The weekend before exam week at the Mount, most students are busy studying and preparing final projects or papers. Students and faculty in the Athletic Training program were busy too. Instead of staying indoors, they chose to get up early on Saturday and Sunday to serve on the all-volunteer medical staff at the 20th Anniversary Flying Pig Marathon.
The athletic training students provided emergency care at the finish line main medical tent and the recovery zones at Smale Park for both the 10k/5k on Saturday as well as the half/full marathon on Sunday. In collaboration with team physician Rick Okragly with TriHealth, several athletic training preceptors, alumni, and 70 other health professionals, the Mount students used their knowledge and skills to provide care for sprains, strains, and cramping common after distance races. Due to the heat and length of the events, however, they were also called upon to care for patients dealing with heat stroke, diabetic emergencies, dehydration, and exhaustion.
Amber Roszell remarked, “As the temperature rose during the day, we definitely began to see more cases of heat illness. While we often treat these conditions in August during pre-season with our athletic teams, the number of participants in the race definitely forced us to use our diagnosis and treatment skills to decide if patients could be treated on-site or if they needed to be transported to the Main medical tent for a more comprehensive care. This is similar to the work we have to do at our clinical sites in determining when it is necessary to call EMS and transport patients to the emergency department at the hospital.”
This is the 12th year that the Mount AT program has participated in the Flying Pig on the medical staff. First-time staff member Alec Glines, a senior AT student, reported, “I was surprised at how busy we were as runners and walkers were coming in after the half and full marathon races. It allowed me to use several of my skills in prevention, nutrition counseling, emergency care, and communication with other healthcare providers.” He also remarked, “I’m definitely looking forward to participating next year despite it falling on the weekend before exams.” Along with several of his senior classmates, Glines recently passed his Board of Certification exam and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. He will begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the Mount in June.
Athletic Training program director BC Charles-Liscombe, EdD, ATC and Nicole Harshbarger, MS, ATC supervised the students over the two days. “The Flying Pig is a great opportunity for our students to experience the rush of working a mass participant event of this size and treating patients from all levels of ability. Thanks to our relationship with Jessica Mann, AT class of 2008, our team physician Dr. Okragly with TriHealth, and our preceptor Corey Jacobs, with Cincinnati Christian School and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, our students get an up-close experience to caring for the thousands of runners at the finish.”
Serving as a clinician at the Flying Pig is one of several clinical components required in the AT program which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. Beginning in May 2019, the Mount will be offering a 24-month (six-semester) full-time Master of Athletic Training (MAT) degree that will prepare students to earn the certified athletic trainer credential (ATC). Athletic trainers (AT) are licensed health care professionals who collaborate with physicians in the prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses to optimize physical activity and well-being in all types of patients, not just athletes participating in sports. Individuals interested in more information about the AT program at the Mount may email firstname.lastname@example.org.