Archive for June, 2012

NATA National Convention: Blog Spot

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

NATA National Convention: iLEARN
Follow me for an inside look as iLEARN during the 2012 NATA National Convention
Monday, June 25, 2012

I am attending the State Leadership Forum.  This event is for state leaders who many serve as volunteers on committees, executive boards etc.  Personally, I serve as the Nebraska State Athletic Trainers' Association Public Relations Committee Chair as well as the Mid-America Athletic Trainers' Association (District 5) Public Relations Committee Chairman.  While in these roles for a few years, this is the first time I have attended the state leadership form. 

The event began with lunch and moved into a brief overview of Vision Quest, nomenclature update, finances related to an organization and state political action committees.  Participants then broke into small group breakout sessions to discuss their state/committees' trials and tribulations.  This was a time to gather new ideas, pose questions to other like and non-like state associations for feedback and brainstorming/problem solving sessions.  The breakout sessions provided thought provoking dialogue between participants with handouts for notes.  I enjoyed two separate sessions revolving around public relations.  The first titled, Is Social Media Necessary for an Athletic Training Association, and the second titled Effective Use of Public Relations.  To sum up the social media session, everyone is participating in social media.  If you're not, you're not staying up with the times.  Social media has extraordinary benefits both internally and externally for an organization.  If you don't have a Facebook page, start one today! 

The second session provided insight into what a public relations firm can do for an athletic training association.  While the costs may be steep, some state associations are digging into their pocketbooks to gain professional help in spreading the good word.  This isn't a bad idea, but remember, public relations is promoting good will between one party to another.  For state associations who cannot afford to hire help, NATA provides many resources to all ATs with PR/marketing materials.  You can stop by the NATA Public Relations booth in the NATA Connect zone at the NATA Trade Show for more tips on what you can do to promote the profession.

NATA National Convention: Everywhere YOU Go, People Outta Know....
Follow me for an inside look as iLEARN during the 2012 NATA National Convention
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I am attending the NATA Public Relations Committee Meeting.  During our meeting, a variety of representatives from other committees stop by to share their report with our committee.  We discuss recent events, National Athletic Training Month recap for 2012 and begin planning for 2013 NATM, share district reports and brainstorm for future activities.  While in the meeting it dawned on me, everywhere you go, people outta know who you are, where you came from....if you have seen Remembering the Titans, you know the rest of the song.

Public Relations is the responsibility of all stakeholders.  Students and BOC Certified Athletic Trainers both have the responsibility to positively promote their profession.  Don't be afraid to step into the spotlight and be heard.  If ATs continue to stay on the sideline, we will be missing out on great opportunities to market ourselves and our abilities.  ATs have a unique skill set and a special niche in healthcare.  Be Certain.™ you are making the most of the opportunities you have to sell yourself and athletic training to enhance the quality of care for patients and quality of life for ATs.


NATA National Convention: Opening Day
Follow me for an inside look as iLEARN during the 2012 NATA National Convention
Wednesday, June 27, 2012  

It is opening day for featured presentations and sessions, as well as the NATA Trade Show.  Early this morning, I attended a session on Learn and Six Sigma that was very interested as I can apply it to working at BOC. For the remainder of the day, I spent time networking with ATs at the BOC booth.  It was nice to see our past and present BOC volunteers, put a face to a name for the many ATs we serve (as most of BOC's interaction is via email or phone), answer many questions about the recertification changes, and distribute our collapsible water bottles.  If you haven't stopped by the BOC booth yet, there is still time!  Come see us at booth #1040 to the left of NATA Connect.  At minimum, you'll want to pick up a water bottle to stay hydrated though the 104 degree weather that is in the forecast for tomorrow!  For ATs who have questions about their certification, new requirements or how to enter CE activities, stop by for personal tutorials and answers to your questions!  BOC works for you!

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

Working as Assistant Athletic Director and SWAT Team Volunteer: An In Depth Look

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

An In Depth Look with... Darryl Conway, MA, ATC, EMT-T

Describe your setting:  I work as a volunteer Athletic Trainer and tactical EMT with the City of Laurel Police Emergency Response / SWAT Team.

How long have you worked in this setting?  5 years

Describe your typical day: 

My “real” job is the Assistant Athletic Director- Sports Medicine with the University of Maryland- College Park where I oversee all aspects of the Sports Medicine Department including overseeing a staff of 16 BOC Certified Athletic Trainers, 2 physical therapists, and 9 Team Physicians working with the University’s 28 intercollegiate sports teams and 700 student-athletes.  Clinically, I work with the football team on a daily basis.

Because I am a volunteer and not a sworn officer, I only work with the SWAT team during their training sessions 2 times per month, and during callouts, typically 2-3 high risk search warrants per month & 1-2 hostage barricades per year.  I am on-call 24 hours per day and respond when paged.  My job is to serve as the “Team Medic” and responsible for all aspects of the officers health & well-being, as well as operational planning, and responsibility for the health and well-being of any hostages, subjects, bystanders, etc. as well.  For every mission, an operational pre-plan is developed for any medical conditions/issues.  On missions, I also serve as the “mule,” carrying equipment and doing other tasks that are essential to the operation, as well as serve as another set of eyes for the team.  Missions can range in time from 45 minutes to several hours depending on the type of mission, and missions are conducted rain or shine, hot or cold.  Training takes place 2-3 times per month in various venues and typically lasts 5 – 8 hours in length.

What do you like about your position?

  1. The adrenaline rush and intensity
  2. Helping people succeed at times of need & serving the public.

What do you dislike about your position?

Being outside in all types of weather; being away from my family; the disrespect shown to police officers and other public safety personnel

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer?

There are many similarities as to being an Athletic Trainer in a traditional setting.  Work hard, develop the trust of the officers, enjoy yourself and be safe.

Read more about Darryl in his interview in the November 2011 edition of Training and Conditioning Magazine.

Relationships: Part 2

Monday, June 11th, 2012

In April, BOC Blog writer Mike Hopper, ATC, wrote a blog about relationships.  In the conclusion, he wrote “Athletic Trainers must continue to build relationships. Do it for yourself, do it for the profession, and do it for the athletes and patients you treat.”  In full disclosure, Mike's inspiration for the entry was a blog I wrote early in 2012.  In my years as an Athletic Trainer, I have come to realize that many relationships are vital to our profession.  During the next few weeks, this blog will explore those important relationships and hopefully get you to think about the relationships that you are building.

Athletes/Patients

These relationships are obvious to Athletic Trainers because these are the people that we interact with the most.  I made the mistake of maintaining too much of a professional distance when I first started in the high school setting.  I viewed the athletes as injuries to care for and get out of the training room.  Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I have changed my philosophy.  I now see the injuries as fellow people to care for.  I want to build a relationship with the athlete first, care for the injury second.  This can be hard to do when working with a diverse population, but by focusing on your athletes/patients as people first it becomes much easier.

In my setting, I have the responsibility to work with 7th grade through 12th grade public school student athletes, up to 1,000 unique students in a year.  I have been in my present position for 11 years so I have had the privilege to watch the past 5 graduating classes mature from immature, awkward 7th graders and blossom into mature, confident seniors.  I have watched them practice their various skills, watched them work in the off season, and seen them through their successes and their failures at all levels of play.  A few of them stand out, most of them are average; some of them love it; some of them are there for their parents or their friends; some will play their sport in college; some of them will never participate in sport again; some come from great families; some come from deplorable conditions.  But all of them are unique and I end up caring for all of them in their own unique way.

Commencement is coming up in a few days and with it comes the opportunity for me to don the cap and gown and be part of the ceremony.  This is a date that I have come to love because I can remember many of these young adults coming to me in their 7th grade year to have me care for them.  I must admit that my emotions often get the best of me and I end up shedding a tear or two.  If you have the same opportunity in your setting, I challenge you to take the time to go and see them graduate.  Talk to as many of them as you can and congratulate them on the achievement of finishing what they started. 

One of my favorite experiences is when alums return to a watch a game, practice, etc. and they come to talk to me.  This is again an opportunity to renew that relationship, see what these young people are accomplishing, etc.  It is usually a time of big smiles, hugs, laughing and great encouragement to know that maybe you have made a difference in a fellow human's development. 

With this change in my philosophy, those annoying 7th graders that come in to see me with a very minor injury aren't so annoying because I remind myself that first they want me to care for them and that this could be an opportunity to develop a 6 year relationship with a young person who will be going through a lot of ups and downs in those years.  I used to get annoyed with these young athletes because I felt they were wasting my time that I could spend on “real injuries.”  But are Athletic Trainers hired to care for injuries or are we charged with caring for people?

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

National Sun Safety Tip #5

Friday, June 8th, 2012

School is out and the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it is sun safety season! June 1st – June 7th is National Sun Safety Week. Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it is crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure. You can find additional teaching resources about sun safety here

Mistake #5. Assuming any protective measure is as good as avoiding excess sun exposure. Those with an increased risk of melanoma -- due to a family history or tendency to develop irregular moles -- need to make an effort to avoid being outdoors during midday. Even the best umbrella or UV-protective clothing can’t protect against all UV rays. Enjoy your time outdoors but head into shady areas when possible. If someone you know is hoping to work on getting a tan, you might want to suggest self-tanning cream.

Read tips in regards to National Sun Safety Week each day this week.

Written by: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org

National Sun Safety Tip #4

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

School is out and the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it is sun safety season! June 1st – June 7th is National Sun Safety Week. Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it is crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure. You can find additional teaching resources about sun safety here

Mistake #4. Believing you can get a little extra sun if you take a daily aspirin. A study that made big headlines linked the regular use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to a reduced risk of melanoma. While this finding, which was published in the online journal Cancer, is intriguing, it is not an oral sunscreen. People should not start taking aspirin or ibuprofen, which have side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, because they think it will protect them from skin cancer.

Read tips in regards to National Sun Safety Week each day this week.

Written by: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org

National Sun Safety Tip #3

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

School is out and the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it is sun safety season! June 1st – June 7th is National Sun Safety Week. Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it is crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure. You can find additional teaching resources about sun safety here

Mistake #3. Investing in shampoos or hair gels with UV blockers instead of a hat. There are a host of hair products offering “climate protection” for your hair -- and by extension your scalp -- but whatever SPF they offer is slight. It is even better to wear a hat to protect against scalp burns. Your hair can’t get sunburn, but it will lighten in the sun.

Read tips in regards to National Sun Safety Week each day this week.

Written by: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org

National Sun Safety Week Tip #2

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

School is out and the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it is sun safety season! June 1st – June 7th is National Sun Safety Week. Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it is crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure. You can find additional teaching resources about sun safety here

Mistake #2. Thinking any old t-shirt will protect you from a burn. Experts insist that people can get a sunburn through clothing. A regular white t-shirt only provides an SPF of 6. Shirts that are sheer or threadbare provide even less protection. If you are spending time at the beach, a boat or where there is little shade, look for clothes with an ultraviolet protection factor above 30.

For more information about UV protectant clothing, read this article about sun-proofing fashion from AZcentral.com.

Read tips in regards to National Sun Safety Week each day this week.

Written by: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org

National Sun Safety Week Tip #1

Monday, June 4th, 2012

School is out and the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it is sun safety season! June 1st – June 7th is National Sun Safety Week. Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it is crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure. You can find additional teaching resources about sun safety here.

Mistake #1. Putting too much stock in sunscreen. Some sunscreens don’t protect against both kinds of skin-damaging UV rays. The US Food and Drug Administration’s requirement that sunscreen labels reflect this won’t go into effect until the end of this year. The SPF number just tells you how much extra time you can spend in the sun without getting burned, but for most fair-skinned people, that means a limit of about two hours with an SPF of 30, The amount that fills a shot glass is what is needed to cover the entire body. People also need to reapply it every few hours, especially if we’re outside during the peak hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm. Also, sunscreen won’t protect your eyeballs, so remember to don sunglasses with UV protection.

For information about finding the best sunscreen, check out the Consumer Reports Sunscreen Buying Guide.

Read a tip in regards to National Sun Safety Week each day this week.

Written by: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org