Welcome To The Profession


About a month ago many candidates sat for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to become an athletic trainer.  This national exam tested their knowledge about the five domains of the profession in a grueling format.  Four years of education and hundreds of hours of observation and internships led to this day for the candidates.

The test itself has changed over the years but one common theme has remained; difficulty.  Official statistics of the new format have not been published but observationally; athletic trainers have a pass rate on the first exam of about 40% another 40% remediate and take the exam again and eventually pass, while the remaining 20% are left with re-thinking their idea of a profession.

Currently the candidates sit for a four-hour test consisting of 175 questions that include multiple-choice options.  Once the testing window has closed for a period the exam is scored and those taking the test are notified “pass/fail” in about two weeks, with exact score being mailed in another two weeks.

The testing window has closed and the initial “pass/fail” has gone out for the 2011 candidates; for all of you who passed…  CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the athletic training profession and embrace the ATC behind your name.  For those that may have fallen short, you can do it, many have taken the test more than once (this guy included).

Now for some helpful advice from a blogger and fellow ATC;

  • Just because you passed only makes you a “paper ATC” now; work hard on your communication skills and hands on techniques
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” or “Let me look into that”
  • Use as many resources you can find, including all your old text books (I still use mine from the 90’s)
  • The internet is an AWESOME resource but make sure you use more than one source there
  • Get INVOLVED; either at your place of work or state-wide or nationally
  • Foster the profession by taking interested students under your wing
  • Don’t be afraid to offer an opinion
  • If you believe in something (for example a person is injured and not believing you) make a stand
  • Do your job with as much objectivity as possible
  • HAVE FUN!

There are many more things that come with the ATC than you can imagine but you have done a good job with the FIRST STEP, good luck.

I would particularly like to congratulate the student that was working with me this past fall (actually she has been working with me for all four years of college observing and asking questions) and was a former “patient” of mine back as a freshman in high school with a “salsa bowl”.

I am so very proud of you Miranda Williams, ATC!  Eastern Illinois did a wonderful job to put you in a position to achieve your goals but remember A LOT of this must be attributed to your hard work, dedication and “want to”.  Delta State has found a diamond for their university to provide GA athletic training.  You are going to be a successful person in the profession and in life.  Don’t forget the little guys, like me!

3 thoughts on “Welcome To The Profession

  1. Michael Hopper May 6, 2011 / 10:25

    Dustin, let me join you in welcoming our newest bunch. I had six friends pass the BOC this time around from 4 different schools. This profession is a great career and it’s a great way to meet new people. Students and young professionals should not be afraid to try out something new. For my second internship, I moved almost 6 hours away from home to spend the summer. It was an amazing time and a great way to meet some new people.

    My six new colleagues:
    Samantah Narveson, ATC from Buena Vista University in Stormlake, IA
    Christine Counard, ATC from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
    Jake Wittenauer, ATC from McKendree University in Lebanon, IL
    Megan Wilson, ATC from Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, MO
    Meagan Westendorf, ATC from SEMO (Go Redhawks!)
    Dan Smith, ATC from SEMO!

    My class of 5 students has now all passed our BOC exams.

  2. Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP May 8, 2011 / 08:46

    Dustin,
    This blog is great! Thanks for spreading the word about concussion to atheletes. Have you heard about ImPACT Testing? This might be good for you to become trained to administer to the athletes you work with. Just a thought…
    Jena

    • Dustin Fink May 8, 2011 / 13:03

      I do currently work with ImPACT Jena, thanks for the comment!

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