Editor’s note: NATA reached out to athletic trainers who participated in the 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo to learn about their experiences for a blog series called My VNATA Experience. If you would like to share your thoughts on VNATA 2020 as well, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletic training student Victoria Simpson is working toward her master’s degree in athletic training from the University of South Carolina. The 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo was her first experience attending NATA’s annual convention, and although it did not look how she expected, she said it gave her an opportunity to connect with athletic training professionals on topics that specifically interest her, like CBD and THC use in athletics, during the pandemic when staying focused and taking on new information has been tough.
Learn more and register for VNATA 2020 through Sept. 10. The live portion of the event has ended, but on-demand content and access to the AT Expo is still available.
Why did you decide to attend the 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo?
I wanted to attend the 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo to learn new content, see other AT professionals discuss topics that may not have been covered in class and to build relationships with potential future employers. I appreciated that if I was unable to watch a session because I attended another session that I was able to watch it on-demand at a later time.
What was your favorite part(s) of VNATA 2020?
My favorite part was listening to discussions and sessions that I probably would never learn about in the classroom. I have had an interest in CBD and THC usage in the athletic population, so listening to Dr. Matthew Fedoruk's presentation, Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Sports Medicine: What is the Evidence?, on the therapeutic use of cannabis in athletics was one of my favorite sessions.
What new knowledge/takeaway from VNATA 2020 will you use in your daily practice?
Overall, this conference provided a plethora of insight and knowledge for me to utilize in my clinical practice as I prepare for the [Board of Certification Inc. exam] and graduation. As a student, I was able to see how NATA and the AT profession is progressing, but areas where we lack as well. The 2020 VNATA has increased my desire to be an active advocate in the profession as I grow from an AT student to a professional.
Why would you recommend VNATA 2020 to your fellow ATs?
First, the 2020 VNATA was free for students! You can't beat that price! But I would also recommend other ATs to continue to register for the 2020 VNATA because you have access to all the sessions and content on-demand until September. During this pandemic it has been hard for me as a student to want to continue to educate myself, but the 2020 VNATA gave me the opportunity to learn from those outside of my program and listen to topics that specifically interest me.
I hope in the future they continue to have a virtual component for the convention. I would never have the opportunity to listen to all the presentations or acquire new information in the traditional in-person format. Also, the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters live while their presentation played decreased interruptions that may distract the presenter or me simply forgetting the question.