Celebrating National Athletic Training Month with Research

March is National Athletic Training Month and the William Woods University Athletic Training program honors the special occasion with a research symposium. On Wednesday, for the third year in a row, seniors in the program gathered to present their capstone projects to an audience of students, prospective Athletic Training students, clinical instructors, and faculty.

These research projects are case studies on patients the students have treated during the 800+ hours of clinical education that is a component of their curriculum. A case study examines a unique injury or a novel approach to injury management. The Athletic Training students assisted their clinical instructors in performing examinations and specific interventions to help improve the patient’s overall condition. For their projects, they then prepared a manuscript and the 15-minute oral presentations.

The 2018 presentations included:

  • “Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome of the Shoulder in an Equestrian” by Kyle Gabrielson
  • “Disc Herniation in a Female Cross-Country Runner” by Jessica McIlhenney
  • “Effects of Weight Gain on Recovery from Knee Arthroscopy” by Caeli Dudenhoeffer
  • “ACL Screw Rejection in a College Football Player” by Alex Bankovich
  • “Effects of Accutane on ALPSA Lesion Recovery in a College Baseball Pitcher” by Cody Mathews

According to Dr. Steve Middleton, assistant professor and program director of the Athletic Training program, the students enjoy this process. “The case study really requires the students to utilize all aspects of their education. At first, it almost seems overwhelming, but, as they gather their research and the patients’ medical records, the project comes together rather quickly. The students also have the opportunity to reflect on their education and decision making in the patient’s care.”

Gabrielson, one of the presenters, said he learned a lot from the year-long project. “It’s exciting to work with a variety of athletes in a multitude of settings. Athletic trainers do much more than everyone sees.” After graduation in May, this Kansas City senior will be getting his master’s in Healthcare Administration.

“It is always an honor and privilege to watch freshmen develop into clinicians over the course of four short years,” said Middleton. “I am very proud of all they have accomplished and I look forward to welcoming each of them to this profession.”

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