Are you the kind of person who jumps into action when someone is in need of help? Well, the CPHHS has a class – and degree – just for you!
Students in the CPHHS’s Athletic Training Program learn to become first responders on and off the field.
If enrolled in the program, one of the courses you can expect to take is Emergency Management of Athletic Trauma, which provides students with the skills needed to handle emergency situations while providing care as a certified athletic trainer.
The class is set up so that instructors present material in a lecture format before moving into the laboratory setting, where they then demonstrate the skills.
“It gives me an opportunity to interact with them and provide feedback while they’re performing the skills in the laboratory setting prior to performing them in the clinical setting,” says Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Mark Hoffman.
“It’s pretty good, especially because you get that feedback immediately,” says Athletic Training student Ruben Banuelos. “If you do something wrong, he’s there to tell you, ‘look don’t do it like this, do it like that instead,’ and you immediately get to correct it and remember how to do it. If you messed up, you’ll especially remember that.”
Students learn athletic training techniques including splinting for the upper and lower extremities, removal of facemasks for football players who may have a compromised airway, and spine boarding techniques for the care of the potentially spine-injured athlete.
“There are many different kinds of splints,” says Athletic Training student Sarah Wellsandt. “Vacuum splints are easy to use and really handy, but not everywhere has them. Cardboard splints are more convenient and easier to use. You can just get a cardboard box, for example, if you don’t have anything to splint with.”
Hoffman says students who take this class are focused on making sure they know how to properly perform the skills “because in an emergency situation down the road when they’re a practicing clinician, they’re going to have to rely on the skills that they’ve learned in this class.”
“The hands-on experience is definitely a positive thing, especially for us kinesthetic and visual learners; you get both of those aspects, whereas sometimes you may only get auditory or just visual,” Banuelos says. “This way, you’re practicing what you’re actually supposed to do, so it gets that motor memory going.”
In the laboratory portions of Athletic Training Program courses, students learn the basic application of a technique before moving into scenario-based situations.
“The more we can put our students in scenario-based situations and have them perform techniques and patient care in scenario-based situations, the more comfortable we are that the students will be prepared to perform them in real life situations,” Hoffman says.
He says courses like this are key in building the confidence students need to succeed as a certified athletic trainer. The most challenging aspect, he says, can be the realization that they might be the only person providing care to a critically injured athlete.
“I want to be an athletic trainer probably at a smaller setting like a high school,” Wellsandt says. “Learning these techniques is really important because at high schools you don’t have five athletic trainers or personnel that are trained in all of this, so it’s really important for me to be able to learn it and become experienced.”
“My favorite portion of this class is knowing that this information is information they don’t necessarily get a whole lot of background on in the clinical setting,” Hoffman says. “I know that when it comes to a critical situation, that I will have prepared them and that they’ll be prepared to handle that situation.”