Focus on Self-Improvement
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August 2, 2018
By Danielle Roland, MA, ATC
As an Athletic Trainer (AT), you have the opportunity to practice in different locations, experience the highs of athletic competition and network with amazing people. You have the power to stand out and do something great with your career! With that being said, let’s look at some tips on self-improvement that will help you reach new heights.
Stay in the know. The world of athletic training and sports medicine is constantly changing. New guidelines, information and practices are put in to play every day. The best way to stay in the game is to read often and take new continuing education (CE) programs. Journals are a great way to keep yourself informed of the latest evidence. CE programs give you the knowledge you need to apply new knowledge and skill in your practice. Start by taking a CE program that helps to fill a gap in your clinical knowledge. This will give you one more resource to add to your practice and professional experience.
Keep your resume up to date. You can add recent accomplishments, awards received and professional groups or organizations. Make a presence on social media and contribute to the conversation. You never know who may run across your profile. LinkedIn is great for self-promoting. You may or may not be looking for a new position, but it is always a good idea to have your information accessible.
Get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer or participate in a new meeting or event. Let people know you are available in your community. You may even befriend a colleague or be a mentor to pay it forward. Relationships are important in this field. Physicians, colleagues, educators and athletes will all bring something to the table. See these relationships as a way of networking. When you interact well with others, they will remember your great impression and may speak of you to another person.
Tackle stress with time management. Time management includes managing your energy. Schedule activities during the time of the day you are most alert. For example, if you are a morning person, exercise before you head off to work or go to class. Keep a “to do” list and check on it often. Procrastination is not a good habit to form. It is said that procrastination develops out of fear of others judging your work and finding it inadequate. Nobody is perfect. Just do your best and move on to the next task. You can only grow with each new endeavor!
Eat well. As healthcare professionals, we communicate a certain lifestyle to others. We give advice on how to stay healthy. It is only fair that we lead by example! Try to eat less refined sugar and drink less caffeine. These items contribute to weight gain and interfere with natural energy stores. We may become irritable or experience low blood sugar levels. ATs work long hours. Be sure to fuel your body with nutrients that will keep you going throughout the day.
Edlin, Gordon. Golanty, Eric. Brown, Kelli McCormack. “Health and Wellness.” 1999. 6th ed.
About the Author
Danielle Roland is an Industrial Athletic Trainer for Therapy South in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s in Athletic Training from the University of South Florida in 2004 and master’s in Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007. She currently works onsite at Lear and Eissmann (automotive companies) and Alabama Power Company doing injury prevention and functional movement screening.