When the weather gets colder and the leaves change colors, it can only mean one thing: fall sports have arrived.
While watching sports in the Springfield community, you may be able to spot MSU athletic training (AT) students getting hands-on clinical experience.
In addition to their instructional course work, students must complete certain clinical experiences to become nationally certified athletic trainers.
“We currently have students going to high school and college clinics, as well as other experiences, depending on their professional interests,” said Dr. Tona Hetzler, head of the athletic training department.
Other clinical experiences include tactical athletic training, performing arts training, doctors’ offices and rehab clinics.
“These different clinics allow our students to gain experience in different aspects of athletic training that they may not know exist,” said Dr. Allan Liggett clinical associate professor athletic training.
Types of clinical experience
MSU offers AT students two types of clinical experiences: immersive and integrated.
The immersive clinical experience requires students to spend three periods of eight weeks fully immersed in a clinical setting. Students spend the entire workday getting hands-on training.
The integrated clinical experience is for students who attend classes in the morning, then work in a clinical setting in the afternoon.
The amount of time MSU students spend in clinical settings allows them to stand out from other universities’ AT programs.
“Our students are averaging 15 hours a week of clinical training over six semesters,” Hetzler said. “Our students are graduating with well over 1,500 hours of experience.”
This program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Springfield community and embrace MSU’s mission of community engagement.