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From: Young Professionals Committee


LEADERSHIP - “Good leader’s don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get things done.” – Jocko Willink

​Omar Fercha, MA, ATC


Things could not be crazier in our lives! In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, athletic trainers have found themselves extremely busy working on the front lines or suddenly with an abundance of time on their hands. Those of you out there on the front lines, we thank and commend you for your efforts. For those of you who have been sidelined by this global event, you may be feeling like you have lost your purpose. You haven’t. This event has provided you the opportunity to start sharpening your skills, none more important than leadership. ....READ ALL HERE


From: Diversity and Inclusion


For our final installment for OATS women in history and National Athletic Training Month we have chosen to spotlight Jennifer Krug.


Jennifer Krug received a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education from Western Baptist College (now Corban University) and her Master’s of Science in Health and Fitness Promotion from Portland State University.  Jennifer is currently the Head Athletic Trainer at Dallas High School in Dallas, Oregon.  Jennifer was drawn to the profession at a very young age.  Growing up Jennifer described...READ ALL HERE

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From: Young Professionals Committee


Compassion Fatigue and Burnout: What is it and what can you do when you are at your limit?

​Briana Orlob, MS, LAT, ATC


I had a hard time admitting to myself that I was/am experiencing burnout. Sure there were plenty of good days and I knew I still loved my job, but I had this growing feeling of loathing towards it at times and it honestly scared me. How could something I love so much start becoming something I hate? How could I resent my patients for needing my help when helping others is why I chose this profession? My goal in discussing the topic of burnout and compassion fatigue is not to shame our profession and just live with “that’s just how it is,” but to begin a conversation and open up more about the realities of what happens to care providers in stressful jobs. And ultimately what we can do to combat this major issue in our profession....READ ALL HERE


From: Diversity and Inclusion


Linda McIntosh’s career spanned over 35 years, with much of it spent as a part of Pacific University.  Linda first served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Pacific University in 1988 and then after 25 years in this role, Linda took over as the Clinical Coordinator for the education program for the next 4 years before retiring.  Linda’s journey into athletic training was actually a “second career” for her.  Linda stated the she began as “a carpenter and licensed contractor”.  However after realizing the physical demands of this position, she turned her focus on the profession of athletic training.   Linda has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, and “needed to take some prerequisite courses before entering U of O's AT program in 1983”.  One of the most significant event’s in Linda’s career...READ ALL HERE

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From: Young Professionals Committee


Athletic trainers are master multitaskers and notorious for working 40+ hour work weeks regularly. Working so many hours leaves little time for ourselves and can leave many of us feeling conflicted when having to weigh competing pro- fessional and personal demands. We find ourselves looking for work-life balance, a concept that involves the effective management of one’s paid occupation with various personal roles and responsibilities. It’s important to note that these roles and responsibilities can vary from person to person as well as the priority assigned them at any given time. Lack of work-life balance has consequences like burnout, job dissatisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover. In an effort to promote retention and decrease burnout in the profession, the NATA published a position statement in 2018 titled Facilitating Work-Life Balance in Athletic Training Practice Settings. Have you seen it? If not, we’ve shared a link below! So how can you organize your work day to maximize your time, increase productivity and fully disengage from work when the time comes? I’ve outlined some tips, tricks, and strategies I’ve found helpful along my professional journey.  READ ALL HERE


From: Diversity and Inclusion


Our second spotlight for Women and History and National Athletic Training Month is Heather Halseth

Heather  is an Assistant Athletic Trainer at the University of Oregon and she is the currently the President for the Oregon Athletic Trainers Society.  Heather started out playing basketball in junior college, but she “… eventually gave up that dream and began to focus on athletic training while attending Chico State University in California.  Heather received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Physical Education Teacher Education, while getting her internship route hours for athletic training at Butte College.  Heather received her Master’s of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies from Boise State University while working as a graduate assistant athletic trainer.  When asked about memorable moments in her career, Heather is quick to recall that she met her husband because of athletic training (Travis Halseth ,who is also an athletic trainer at the University of Oregon) and that she had her son during an NWATA meeting – “…the first one that I was heading as the D10 Meeting Coordinator”.

In 2014 Heather was awarded the NATA assistant athletic trainer of the year award.   When asked about her mentors and individuals she admired, Heather named NATA Hall of Famers Fran Babich, Gary Craner, as well as Kim Terrell, and Tammy Pascoe. Heather’s advice for future athletic trainers was to “…  find what you are passionate about.  If you have a passion for athletic training, you are way less likely to be diverted or burned out down the road.  One of Heather’s favorite quotes is, “If you love your work, if you really enjoy it, you’re already a success” – Jack Canfield

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From: Young Professionals Committee


Implementing Self-Care Strategies:

Ideas for setting boundaries, preventing burnout, and genuinely loving what you do

Sam Drewes, OATS YPC Member


When it comes to the field of Athletic Training, we rely heavily on our ‘innate’ skills as healthcare professionals; compassion and providing patient-centered care.  We stretch ourselves thin to work around team practices, events, games, provider meetings, clinical hours, and at times, even athlete requests. This can make it very difficult for us to schedule our own downtime and when (or IF) we do- the ‘guilt’ for allotting time to ourselves (AKA putting ourselves first) begins to set in.  I personally have felt myself combat this. Not to mention burnout. And what the heck is ‘Work-Life balance? Is it ever actually possible to achieve this? You may have asked yourself the same question.  READ ALL HERE

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From: Diversity & Inclusion


Cari Wood is currently the Head Athletic Trainer at Redmond High School.  Cari was the President of the Oregon Athletic Trainers Society from 2003-2007 and also served as the President for the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association.  Cari became an athletic trainer after completing the internship route to certification while attending Eastern Washington University (EWU).  It was Cari’s experience under the mentorship of the Head Athletic Trainer (Tom Embree) at EWU, which led her to pursue a career in Athletic Training.  Cari said that while completing a job shadow experience she, “fell in love with the career and (has) stuck with it ever since!”  Cari also made it clear that her love of sports of all kinds was a bonus and “…finding a career that combined medicine with athletics was a dream job” for her.  In addition to Tom Embree, Cari also recognized Shelly Jones and Russ Richardson for their mentorship.  Cari’s advice for new graduates in athletic training included, remembering to “ always treat the whole person, not just the injury”.  Additionally Cari added, “support your athlete, support your coaches and other staff, and support your community!   Be a good person first and that will lead to being a good AT”.  One of Cari’s favorite quotes is, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.


From: Diversity & Inclusion


As members of the OATS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, one of our goals is to celebrate members of our profession and to promote an inclusive culture that treasures each member of our profession.  It is with that spirit that we have begun an initiative to provide periodic “blogs” that coincide with national periods of recognition…  Thus for the month of March we would like to celebrate National Athletic Training Month and National Women’s History Month by highlighting the following individuals.  Our hope is that they can serve as role models and inspirations for future professionals in the field of Athletic Training.

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