The SWATA Blog is glad to introduce this month's guest blogger, Katie Scott. Katie Scott serves as the National Athletic Trainers' Association Athletic Trainer in Residence. She has provided us with a look into her role at the NATA office. Thanks Katie!
I was honored to be asked to write a blog post regarding my experience at the National Athletic Trainer’s Association office as the Athletic Trainer in Residence. The past 11 months has truly been a life-changing experience, professionally and personally. I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you my experience as well as share a little bit more about myself.
Prior to joining the NATA staff, my career was entirely spent in the Division 1 collegiate setting, mostly focused in the Midwest region. After graduating from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and completion of an internship at ESPN in Orlando, Florida, I attended Michigan State University and earn my master’s degree from its CAATE accredited post-professional program. I chose to attend a post-professional program because I wanted to expand my clinical skill set beyond the basic training I received in my undergraduate education, specifically with manual therapy and holistic medicine. Following graduate school, I accepted a one-year post-graduate internship at Northwestern University. Though I felt prepared to excel as a full-time staff member following graduation, the opportunity to intern at Northwestern gave me an even smoother transition to practice. I experienced firsthand the expectations of a full-time staff member, including administrative skills, autonomous decision making and professional socialization. From there, I went on to a mid-major Division 1 university, and while I appreciated my time there, I did not want to pass on the opportunity to come to NATA.
Two of the more frequent questions I’m asked while networking with members are: why did I transition from a traditional setting (collegiate/university) to the non-traditional setting of association management and what are my day-to-day activities?
I saw coming to NATA as a unique opportunity in twofold. First, it expanded my opportunity to network with my peers on an international platform. This to me was priceless enough. Second, I was already seeking opportunities to give back to the profession, and saw coming to NATA as a way to be able to gain a high-level vision of all the different initiatives and programs already happening of which I could be a part. Little did I know I would find a niche between balancing my background as an athletic trainer and applying that to association management; but it truly has become a passion of mine and I enjoy exploring ways to combine the two worlds to bring the membership opportunities for growth and professional development.
Being the sole athletic trainer in the office, I provide a day-to-day understanding of what ATs do. This includes viewpoints on current practices, medical terminology, value in initiatives and assessing potential value for future projects and member benefits. I also act as a liaison to other professional organizations through collaborative efforts toward topics such as youth safety, emergency management, mental health, medical coverage and safety in sport participation. This has been accomplished through meeting planning/attendance, authoring various articles and publications, guest lecturing, task force participation, website development and other program brainstorming. I’ve also had opportunities to be part of the legislative efforts advocating for the profession, and look forward to a successful Capitol Hill Day, held this June in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with NATA 2016– we have all 50 states represented this year and District Six has registered in high numbers.
Looking to the future, my goal is to continue to work on my current projects and ideas that will the membership. I’m also looking for opportunities to continue to practice traditionally as an athletic trainer. I think it is important to stay true to who we are as people of clinical service, so with that, if there is ever an opportunity for me to assist at your local event in the north Texas area, please let me know.
If there is one thing I have observed during my time in this new district, it a strong commitment to serve at all levels, and the pride of being associated with District Six. I have enjoyed getting to know you during various events, and look forward to getting to meet even more of the membership.
As always, if there is ever a question you may have about a specific topic, or would like to provide feedback (positive or negative) about your membership, please know I’m available. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to, hopefully, seeing you in Baltimore and at the SWATA meeting in July!
Katie Scott, MS, ATC, LAT
Athletic Trainer in Residence - NATA