WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay
09/15/2015

The Khaki Kronicles: Tales from the Athletic Training Room - Episode 6

Dr. Dani Moffit, PhD, ATC
WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay
WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay

danimoffit.jpg

Dr. Dani Moffit, PhD, ATC

Program Director, Professional Masters of Science in Athletic Training, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID



CSMI: TELL ME WHEN YOU STARTED YOUR ATHLETIC TRAINING CAREER, AND WHEN YOU MADE THE TRANSITION TO INSTRUCTION. DO YOU STILL ACTIVELY WORK AS AN ATHLETIC TRAINER?

DM: My first job as an athletic trainer was at the high school I graduated from. The first year I was the Head Boy’s Athletic Trainer and worked at a clinic part-time. The following year, I was hired as a teacher full-time in addition to the athletic training position. I stayed within the same school district for a total of 10 years. I made the switch to higher education when I saw an opportunity for a graduate assistantship while working on a PhD. Prior to graduating, the program director at that school left, and I took over the position in the undergraduate program. The position for the program director for the graduate program opened up at my alma mater so I was given the opportunity to come back home. Even though I’m in higher education, at both my previous position and my current one, I still work clinically in athletic training. It’s important for my students to see that I’m remaining active and it keeps my clinical skills current.

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

It was random luck. When I started college, my dad was friends with the head athletic trainer. I was thinking PT or possibly medical school, but when I started working with the athletes and on the field, I knew I found what I wanted to do with my life.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE JOB CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED?

When I started 20+ years ago, we were relatively unknown except for taping and handing out water. Today, the knowledge these professionals bring is pretty amazing. The course work is much more demanding, the expectation for care is higher, and the respect is growing (albeit slower than we would like to see!).

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

I didn’t realize the connections that would be made with the athletes. These people become a huge part of your world and their safety and well-being is as important to you as if it were your own family member. I have students I still keep in touch with, 20 years past the time they were athletes and I celebrate their good times and mourn their bad times just as I would as if they were my own kids.

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

My advice is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and tried new things. Athletic training is about relationships, growing in the field, and learning something new daily. Without the mental stimulation that comes with change, a person is going to be disgruntled with their choice of profession. Reach out and try something new. It will make you a better athletic trainer.

AS PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF THE GRADUATE AT PROGRAM, HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE PROFESSION OF ATHLETIC TRAINING EVOLVE OVER THE YEARS? HOW HAS THE PERCEPTION OF ATHLETIC TRAINERS EVOLVED?

I became an athletic trainer through the internship route, which no longer exists. At the time, I thought that was a shame because the restrictions were going to take away some of what I did as a student. However, now that I’m in the position I am, I see how important it was to take that step. I didn’t want to have any of my students ever feel the panic I felt when I traveled by myself and had a major injury occur. Now that the entry-level is moving to the master’s degree, I am excited for our profession. I was a student in an internship, I was a program director at the undergraduate level, I am now a program director at the graduate level. I can see the evolution and how it will only create stronger professionals.

IF YOU COULD SHARE SOME TRICKS-OF-THE-TRADE WITH A PEER, WHAT WOULD THEY BE ?

I have learned the importance of getting buy in by the staff athletic trainers as well as the coaches at my institution. My previous institution would not let me attend coach’s meetings so I wasn’t able to explain the importance of the students being allowed to be students, not a substitute for the staff ATs. There was little interaction with the staff ATs, either, which made it difficult to run the program effectively. At my current institution, I am invited to coach’s meetings, I was on the search committee for a new staff athletic trainer, and I have interactions with all of the staff at least once a week, though it’s usually more often. The importance of working with all of these individuals has created a stronger program and a mutual respect from both the academic and didactic side of the program.

DO YOU PREFER TEACHING OR WORKING HAND-ON AS AN ATHLETIC TRAINER (AND WHY)?

I don’t think I can choose one or the other. Whether or not an athletic trainer wants to believe it, every athletic trainer is a teacher. We teach our patients on a daily basis, whether it’s how to prevent shin splints or what the home protocol should be for caring for an injury. I have the awesome job of teaching students to become athletic trainers, which I do hands-on every day. My passion is my profession and it is wrapped into one and the same.

HOW IS THE ROLE OF THE ATHLETIC TRAINER CHANGING, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF CONCUSSIONS? HOW DO YOU CONVINCE AN ATHLETE TO STAY ON THE SIDELINES UNTIL HE’S READY TO RETURN?

I have been fortunate because my coaches have always supported my medical advice regardless of how much an athlete is needed to participate. The few times that I’ve had athletes not listen to me have been during football games and that’s easily solved by hiding his helmet.

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

This is when there has to be a good relationship between myself and my coaches. I met with all of my coaches prior to the start of their season so they were aware of my expectations and protocols. I had a few instances where coaches didn’t listen to me and went out on their own and sent their athlete to a physician. However, those times usually backfired on them and the physician held the athlete out longer than what I would have. When I refused to overrule the physician’s orders, the coach learned pretty quickly to either listen to me or accept the consequence.

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

I have had hundreds of students over the years, starting at the high school and continuing through where I am today. The most important experience for me has been watching them succeed in their lives. Not all of them have gone into athletic training full-time, instead choosing another route, but I’m okay with that. I have loved sharing my expertise with others and it’s an experience I’m thankful I get to perform every day, both in the classroom and on the field.


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



A Legal & Ethical Review of CONCUSSIONS & SPORTS
A Legal & Ethical Review of CONCUSSIONS & SPORTS
Key Takeaways for the Athletic Trainer, Athletic Director, Coach, Heath Care Provider, and Parent


WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay
WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay
WeDoEssay.com - Write My Essay