Jan 29, 2015
Smooth Transitions

Transitioning into a professional role can be a challenge, and the nature of athletic trainers’ jobs can make a steep learning curve. On Saturday, Sharon Rogers, PhD, LAT, ATC, Associate Professor at East Carolina University, will be presenting, “Transition to Practice Models for Newly Certified Athletic Trainers: Supportive Novice Clinicians in Common Employment Settings.”

“I am one of three speakers for this presentation,” Rogers says. “We are each speaking about preparing an entry-level athletic trainer professional, but each is discussing preparation for a specific employment setting (i.e., clinic, university, and high school). I will be presenting the high school preparation section. I will be discussing three key points for athletic trainers preparing to work in the high school setting.”

Rogers recommends this presentation for young professionals, employers in the secondary school setting, and team physicians or secondary-school athletic trainers. “Because athletic trainers work as a team-of-one in the secondary school setting, mentorship and guided practice during their first one-to-two years is essential,” she says. “There is not a team of athletic trainers around the person who works in a secondary school. This can be risky to professional practice and also limiting to professional growth.”

The risk involved with high school sports is something that Rogers has helped one school district in particular handle. “My expertise related to hiring and supervising high school athletic trainers is an outcome to a death of a local high school football player,” she says. “The local school system did not have any athletic trainers employed in its six high schools and an athlete died of second impact syndrome. The county then sought out expertise to incorporate athletic trainer services into all county high schools and approached me.

“Our partnership has been very successful,” she continues. “Our story was the feature of CNN’s Big Hits, Broken Dreams in 2011, and in just four short years following the implementation of athletic trainers, our schools’ programs were all recognized with the NATA’s Safe Sports School Awards in 2013.”

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