Archive for March, 2013

Young Professional Brief

Friday, March 15th, 2013

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.

Many people in this new generation of employees are more apt to text or email rather than call. What are your thoughts on the various forms of communication?

I love texting and emailing!  For me, it is for the personal reason that I don’t enjoy spending time on the phone and it allows me to circumvent that quite a bit.  I also have a terrible memory and subscribe to a service at www.followup.cc which allows me to set reminders when replying or forwarding emails.  In addition to helping me remember things, I am able to process through messages and keep my inbox clean with this service so things don’t pile up.

Taking some time to set up your email and text group lists is helpful too.  Making efficient use of your time is important in this profession, so being able to quickly message a group of people without too much time spent is a great tool.

I could go on and on about the benefits of texting and email, but I think the newer generation of employees already understands these.

So, my next bit of advice is to be cautious with these forms of communication.  When you are communicating with someone, it is important to be mindful of their preferred mean of communication.  If your team physician calls you every time, they probably prefer to speak with you rather than sending a flurry of text messages.  If an Athletic Director comes to personally see you with information, they would probably appreciate personal conversations rather than an impersonal email.  For now you should mimic other’s preferred format.  Once you’ve established yourself, you can begin to “train” others to mimic your preferred format.

It is probably also a smart idea to be mindful of your grammar and spelling when texting and emailing.  Yes, they are less formal means of communication than a formally written letter but that doesn’t mean people won’t judge you.  If you are a new professional and trying to establish yourself within a school or company, don’t give people easy reasons to discount you.  It is one thing to text your friend and a very different thing to text your boss.

 

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.

An In Depth Look with….Mike McKenney, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES

Friday, March 8th, 2013

In Depth Look with….Mike McKenney, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES

Describe your setting: I am a graduate assistant athletic trainer at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota.  My main position is with baseball, but I provide AT services as needed for other sports as well.  We play home games at Newman Outdoor Field and compete in the Summit League (NCAA D-I).  Also, as a graduate student, I recently completed a study in our athletic training research laboratory.  In our lab, I have the ability to collect and analyze human blood samples for hematocrit, hemoglobin, electrolyte content and other plasma variables.  Adjacent to our lab, I also have the use of an environmental chamber that can reach temperatures of up to 38°C.

How long have you worked at this setting? I am in my 5th year as an Athletic Trainer (AT), and this is my 2nd year at NDSU.  Prior to NDSU, I worked for an orthopedic group for three years as a physician extender.  I provided services in the clinic and outreach for multiple organizations.  I was also an assistant AT at a local high school during that time.

Describe your Typical Day:  During the day I have data collection, my day could begin anywhere from 6:00am to 10:00am, depending on when my subject was scheduled to arrive.  Normally, I would arrive an hour before my subject so I could turn on the environmental chamber.  I am trained in venipuncture, so I collected and analyzed all blood samples for my study.  A typical testing day took a little over four hours, which included an hour after my subject finished to analyze their blood for electrolyte content, hematocrit, hemoglobin, osmolality and changes in plasma volume.  Depending on the day, I would either run off to class or our athletic complex for practice.

As a northern baseball program, we are always fighting the weather.  Practicing outdoors becomes impossible when there is more than a foot of snow on our field or the temperatures with wind-chill are approaching -40°F.  Early in the season, we often have practice indoors, which means we usually practice at night due to availability of the facility.  Due to the weather, we play a lot of away games early in the season.  We primarily travel by bus unless we are going to locations that are farther away, like Florida or Arizona.  We arrive on Thursday afternoons and have practice that evening.  We will play anywhere from three to four games in a weekend and leave on Sundays.  We usually check out of the hotel before our game on Sunday, and then drive home immediately after the game.  We also have occasional mid-week games.

What do you like about your position: I really enjoy being a part of the NDSU sports medicine team.  It is a fantastic group of health care professionals to work with.  I am also very fortunate to have the ability to perform research, as it has allowed me to learn new skills, such as venipuncture and analyzing human blood.

What do you dislike about your position: Unless we are playing in the Metrodome in Minneapolis, our daily schedule is dictated by the weather.   Early in the season, this can make things a little hectic.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting? Don’t be afraid of research! Learning how to perform research with human subjects is a time-consuming but immensely rewarding experience.  Also, applying yourself and staying organized are necessary to succeed in graduate school.

National Athletic Training Month 2013! #AT4EveryBody

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Shared from the Young Professionals in the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association blog.

National Athletic Training Month 2013! #AT4EveryBody #NATM2013
Happy National Athletic Training Month 2013! Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer!

Springtime is one of the busiest times of year for a secondary school Athletic Trainer (AT), so it’s nice to take some time to remember why we love what we do.  I was recently out on maternity leave and was given time to truly see why I decided to be an AT.

I work with a wonderful AT who made sure I did not feel any guilt or have any worries while I was out, and he took over all of my work duties.  I am very grateful to be able to work with someone like this, who was constantly reminding me that my family came first. He worked extra taking care of all of our athletes and still made time to come visit my family and wish us well while I was out.  You see it’s what ATs do; they take care of each other because every body needs an athletic trainer.

I also get to work with great student athletes.  For example, while out on leave a student athlete  contacted me, begging that I attend the last home game of the season and her senior night.  I had spent many hours over the last two years working with her in rehabilitation from two different surgeries.  I was so touched that she wanted me there to watch her compete in her last home game, but just before the game she publicly thanked me over the loud speakers for helping her return to competition.  I did all I could not to tear up!

We work each day as ATs never expecting a thank you. When you receive one, in that manner, it’s the greatest feeling – especially when you get to watch them achieve their goals after sitting out so long. We get the opportunity to help an athlete through tough times; we push them physically, mentally and emotionally to help them get back to the sport and activity that they love. Seeing them return is really the only thank you we need! Student athletes need athletic trainers; every body needs an athletic trainer.

I work with crazy and fun coaches. My office door is always open (whenever I am actually in it) and one of my favorite things when a coach steps in just to vent a little or a lot.  As ATs we are often the sounding board and safe spot for coaches to vent about a rough day, hard fought loss, frustrating athlete or anything else on their mind.  Coaches need athletic trainers, every body needs athletic trainers.

I get to work with an awesome nurse. At our school the nurses and ATs try to work closely with each other to provide care for all of the students and staff on campus.  We try to use each other’s strengths in different situations. We are called in most emergencies and for musculoskeletal injuries and all concussions that occur on campus.  So the student body needs athletic trainers, the nurse needs athletic trainers, every body needs athletic trainers.

I love being an AT, working with a variety of people and caring for variety of different needs.

Share why you love your job and why every body needs an athletic trainer on twitter, using #AT4EveryBody #NATM2013.

Written By:

Stephanie Nelson, ATC
stnelson@weatherfordisd.com

 

National Athletic Training Month Challenge

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Shared from the Young Professionals in the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association blog.

National Athletic Training Month Challenge

Last year while watching a basketball game, I happened to notice our cheerleaders out on the gym floor doing a basket toss.  Most of the time I try not to watch our cheerleaders because just their normal stunting makes me nervous, but I just happened to look up and see a girl flying through the air.  Now, I am not an expert on cheerleading by any means, but I do know, from working for the Universal Cheerleading Association for a couple of summers, that basket tosses are not supposed to done unless there are mats underneath.  I addressed this with our athletic director and he said that we definitely needed to look into it.

Well, this year I look up and we are doing basket tosses again.  When I confronted our cheer sponsor about it, she said that she had discussed it with our athletic director.  They had decided that it was a fine print rule and that, if they were going to follow that rule, there were a lot of other rules they would have to follow and it would cost too much money.  Unfortunately I did not agree with this statement.  If we are going to have cheerleading at our school, we need to make sure to follow the safety measures put in place in order to protect our athletes.

I decided to address this one more time with our athletic director, just to make my above opinion known.  Apparently there was some miscommunication between him and the cheerleading sponsor because he agreed with me and said that we would do what needed to be done.

Now not all situations work out as well as this one did when dealing with rules, regulations, and compliance, but I just wanted to give everyone a reminder, as we head into National Athletic Training Month, that we need to remember the purpose of our profession.  Sometimes we may have to have uncomfortable conversations or be the annoying person who keeps bringing up safety hazards, but we are all in this career because we want to provide safe environments in which our athletes and patients can perform.

So this month, do not just put up banners or make T-shirts in order to get the word out about athletic training (although those are great things to do).  Take the time to address an issue or concern that has to do with the safety of your athletes because, after all, that is what athletic training is all about.

Written By:

Shaya Hancock, ATC
Slhancock@harding.edu

Young Professional Brief

Friday, March 1st, 2013

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 would you expect to find in an applicant if you were hiring a new Assistant Athletic Trainer?

One of the most important traits I look for in an individual is humble confidence.  I want someone who can develop rapport with parents, physicians, coaches, administrators, athletes, and others by being able to speak and act confidently and handle situations effectively.  Confidence is not necessarily related to always having the answer or knowing everything, so I always add the descriptor of humble.  There is a definite difference between confident and cocky.  If you think you know everything, then you probably know close to nothing.

Being humble means you know when to ask for help.  It means you respect the chain of command.  It means I can trust you to maintain relationships with all the groups we work with on a daily basis.

Another thing I look for is the ability to think quickly and problem solve.  I once asked an interview question about what accomplishment they were most proud of either personally or professionally.  One person simply said, “I can’t think of an answer.”

Really?

Just think on your feet and make something up.  Tell me you got the blue ribbon at the state fair for your snickerdoodle cookies.  I won’t know any different.  (It was, by the way, sad they couldn’t think of something they were proud of accomplishing).  Being able to think quickly is a skill that is essential in athletic training.  Rarely does anything happen that is textbook and you will need to be able to make quick decisions or make things up as you go.  It doesn’t mean that there aren’t principles in place to guide those decisions or solutions, but the ability to take those principles and turn them into real life critical thinking is immensely important.

I’m sure each person has their own thoughts on what they look for in an applicant, so my thoughts are by no means the only criteria someone would look for in an assistant.  That’s where the power of networking comes in and you can pull together common traits as you ask others what they are looking for when hiring someone.

 

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.