The Profession and Parenting: Strategies for Making it Work - Yvette Moscoso
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As an AT, it can be a challenge to balance work and family life due to the long hours and irregular schedules. In this series, we present stories about ATs who successfully juggle their professional and personal lives, and we feature real stories from AT parents who “make it work.”
Yvette Moscoso, MA, LAT, ATC is currently an assistant Athletic Trainer (AT) for Virginia Wesleyan University that is under Sentara Sports Medicine. She has been at Virginia Wesleyan University for two years and with Sentara Sports Medicine for the last seven years. Moscoso took the time to share how she makes everything work in a recent Q&A.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I am originally from Manila, Philippines. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was in my early teens. I grew up in California where I became the first one in my family to go and graduate from college. I received my undergraduate degree from Cal State Northridge and graduate degree from University of Nebraska Omaha.
I moved to Virginia and landed my first position in the secondary schools. I taught sports medicine classes for a few years, but I was not enjoying teaching as much as I thought I would. I eventually moved back to the collegiate setting where I am enjoying the right amount of work/life balance.
After I met my husband, we immediately started a family and welcomed our daughter who is turning 8-years-old this year. My husband works for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and his work schedule is usually the opposite of mine. We are blessed to have our immediate family live close. They can help when there are days or weekends that we are both working.
Describe a typical day.
My typical day involves rehab and treatment hours in the mid-morning and early afternoons before practice. We are also preceptors for athletic training students from Old Dominion University master’s athletic training program. I enjoy being a preceptor because we get to help with their real-life experience and learn from the students about the new techniques and advances that I did not get from my undergraduate education.
My supervisor is very good at organization and scheduling, so we are not working long hours every day. Most of our coaches are aware that we have crossover seasons so they would also try to give us the practice and game schedules ahead of time.
What are some strategies you use to make your professional and personal life work/balance?
The key to making the hours of an AT and home life balance is to make sure you are organized and know your schedule in advance so you can prepare for your day or week ahead. If anything arises such as your kid getting sick, I believe that it is an asset to work for a hospital outreach because we have a pool of PRN ATs that can help in a bind. Also, another important factor is good communication between your supervisor, coworker’s coaches and spouse. If anything is canceled or rescheduled, it is important to communicate with us so we can make sure that practices or game days are covered even if it is at the last minute.
What is the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is that I get to spend a little time with my daughter before school and help pick out her outfit of the day and do her hair. They are the little things in life that I want to cherish because time goes by fast, and they grow up quickly.
I love seeing my patients who I consider my work “kids” and having them tell me about their day or let me know if their injury is getting better. We also have volunteer coworker Luna who will be working towards becoming a therapy dog. She is my supervisor’s black lab, and she greets everyone from the student athletes, coaches, recruits and even other school employees. Most of our patients are college students and homesick and having Luna really does brighten their day. Sometimes we think they come in more to see her than the staff.
What advice would you give a fellow AT who might be struggling to balance their career and parenting?
As an AT, we can multitask, handle stressful situations, be able to triage from least to the most important aspect even in our daily lives. I love being an AT because we do make an impact on our patient’s lives.
In my career, I had a junior varsity football player who fractured his C4 cervical spine during practice. With our emergency action plan training and the help of EMS we safely spine boarded him, and he was able to get the surgery he needed so he was not paralyzed. I would never forget that young man and he would visit me in my office and thank me for helping him.
ATs are usually the unsung heroes, but we go to work almost every day because our patients need us. The one piece of advice I can give is to make sure to take care of yourself as well. Most of the time we feel burned out from our responsibilities so take your lunch break, take your vacation day, ask for help, and make time for your hobby. In the end, you cannot take care of your family or patients if you are not well physically or mentally.
This article was originally published in the 2023
summer "Cert Update" newsletter.