LHU student interns at Mansfield University and UPMC Cole | News, Sports, Jobs
(Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories written by Lock Haven University graduates about their full-immersion athletic training internship ahead of graduation this spring.)
In the final semester of the Master of Science in Athletic Training program at Lock Haven University (LHU), each student completes an extensive internship at a location of their choice. Kasey Creech of Galeton chose to return to her hometown to complete her internship at two locations: Mansfield University (MU) under the guidance of LHU grads Brian Oakes ’94 and ’14 MS, LAT, ATC and Kayla Wright. 20 MS, LAT, ATC and at UPMC Cole under the supervision of Melissa O’Brien, LAT, ATC.
Creech secured an athletic training position with UPMC Cole upon graduation this spring and saw her internship as an opportunity to begin the transition to athletic training in a more rural setting than she experienced in her clinical rotations during her high school days at LHU.
The first half of the 2022 spring semester was spent in Mansfield working primarily with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, but also working with spring preseason athletes and even some fall athletes. MU was a good transition to working in a more rural setting, overcoming the challenges of accessing healthcare in rural areas, but also using the college experiences gained while completing clinical studies at LHU.
The team doctor for MU came to the campus every week to get any referrals from the athletic trainers. work together on a regular basis to provide athletes with the best care. Many discussions between the team doctor, MU sports administration and sports coaches took place during the creation of new COVID-19 protocols for the return to the game and the consideration of the introduction of new mental health screening technology.
Creech had the opportunity to participate in these discussions and share insights into this new screening technology that was introduced to her during her time at LHU. She was welcomed with open arms by her teachers, Oakes and Wright, and they were able to share their similar experiences of completing the physical education program at LHU.
UPMC Cole has many contracts with high schools in the surrounding areas to provide athletic training services to both junior high and college students. O’Brien is currently providing services to three local high schools in Potter, McKean and Cameron counties because of the continuing need for athletic trainers in this rural area of Pennsylvania.
During the second half of the semester, Creech completed most of her clinical hours at Smethport Area Jr./Sr. High School but also gained experience with athletes at other schools including Coudersport Area JSHS, Cameron County JSHS, Northern Potter JSHS and Galeton JSHS.
Building relationships with athletic directors, coaches, athletes and other athletic trainers at various schools in this field will prove very helpful in the transition to their role at UPMC. Working with junior high and high school athletes instead of collegiate athletes has proven to be quite a mindset shift. In high school, there are many teaching moments, e.g. For example, how and what to stretch, how to properly warm up to prevent injury, pain versus pain, and even distinguishing growing pains from injury pain. That’s not to say these things aren’t present at the college level, just a small fraction of the other injuries seen in that setting.
“I was able to gain more hands-on experience during my time at both stations, which was difficult at LHU due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Krech. “I was able to apply the knowledge I gained while studying at LHU to work with billing, inventory, documentation, risk management and the referral process, as well as practical skills including assessment/diagnostics, treatment plans, immediate and emergency care.”
Overall, Creech has loved meeting and collaborating with each new admin, coach, athlete, and athletic trainer and gaining insights that come with each new interaction. She looks forward to bringing all of her experience gained during clinical rotations and coursework at LHU to UPMC Cole in Coudersport.