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07/28/2015

The Khaki Kronicles: Tales from the Athletic Training Room - Episode 3

Jaclyn Adams, ATC
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Jaclyn Adams, ATC

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
CO CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center

CSMi: WHEN DID YOU START YOUR ATHLETIC TRAINING CAREER?

JACLYN ADAMS: Certified since 2000.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER AS AN ATHLETIC TRAINER?

I went to an out-of-district high school and had to wait for my mom to pick me up after school, hence I became involved in managing for sports (football, wrestling, baseball). I went to a student athletic trainer camp the summer before my Junior year and fell in love with the profession!

IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE JOB CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED?

More setting opportunities - armed forces, business, youth sports, rodeo. Competency changes. Internship to Curriculum. Master opportunities and now required Masters Education.

WHAT ABOUT THE ATHLETIC TRAINER’S JOB IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU ASSUMED IT WOULD BE WHEN YOU WERE A STUDENT?

I was told that ATs are very under appreciated. That truly isn't the case. We may not get the media coverage, but the patients, parents, and coaches value our worth.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT A CAREER IN ATHLETIC TRAINING?

Check out all (or as many as you can) of the settings an AT can work in Different venues have very different roles.

IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE TRICK-OF-THE-TRADE WITH A PEER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A patella tendon strap on males can be so painful for their hairy legs. Instead, use a cohesive and twist the tape to make the band across the patella. This also allows the athlete to adjust the location and tightness of the strap if needed later on. (I also like to do a twist in white tape across the wrist to add extra support).

HOW IS THE ROLE OF THE ATHLETIC TRAINER CHANGING, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF CONCUSSIONS?

ATs are being better recognized in being able to deal with concussions. Current laws help physicians communicate better with ATs and encourage the appropriate RTP protocol. I scare them with the facts. I remind them that the brain needs to heal just like a muscle, but that the brain can't be easily repaired if you go back too soon. Documentation is key in cases where athletes return to play against your advice.

HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WHEN YOU’RE CAUGHT BETWEEN WHAT A COACH WANTS AND WHAT’S BEST FOR AN ATHLETE?

Stand your ground, let your education back you. I had a football coach tell me what to do one time and I asked him if I could call the next several offensive plays. Let your calm, cool, and collective demeanor, and your knowledge, express the importance of safety for the athlete.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT THAT YOU LOOK BACK ON AS THE MOST IMPORTANT EXPERIENCE IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR

The two lives I've saved...a college volleyball athlete and a soccer referee...how teamwork was important and how calm professionals can be in the midst of trauma. (*Note - Jaclyn has actually played a role in saving THREE lives. See below for the stories.)

DO YOU USE ANY INJURY TRACKING SOFTWARE IN YOUR JOB?

SportsWare. Helps to staff certain events by knowing the number of encounters previously, helps the rec center with risk management, helps the coaching staff and myself to see patterns of injuries and learn what we need to do to help prevent them.


*BONUS: The lifesaving adventures of Jaclyn Adams, ATC

The next time you need to convince someone about the importance of having Certified Athletic Trainers on the sidelines, tell then you know an ATC who has saved three lives! Jaclyn shares her stories:

April 2011 - Indoor volleyball athlete (male, 20 y.o.) felt dizzy and hypoglycemic. We met him at the court: his blood sugar was good, reported previous history of syncope, radial pulse was rapid and irregular. We wheeled him back to the medical tent (he stated he was feeling better). Laid him down on the cot, turned to get my stethoscope, turned back and he was seizing. My co-worker (a DO) assisted me getting him on the ground. We started CPR and pulled out our AED. Another staff AT activated the EMS. We performed CPR for 5-10 minutes, delivered 3-4 shocks prior to EMS arriving. They put medicines on board and continued with CPR and defibrillation. Finally got him stable and transported to the local hospital where it was discovered he had "Wolff's Parkinson White Syndrome." He underwent an ablation to close off the extra electrical pathway between chambers. He made a full recovery, continued to play club for several years, and graduated from college!

July 2011 - Outdoor soccer tournament on a HOT July day. 3-4 medical tents throughout the sports complex. Our tent had one of the AEDs. Code blue call over the radio requesting the AED for a referee that was down. I hopped in the cart and carefully sped towards the field. A bystander physician was doing chest compressions when I arrived. I immediately powered up the AED and placed the pads. One shock was given and I resumed chest compressions. The referee "came to" during the compressions. He was fairly coherent and wanted to continue the game (LOL). We convinced him what just had transpired and that he would need to go to the hospital. No cause was ever determined...he is a healthy, active 50-some year old male. He now has a pacemaker and continues to be active. I am his friend on Facebook and enjoy seeing his life still so full of love! He donated an AED to me through the Kick Start Your Heart Foundation in 2012 :)

June 2014 - Outdoor soccer tournament, a 40 year old male coach was complaining of indigestion/heartburn, but had heart attack symptoms. Stressed and urged his wife to get him to the hospital immediately. He was very reluctant. Once he was admitted, it was discovered he had a collapsed aorta and had to have immediate open heart surgery...not even my AED would have helped on the field....He turned 40 the next day :)


Are you an Athletic Trainer with a story to tell? Drop us a line!



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