During the month of January, many people are beginning to work their way through New Year’s resolutions. This may include large goals such as training for your first half-marathon, or simple things like trying to eat an additional serving of fruit per day. While many of these pursuits are for personal reasons, I think the beginning of the year can also be a time to make professional resolutions for 2013.
My first resolution is to allow myself more time to evaluate and read more research. Athletic Trainers (ATs) are often busy with the demands of life outside of work, and staying current with the most up-to-date research can be difficult. Critically reading and appraising research can be very beneficial in strengthening my personal approach to an evidence based practice. Challenge yourself. Find a topic that you may be unfamiliar with and read everything you can find on that topic. Evaluate the research and see how you can incorporate that new information in your clinical practice.
Another resolution of mine is to find more ways to give back to our profession. These contributions can range from taking the time to respond to surveys for the profession or signing up to volunteer as a Home Study Reviewer, Exam Item Writer or committee for the BOC, all the way to running for leadership positions at the state, district, or national level. Finding ways to get involved will only help strengthen our profession. Remember, the volunteer sign up for the NATA National Meeting and Clinical Symposia opens on March 4!
Finally, my last resolution is one that I encourage everyone to make, and that is to volunteer. ATs possess knowledge and a unique set of abilities that can be very beneficial to organizations and the general public. This can be accomplished by finding events that need people trained in first aid/CPR such as fun runs and 5Ks. You could also volunteer in a soup kitchen, help out at local blood drives, contact your local Red Cross and volunteer for disaster relief, or volunteer for any of the large number of charitable organizations that support those with debilitating illnesses.
In addition to the above suggestions, what will your professional resolutions be?
Mike McKenney, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES