March is time to celebrate campus’ athletic trainers

March 14, 2019 / by / 0 Comment

Students from GCU’s Clinical Skills Club and Sports Medicine Club practice their emergency medical skills at a recent multi-department training exercise at the 27th Avenue complex.

GCU News Bureau

When Run to Fight Children’s Cancer unfolds on Saturday at Grand Canyon University for the ninth year, one group that’s sure to be there will be the GCU Sports Medicine Club.

As it so happens, the club will be celebrating National Athletic Training Month, sponsored by the 45,000-member strong National Athletic Training Association (NATA).

“We want to promote and celebrate the profession of athletic training (AT) around the world,” said Teddy Ogilvie, vice president of the Sports Medicine Club and an athletic training student. ” … This month we want to celebrate all AT’s and their work. This year’s slogan is, ‘ATs Are Health Care.’ ATs are not only health care providers to athletes but also provide care to soldiers, workers and performers.”

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide emergency care and prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and medical conditions for people in work, life and play, including athletes, industrial workers, military service members and public servants. ATs are not the same as personal trainers or “trainers,” Ogilvie said. As health care professionals, ATs provide more health care services than fitness and conditioning. They also are part of a team of professionals who work collaboratively with not just physicians but physical therapists, emergency medical technicians, physician assistants and psychologists. ATs  provide a continuum of quality care for patients, no matter what field they are in.

Ogilvie said a day in the life of an AT ranges from acute, life-threatening injuries to chronic illness or injury. They are equipped to treat and manage acute injury situations, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and heat illnesses. For the active and athletic population, they are the first line of care. ATs are with the athletes the day the injury happens, through rehabilitation programs, and are present when the patient returns to activity. Since ATs are with these patients daily, there is a personal relationship built. This ensures quality individual care for every patient.

One way to get to know GCU’s athletic training students is to drop by their area at Run to Fight this weekend.

The club first volunteered at the event in 2017. Run to Fight, which involves some 3,000 participants, from runners to volunteers, is the largest run of its kind in Arizona dedicated to bringing awareness to pediatric cancer.

It was in that first year of volunteering that the club was called into action when a spectator, 59-year-old Perry Harris of Peoria, suffered a heart attack. The club, along with other GCU personnel, was able to help Harris during the emergency. He survived the heart attack and might not have without athletic trainers nearby.

Crystal Westover, a senior athletic training student and a lead in the Sports Medicine Club, said at a recent training event, “That first year we did this, we were expecting minor things. But then all the hard work the club had put together with the run paid off. We were able to respond to that emergency,” Westover said.

Since that first year of volunteering, the campus has put together its first Special Event Emergency Plan and tested that plan recently during that training — a mock exercise involving several GCU departments and organizations and even an outside emergency team from American Medical Response.

“This March, we hope you get to know your local AT and learn more about their qualities and expertise as a health care professional,” Ogilvie said. “AT’s are at your high schools, colleges, hospitals, physical therapy offices, military bases, performance centers and more. … ‘ATs Are Health Care.'”


Related content:

GCU Today: “Emergency exercise aids Run to Fight preparedness.”

GCU Today: “Strains, sprains? Student athletic trainers step up”

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