Archive for November, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Scott Sunderland, ATC

Friday, November 30th, 2012

An In Depth Look with…Scott Sunderland, ATC

Describe your setting:  My work setting is the collegiate athletics setting in athletics clinical care athletic training and I hold the position of Head Athletic Trainer.  I also serve the Department of Athletics as Assistant Director of Athletics w/ responsibilities in facility management, supervision of other support staff, and assisting the Director of Athletics.  Knox College is NCAA Div III and we play in
the Midwest Conference which is composed of schools from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  Knox College is a liberal arts institution w/ 1400 students of which approximately 325 participate in 21 different sports.

How long have you worked in this setting?  I am in my 21st year, 18 full-time years at the college.  The prior 2.5 years I worked for an orthopedic group and I was contracted to Knox College as their first Athletic Trainer.

Describe your typical day:  My day can begin anywhere from 5:30am to 8:30am and last from anywhere to 7:00pm to 10:00pm minus any travel.  The early start will involve a morning workout with one of our pre-season sports and then I move into morning treatments and rehabs mixed with some administrative functions of meetings with the Athletic Department administrative staff, working with individual coaches and others from the campus on administrative topics as it relates to athletics.

I also teach a Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries in our Department of Sport Studies during our spring term and work with a variety of students throughout the year in some independent studies in related topics where essentially I guide them through self learning on topics related to sports, health, wellness, and injury. The early afternoon continues more of the same from the morning and then we move to practice prep for the afternoon practices and then to practice coverage.  If necessary, we overlap the afternoon practices with practice/competition prep for any evening activities.  All throughout that time, I work with the athletic training staff organizing the staffing of practices, mentoring them in the care of their assigned athletes, updating and re-writing our protocols, dealing with insurance issues and filing insurance paper work and managing our budget.  The day always ends with a practice or competition and post treatments and evaluations.

What do you like about your position?
The variety of tasks, I am always busy, and being on the front lines and involved in most of our Athletic Department activities.  I like to be a leader and I like the idea of being task oriented which this job requires.

What do you dislike about your position?  Long hours.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?  Have fun.  Most of what we deal with can really be fun.  Enjoy the student athletes you get the opportunity to work with. Always remember they are the reason you are here.

Assess Your Professional Development

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

As a reminder, ALL ATs need to complete Continuing Education and Recertification Fee requirements by December 31, 2013. Although no requirements are due at the end of this year, the BOC offers a FREE service that can help you identify what areas you may need more knowledge and skills in to determine your continuing education needs before the deadline approaches.

The BOC’s Professional Development Needs Assessment (PDNA) is a tool intended to empower Athletic Trainers (ATs) of all experience levels to engage in self reflection with the goal of assessing professional
development needs across the domains of athletic training as defined in the BOC Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, Sixth Edition. PDNA results are for personal use only and in no way impact current certification status.

ATs can use the results of a PDNA to:

  • Form the framework for a professional development plan
  • Identify professional growth opportunities
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and skills for a specific practice area
  • Link current skills and abilities to critical job skills and performance plans
  • Assess learning needs prior to transitioning from one area of practice to another
  • Assess learning needs prior to re-entering the workforce after a prolonged absence from practice

Be Certain.™ to stay on target with your recertification goals. Read more about your certification information in the winter Cert Update, which will be in your mailbox early December.

Written By: Brittney Ryba
BrittneyR@bocatc.org

Young Professional Brief

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

These question(s) identify and address the interests, needs and concerns of young athletic training professionals. Young professional Mike Hopper, ATC, has teamed up with the experience of Danielle Kleber, ATC, to highlight some of the issues young professionals find themselves dealing with early in their careers.

If you’re choosing a team physician, what qualities are you looking for?

There are three main things I consider when looking for a team physician – availability, outcomes, and their understanding of sports medicine.

To me, having my team physician available to both myself and student-athletes is key. As an Athletic Trainer (AT), I feel that I should have access to my team doctor’s cell phone number to be able to call them when needed.  (Obviously not abusing that privilege is also important to keep your physician responsive and respecting your input).  I also need my student-athletes seen immediately, so their willingness to squeeze someone in on their schedule is important.

An understanding of sports medicine is another factor. And, I’m talking about true sports medicine, meaning they respect my role as an AT, value my skill set, and communicate with me. The physician should have a broadened skill set to include knowledge about concussion management and other sports related general medicine topics. They also need to understand the timelines we work with and know that their advice has to be congruent with sports medicine expectations.

Lastly, it is important to learn the outcomes of the physician’s patients.  It’s extremely difficult to rehab a student-athlete that has been mended by poor surgical techniques or sloppy follow up care.

My final piece of advice comes from my current role and now understanding the business side of insurance reimbursement and clinic management.  You are an asset to your team physician as much as they are to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in paying for continuing education or your NATA membership.  Ask them to go to bat with your request to a booster club for a piece of rehab equipment.  Simply don’t be afraid to request something from them or their clinic once in awhile.  I used to just feel grateful for their help, but now that I have a clear picture of the economics behind the healthcare business, be confident that you are also helping their business out a great deal.

I’ve been fortunate because the physicians I have worked with over the years have been phenomenal and very supportive of ATs.

 

 

Michael Hopper, ATC, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Management: Athletic Training Concentration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010. He is a current graduate student through the University of South Florida working towards a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training. Hopper has worked with athletes of all ages from youth sports all the way up to professional baseball and currently works for Monroe Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Waterloo, IL.

 

Danielle Kleber, ATC, attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Leisure Management with emphasis in Athletic Training and went on to complete her master’s coursework at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in Fitness and Wellness Promotion.  Her professional experience includes collegiate and high school experience and she has worked with athletes at all levels of competition. Currently she works at the Director of Operations at Athletes’ Training Center, a sports performance and physical therapy facility in Omaha, NE.

20 Facts about Athletic Trainers and the Profession

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

On the 20th of November, here are some facts about Athletic Trainers and the athletic training profession. Athletic Trainers save lives. With Thanksgiving approaching, Be Certain.™ to thank an Athletic Trainer today!

  1. The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC), headquartered in Omaha, NE, provides the certification program for the athletic training profession.
  2. There are over 41,000 BOC Certified Athletic Trainers in the United States!
  3. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association is based out of Dallas, TX.
  4. Athletic Trainers practice in a variety of settings including high schools, colleges, professional sports, youth sports, rehabilitation & sports medicine clinics, physician offices, military, law enforcement, fine arts, and theater.
  5. Athletic Trainers are healthcare providers.
  6. Alaska and California are the only two states that do not require athletic training licensure or other registration with the state.
  7. Athletic Trainers are trained in CPR and AED use.
  8. Athletic Trainers are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and to have passed a national certification exam.
  9. Over 70% of Certified Athletic Trainers possess a master’s degree or higher.
  10. Athletic Trainers are required to complete continuing education to maintain certification
  11. Athletic Trainers are part of the Sports Medicine Team which is made of a variety of healthcare professionals.
  12. Athletic Trainers are skilled in manual therapy as a part of their rehabilitation background.
  13. Athletic Trainers are leaders in concussion recognition and concussion management.
  14. March is National Athletic Training Month.
  15. Athletic Trainers specialize in the healthcare needs of the active population
  16. Athletic Trainers are recognized as allied health professionals by the American Medical Association and numerous other national organizations.
  17. Less than half of all high schools in the US provide their student-athletes access to an Athletic Trainer.
  18. Athletic Trainers handle administrative duties such as health forms, budgets, scheduling, and other tasks.
  19. Athletic Trainers are responsible for the prevention, evaluation, and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries.
  20. There are roughly 350 accredited athletic training education programs in the United States.

You can read the similar piece published in March 2012 for National Athletic Training Month and more from Mike at http://mnhopper1s.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/20-things-to-know-about-athletic-trainers/.

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

An In Depth Look with an Athletic Trainer with the Buffalo Bills

Friday, November 16th, 2012

An In Depth Look with an AT in the NFL...Shone Gipson, ATC

Describe your setting:
I work as an AT for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League.

How long have you worked in this setting?
I’ve been a BOC Certified AT since 2001 and working in this setting for 10 years.

Describe your typical day:
My typical day is like that of many Athletic Trainers. We have early mornings taking care of players performing numerous treatments and rehabilitative care. We divide up most of the administrative duties among our staff throughout the day and provide practice coverage for our athletes.


What do you like about your position?
I like the one on one interaction I get to have with our players who are involved in rehabilitation. Getting to know them and watching them progress back from an injury is truly worthwhile.

What do you dislike about your position?
I dislike being away from my family, at times. It's especially tough during the holidays when my family is in Texas and I'm in Buffalo, New York working.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?
Work hard and be willing to put in extra time to improve upon your craft. Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone's and everyone's negativity. Your certainty must be greater than everyone's doubt. That is how individuals work and succeed at this level of the profession.

Young Professional Brief

Friday, November 9th, 2012

These question(s) identify and address the interests, needs and concerns of young athletic training professionals. Young professional Mike Hopper, ATC, has teamed up with the experience of Danielle Kleber, ATC, to highlight some of the issues young professionals find themselves dealing with early in their careers.

What factors do you consider to satisfy your continuing education (CE) requirements? Are there specific courses, specific material you are interested in? How do you decide what to attend or courses to complete?

Now that I am more established in my career, I choose my CE opportunities differently than when I was just starting out.  Now I get to be more selective and focus on topics that are more pertinent to my work or my personal focus.  It wasn’t always that way, though.

Early on, my budget was so limited that I had to be especially creative in finding ways to get low cost CEUs.  I ended up joining the Omaha Sports Medicine Alliance that provided lectures and an annual symposium in our community.  Being part of that committee allowed me to attend those events for free.  That was a tremendous help each year in gaining the CEUs I needed.  That group also allowed me to professionally network and has helped me many times over, including being responsible for leading me to my current job.

I also wasn’t quite sure what my professional focus would lead me towards.  Being young I felt I had to take in information about any and all subjects because of the nature of our job and needing to know so many things in many different areas.  Now that I am more established I feel more comfortable about narrowing my focus.

Currently, I am most interested in strength and conditioning principles and trying to master that field, so most of my CE choices revolve around that topic.  It’s pertinent to my role of running a sports performance center, but it has also exponentially improved my rehab tool box.  My other recent focus has been on the document titled Pre-hospital Care of the Spine Injured Athlete with an emphasis on connecting EMT professionals with athletic training professionals through on-field practice sessions.  So, most of my choices now revolve around those topics.

Remember, as all current ATs have an expiration date of 12/31/2013, the BOC offers a List of Active Approved Providers to help you in planning your CE opportunities.

 

Michael Hopper, ATC, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Management: Athletic Training Concentration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010. He is a current graduate student through the University of South Florida working towards a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training. Hopper has worked with athletes of all ages from youth sports all the way up to professional baseball and currently works for Monroe Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Waterloo, IL.

 

 

 

 

Danielle Kleber, ATC, attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Leisure Management with emphasis in Athletic Training and went on to complete her master’s coursework at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in Fitness and Wellness Promotion.  Her professional experience includes collegiate and high school experience and she has worked with athletes at all levels of competition. Currently she works at the Director of Operations at Athletes’ Training Center, a sports performance and physical therapy facility in Omaha, NE. 

 

 

Hung Out to Dry

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I remember attending the NATA convention for the first time in my professional career in Kansas City, MO. One of the presentations I attended was about risk management and involved a mock trial. I was amazed at how quickly things could turn if you ever had to go to court and how easily an employer might leave you hung out to dry while they protected their best interests. From that time I vowed I would always have liability insurance in addition to whatever my employer provided me.

Fast forward to grad school at the University of Nebraska Omaha where Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek taught a risk management class and I learned all about case law and the intricacies of the court system. I read case after case where organizations decided to settle out of court and left the employees to fend for themselves with little to no legal help. Again, I vowed to never go without liability insurance.

Now I have expanded my duties to include volunteering for a few organizations, serving on our state’s athletic training association and giving frequent advice to coaches, parents, athletes, athletic directors, other athletic trainers, etc. I still commit to having liability insurance and I’m still grateful to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association for making arrangements to keep it affordable.

For me, it is a no brainer. The investment up front is worth the potentially devastating financial and professional fall out that could happen. Sometimes it is hard to justify the money, especially on a tight budget, but it is something that I consider a priority. I’m curious how many Athletic Trainers view liability insurance this way or take the approach that it will all be okay?

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC
dkleber@athletestrainingcenter.com

An In Depth Look with an Athletic Trainer with a Sports Enhancement Clinic

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Rob Marshall, ATC

Describe your setting:  I work as a clinical based, outreach AT.  I am based out of Athletic Republic, a sports enhancement clinic.  This clinic is partnered with an outpatient Physical Therapy clinic.  Both of these offices are owned and managed by our local hospital.  I provide full time athletic training services to our cities largest high school and outreach to two smaller area schools. 

How long have you worked in this setting?  I have provided outreach athletic training services to the Columbus area since 1995.  I have worked with our cities largest high school since 1995 but worked with many different smaller schools during that time. 

Describe your typical day:  Is there really a “typical” day in athletic training?  On days that I visit my smaller schools it goes something like this.  Drive 45 miles to the first school, arriving at 8:30am.  Check in with the AD and perform the evaluations.  Follow up with the appropriate coaches and phone parents if necessary.  Travel on to my second school and repeat the process!  When I return I generally try to work out and eat lunch.  I stop in to the clinic in the early afternoon for paper work and correspondence.  I arrive at the high school I cover in town, usually by 2:00pm.  This is when my normal day starts!  I perform all the rehabilitation and get athletes ready for practice.  Most of our practices run from 4-6:30pm.  Several of our sports practice off campus so I have to be available to travel to their practice sites as needed.  Our contract with the school only provides practice coverage and two home events per week along with all varsity football.  As many of us do, I try to cover all home events if possible.  I do travel with teams but generally only for district and state competitions. 

What do you like about your position?  I love the opportunity to have my own primary high school to work with, along with bringing athletic training services to schools that otherwise would not have the resources to have an Athletic Trainer.  Outside of specific times, my schedule does allow for some flexibility and I enjoy that.

What do you dislike about your position?  My biggest concern is the time factor.  Even on a slow day, it may take up to 12 hours to complete my 8 hour day.  And with having a large number of athletes from three high schools competing at many different locations, it is hard to be everywhere at once.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?  My position has two distinct settings.  When I am working at the large high school, it is a very traditional setting of athletic training.  I am usually at the event and do the initial evaluation and follow the athlete on a daily basis until they are ready to return to their sport.  At the smaller schools, I am usually doing an evaluation several days after the injury and making appropriate recommendations to the athlete and coach.  I use the same skills, but with a little different management.  I love the combination of the two settings.

The only other issue is time management.  I struggled with this early in my career.  There is time available during the day; it just takes organization to get everything accomplished.  It will always be a challenge; I am now a single father of two and at times I have to rely on great co-workers to assist me in getting everything done.  I had to learn to be flexible and to realize I can’t be everywhere at once.