knowing our high school’s Athletic Trainer was helping my brother and was there to answer questions afterwards.

Since Mother’s Day recently passed, it made me think about my interactions with mothers of athletes I work with. I’ve had to call a player’s home plenty of times to talk about an injury and learned early in my career that the first words out of my mouth had better be, “he’s okay” or a brief panic would follow. I also learned early on that one of my questions when helping an athlete is, “are your parents in the stands” so I could put mom’s mind at ease.

One of the highest compliments I was ever paid was by an athlete’s mom who told me that she always felt comfortable when her kids got hurt, knowing I was there taking care of them. What a feeling to know she had put her trust in me! She had two boys and they were hurt often, so it always made me feel good knowing she was sitting in the stands patiently waiting for me to let her know what was going on and trusting that I was taking care of her kids.

ATs, this May, keep in mind that moms out there can be your biggest advocates. Whether it’s requesting something from the booster club or bringing you a home cooked meal from team dinner when she knew you couldn’t make it because you were working late at another sport, moms will be on your side if you take those few extra moments to reassure them everything is okay and answer their questions.

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC

Happy Mother's Day to Athletic Training Mothers

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day to those who are BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) while carrying the Mother credential! The act of balancing work and motherhood is one that millions of women work on every day. The BOC thanks AT mothers for your hard-work and dedication to your families and the profession. Many times, as ATs, you may act as a mother to student athletes or those studying to become an AT. Mothers in the profession provide support and care to both their own children and extended family of patients. Balancing and doing it all certainly isn’t an easy act, but you prove that it is possible. Sometimes the choices are tough, but there will be sacrifices and compromises.

As a mother of an 18-month-old daughter, I had the privilege to visit with a couple mothers of athletic training and learn how they manage their career and family life.

Susan M. Wielgosz, MS, ATC, is the mother of three boys, ages 8, 9, and 11. She has been an AT for 27 years total. For 25 years, she was an AT for the college and for the last two years, she has been the Clinical Coordinator of the Athletic Training Education Program at The College at Brockport, State University of New York in Brockport, NY.

“As a parent, I can share and relate situations in teaching,” Susan said. “When there is a problem, I tell them to realize, listen and emphasis to get over the root of the issue. I help them come up with a plan and goals to give the tools that they need to see past their problem. It’s monumental to the kids," Susan said.  Susan emphasized how she helps her own children and the students getting through taking the exam, ”It’s how you deal with it, not the experience to get a positive outcome.”

Susan has also been a BOC volunteer since 1988, doing various things for the BOC exam. She continued to make the time to volunteer even when having children. Her strong commitment has earned her the BOC’s Dan Libera Service Award, which will be presented to her and four others at the June NATA Annual Meeting in St. Louis.

“I’m a true believer of the BOC and in the profession. You get the full reward of it. You make other professional relationships when you volunteer. It’s important to get back to your profession. I’m proud of the national exam & getting feedback. The exam gives students the motivation for accomplishing their goals and passing to become certified.

Susan’s plan was to start her family later in life so she could have extra time to spend with her children. She had her first child in her 40s and she shared that once she was a mother, she was ready to walk away from her career until her husband lost his job.

“I struggled a lot when the kids were little before they started school. When my husband was unemployed, he was home to help with the children. It was hard, but was worth the sacrifice. It’s rewarding beyond belief. Your career is important, but family is more important. You should work to give your family a better life," Susan said.

There is controversy with working moms and guilt sets in when a mom is working and not at home or vice versa. When working in athletic training, it can be tough when you are working when school is out for the day. Sometimes the amount that an AT is getting paid is the same cost of daycare. Homework and activities are hard. It takes a tremendous amount of time management and prioritizing.

“There isn’t an easy answer. Homework gets hard and balancing the mix of activities is hard. Now that they (my kids) are older, I was fortunate to start teaching. When I worked athletic events, my kids would attend with my husband. I was never responsible for my kids while I was working, but they were there. Now that they are older, I can watch my own children participating in athletic events. They also can come to my office and I don’t have to worry about them running around,” Susan said.

“It’s important that I make an effort to be there for events that the kids will remember most, such as birthdays. I would work on paperwork when the kids went to bed. It helps to have an employer who understands. You have the discretion of the coach who might want you there at a 6:00am practice. In the past, athletic training was primarily a male-dominated profession, but now more women are working as an AT. The question is, are women going to stay in it with having to work and making those tough changes?”

Susan’s advice to women in athletic training and working in general, “Take care of yourself. It is hard and you can’t beat yourself up. If you are at home, you need to be 100% at home. Same with working.” Susan recalled a recent fun moment that she had with her sons. They were all playing Frisbee at home and the Frisbee went on the roof. Her husband wasn’t home, so she got the stepladder by herself and found a hockey stick and went on the roof to get the Frisbee. They were all laughing and poking fun at her trying to retrieve this Frisbee.

Amy Pariseau, ATC, has been an AT for 14 years and works at the University of Rochester Medical Center at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY in a clinical/high school setting. She became interested in athletic training when she was an athlete in high school playing varsity as a freshman. During the fall of her sophomore year, she tore her ACL, but no one could figure that out. That summer, she had her ACL reconstructed and went through 9 months of rehab and the person who helped her most during the process was her high school Athletic Trainer. From then on, she knew she would always be involved in athletics, maybe not as an athlete but as an Athletic Trainer.

Amy is a mother to a daughter, 10, and son, 7, and manages a large high school contract, which has her covering sports in the late evening. As an Athletic Trainer, she sometimes misses dinner time and putting the kids to bed. “Those nights are hard to handle," Amy said, "But when they can I bring them to work with me and they get a kick out of it because the "big kids" come up to them to say hello!  I take all the time I can to spend with them.  I have to work and it is the lifestyle they have grown up knowing.”

She is certain to put her kids first. “I make their lunches in the morning, watch morning cartoons with them, put my daughter's hair up in pigtails or a pony tail, paint her fingernails and toenails, teach my son to be nice to girls and that homework it more important than video games and TV,” Amy said.

Amy shared that the positives of her job is that has a understanding Athletic Director who allows her to bring my kids to work. She enjoys being around athletics and getting to help young athletes get back to their sports and the thrill of emergent situations. She added “the high school kids keep me young!” The few negatives include being away from her kids when they have activities going on, late nights, working weekends and people that don't know what an Athletic Trainer is and does. “If I have a game and I know it is going to run late, they are home doing homework, eating dinner and getting to bed.  As much as I want them with me it is not feasible or in their best interest,” Amy added.

Amy advises female AT students with this, “Figure out your goals and how you will attain them. Understand the demands of the job and how it affects your family life.  Know that other woman have done it and you can too if it's what you want.”

Susan acknowledged men in the profession as well. “A second income is needed for those in the profession. Until we are viewed as a healthcare profession, the salaries won’t be there. I think our profession is going in the right direction. I would love to see all certified ATs in high schools. The more we educate the right things, such as concussion education, the profession will be seen in a different light as a value. Pushing forward with education is important because people don’t know a lot about the work of ATs.

Even though it is Mother’s Day, we would also like to thank the children, spouses and significant others for encouraging the women in their life to pursue their dreams and goals of working in athletic training. To women ATs, have a beautiful day and wonderful, rewarding career!

Written by: Brittney Ryba

Working In a Sports Medicine Clinic: An In Depth Look

Friday, May 11th, 2012

An In Depth Look with... Devon Lacy, MSEd, ATC, OTC

Describe your setting:
I work in a sports medicine clinic in Chesterfield, Missouri.  I am the assistant to a fellowship-trained primary care sports medicine doctor.

How long have you worked in this setting?
I have worked with my doctor for 6 months but spent all of last year participating in the Steadman Clinic Athletic Training Fellowship program in Vail, Colorado.

Describe your typical day:
I get to the office at 7:00am every day to make sure that my charts are prepped and rooms are stocked for the day. We see patients from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday, usually anywhere from 18-26 patients per day. I room every patient and perform their initial history and evaluation and order x-rays if necessary. I also set up for injections by drawing the injectables and prepping the ultrasound machine. We not only perform steroid and viscosupplementation injections but also platelet rich plasma (PRP). For the PRP injections I draw blood and spin it in the centrifuge then draw off the PRP for the injections as well as assist the doctor during the procedure.

What do you like about your position?
I love that I get immediate feedback with regards to my evaluation. My boss is not only a great teacher, but also very easy to work along-side. Also, he is the team physician for a local NAHL hockey team and I provide athletic training coverage for several of their home games.

 Another benefit of working in the clinical setting is that you get to follow injuries from onset to recovery which, for me, bridged the gap in my overall understanding of an injury.  

What do you dislike about your position?
I definitely miss traveling with athletic teams and the overall camaraderie associated with team staffing. It is nice working with the hockey team but I do not have quite the bond with those kids that I did with the collegiate coaches and athletes.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?
I highly suggest this path for Athletic Trainers that are family-oriented because of the the stability and set hours. Also, there are always opportunities for contract work so you can continue functioning as a traditional Athletic Trainer, when you want to. I strongly suggest going through one of the several athletic training fellowship programs. I learned more in my first two months at the Steadman Clinic than I did in the 6 years of school prior. The sheer repetition of injuries and magnitude of positive tests that you get to experience increases the confidence in your abilities. I am a firm believer that the more cards you have in your pocket the better when it comes to your future. Sometimes it is easy to think narrow-mindedly about an injury and not look at the bigger picture. Completing the fellowship and now working side-by-side with doctors helps me to remember to think outside the box about an injury, not just what the diagnosis is but also why this happened, what events/situations led to the injury.



BOC Call for Candidates

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Every non-profit organization like the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) must have a board of directors. But, beyond this legal requirement, a well-informed and well-trained board is absolutely essential. To provide accountability and ensure protection of the public, a nine member volunteer board of directors governs the BOC and includes six Athletic Trainer Directors, one Physician Director, one Public Director and one Corporate/Educational Director. 

The benefits of serving on a board are endless. The distinguishing benefit of serving on a non-profit board is the satisfaction felt in contributing to the common good and making an impact on the athletic training profession and the public. The role provides professional development along with an expanded network of contacts.  Being elected or appointed to sit on the board can raise prestige by having name recognition in the field. 

The Nominating Committee of the BOC is now accepting applications from BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) interested in serving as an Athletic Trainer Director on the BOC Board of Directors. 

In past years, the BOC has highlighted areas the board feels are under-represented. The same is true this year. The board encourages ATs who have either or both of the following backgrounds to consider applying:

  • State regulatory/governmental affairs
  • International affairs

The Nominating Committee will weigh these areas as well as the qualifications found in the job description as they prepare the slate of candidates for the fall election.

If you are interested in submitting your name as a potential candidate, please visit the BOC website. The application, bylaws and a detailed job description outlining the qualifications, responsibilities and time commitment can be found in the Board of Directors section of the BOC website. All application materials are due by July 2, 2012.

Applications, resumes and additional information will be reviewed by the Nominating Committee. Following the review, the Nominating Committee will conduct interviews to select the slate of candidates who will be placed on the election ballot that will be presented to ATs at large.

If there are any questions about this process, please contact Valerie Herzog, EdD, LAT, ATC, Chair of the BOC Nominating Committee, at or Shannon Leftwich at

Written by: Brittney Ryba

Check out the BOC's New Look

Monday, May 7th, 2012

 The BOC has updated its look! You may have started recognizing the changes in our most recent email communications. We are pleased to announce this to the public. The rebranding process was a thoughtful initiative designed to express BOC's strength, knowledge, authority and presence in the athletic training community, US and globally.

BOC Approved Providers also have a new Approved Provider logo. The sleek and professional design is representative of the high standard of continuing education that ATs expect from BOC Approved Providers. As you look for CE opportunities, look for the new AP logo below. Each BOC Approved Provider is transitioning from the old logo to the new logo throughout 2012.

The BOC website will have the updated look later this year. Our website is still your single comprehensive destination site for all your AT needs that will arm you with the information you need for success!

Let us know what you think of the new look.

New Certified Athletic Trainers

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The Board of Certification recently released results from the spring exam period. I would like to congratulate all of those who will soon be joining the ranks as a Certified Athletic Trainer. I know that when I read that word “Passed” on the BOC website that day it was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life! I think that moment of finding out that you passed the exam will be a moment you will remember for a long time. I know it has only been about 15 months for me, but I remember exactly where I was and I also remember how difficult it was for me to send text messages because I was so excited.

You all are to be commended for putting in the time and effort to pass this rigorous exam, but now it is time to prepare for the next step in your career. I am sure some of you have already secured employment whether it is in the way of a graduate assistantship or a full-time job. For those of you who haven’t, you still have time. Keep working hard and keep your head up. Adding those three letters to the end of your name will open doors, so be ready to step through them. Complete your file with the BOC and get your number and credential and license to practice!

Securing the credential and being able to call yourself a “BOC Certified Athletic Trainer” is only the first step. Now you must be prepared to continue your education through the way of continuing education units or through continued formal education such as graduate school. Lifelong learning is something that we as Athletic Trainers must adopt and it begins right away for a newly certified individual as well as looking for areas to volunteer with the NATA or BOC and give back to your profession.

Welcome to the profession, be proud to call yourself an Athletic Trainer. Go on and promote the profession. Athletic Trainers Save Lives. We are Athletic Trainers.

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer

Written By: Mike Hopper, ATC

Careful – That Football Might be Dirty!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

I’ve worked a lot of football games over the years and have heard a lot of things on the sidelines, but this is still my favorite.  It was the third or fourth quarter of a home JV football game and one of the players came running to the sidelines and made a bee line to me.  After he caught his breath, he asked if I had any hand sanitizer.  Giving him the benefit of the doubt and knowing the head varsity coach was standing right beside me, I gave him a second chance and asked if he meant he wanted some powder for his hands.  He shook his head no and said he wanted hand sanitizer – “you know, that gel stuff.” 

The head coach and I exchanged glances and quickly looked away for fear we would both start laughing. This was the first time I had heard a request like this.  I was impressed with myself that I could keep a straight face while listening to his answer of why he needed it.  His response was that he had just sneezed in his hands and didn’t want to get germs on the football since other kids had to touch the ball too. 

I thanked him for practicing such good hygiene habits and after explaining to the JV coach that the kid was okay to return to the game, I went back to my spot by the head varsity coach.  We both chuckled and the coach admitted he had never heard anything like it either. Although I’m pleased that student athletes trust me with their concerns and are cautious when it comes to germs and health, today it is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever heard during a football game. It even tops the day I witnessed a line coach having his players hold hands pre-game while he talked with tears in his eyes about sharing the magic on the field. It’s all in a day’s work and why I love my job and experiences as an Athletic Trainer.

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC