What do “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Elf” have to do with the physician practice setting? Not much to the uninitiated observer. However, in one of the sessions at Monday’s Pre-Conference Career Workshops, those movies were used to help attendees understand what it can be like to work in the physician practice setting.
The Pre-Conference Career Workshops kicked off the NATA 2017 educational slate with several different options for athletic trainers interested in emerging settings. The physician practice introductory track was a boon to ATs who were looking for information about the setting or those who wanted to find out how they could become a part of it. Another track was meant for more experienced physician practice ATs and offered recommendations on best practices. Finally, there were a series of presentations focused on dance medicine.
The introductory track’s first session was “Teamwork in a Clinical Setting,” and was presented by Erin McCormick, MS, ATC, LAT, and David Yucha, MD. The two talked about the symbiotic relationship between the doctor and athletic trainer and used clips from the aforementioned hit movies to exemplify situations that were common in their workplace. McCormick went on to extoll some of the advantages of working in the physician practice setting.
Other sessions featured in the introductory track touched on various aspects of residency programs and integration into the office environment.
Over in the experienced track, Kyle Scharer, MS, ATC, LAT, talked about the value of athletic trainers relative to the patient experience. He expounded on the approach he takes with patients and how small practices can make a big difference in their comfort and satisfaction. For example, Scharer explains who he is, what he does and why he is doing certain tasks upon meeting a patient. And although this only takes about 15 seconds for him to do, he said it makes a world of difference in creating a rapport with the patient.
Additionally, attendees of the experienced track were able to learn about the difference in patient throughput with an athletic trainer present, how to advocate for themselves, the value of ATs in rural family practices and changes in healthcare reform.
The third track was significant as it was the first time an entire schedule of NATA programming had been devoted to dance medicine. Session topics included the female athlete triad, foot and ankle injuries, hip stability and muscle imbalance. A more global perspective was covered in presentations on designing an injury prevention program and rehabilitating an injured dancer.
In the afternoon, the experiential portion of the Pre-Conference Career Workshops began with the casting workshop. Speakers Kristie Woolems, OTC, and Katherine Bagnato, ATC, OTC, walked through the casting process with Woolems demonstrating the proper technique on a volunteer. They also provided cogent advice to the attendees. This included always wearing gloves, since the residue can take a week to come off, and under no circumstances to spray Febreeze on the cast. After the demonstration, the attendees were given the opportunity to try their casting skills on each other.
The second hands on session was focused on musculoskeletal radiology. Andrew Ryan Palisch, MD, provided examples of injuries from MRI scans before attendees went to ultrasound stations to perform their own musculoskeletal imaging.
By Todd Christman
Photo by Renee Fernandes/NATA