Look on the sidelines of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Football games and you are likely to see HSU Junior Emily Jones. She and other students who are involved in the Hardin-Simmons University Athletic Training Program will be there, volunteering their time to gain some valuable experience before they graduate.
These are the students who take care of HSU athletes on a daily basis, always on the sidelines, ready to help with an injury. In Emily’s words, “We keep our athletes healthy so they can be successful on the courts and in the playing fields.”
Emily Jones is one of two students in Texas chosen to attend the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. David Stuckey, the Director of HSU’s Athletic Training Education Program says, “Emily’s selection is a substantial honor for both her and HSU’s accredited athletic training program.”
One of the benefits of the trip is the opportunity to speak with congressmen and senators about the impact athletic trainers can have on the health of a community. Jones said she was part of a group who asked for their support of the “ATEAM” bill which will allow athletic trainers to provide services to people covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Emily points out, “This is a way AT’s could assist a greater population of active people with injury prevention, healthcare, and physical medicine.”
Jones came to HSU about two and a half years ago from Snyder High School. She says the head athletic trainer there “encouraged me and allowed me to become involved. Steve Krueger really led me in the direction of Athletic Training.” Now a Junior at HSU, she says, “One of my favorite things about Hardin-Simmons is the openness and acceptance of the spiritual component of healing athletes.” She says, “As a Christian, it is awesome to see the healing presence of God on a daily basis.”
Emily and other AT students at HSU get lots of opportunities to volunteer, from basketball tournaments to running the first-aid station at the HSU Western Heritage day. In fact, this week, 25 students on the HSU track team travel to Tarleton and two AT students will go along with them. Jones says, “We love to help out anywhere and anyway we can.”
Emily’s honors however don’t end with the Washington D.C. conference. David Stuckey says Jones is also one of two students selected to represent the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association at the 2009 Student Leadership Workshop in Ft. Lauderdale. That is sponsored by the Collegiate Sports Medicine Foundation and will be in May.
Jones says, “As for the future, I hope to work in a university setting as both an athletic trainer for a team and an educator. I want to play an active role in the lives of future athletic trainers, just as all of my mentors have done for me.”
By the way, March is National Athletic Training Month. The significance of that, says Emily, “Is to increase the knowledge and appreciation that athletic trainers are unique health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. It’s a chance for us to increase awareness of the profession and the benefits we provide in the health care system.”