Celebrating National Athletic Training Month 2024: A Month of Education and Community Collaboration

March marked the annual celebration of National Athletic Training Month (NATM), a time to honor the dedication and contributions of athletic trainers across the nation. As we reflect on the events that unfolded this March, we are reminded of the importance of education, collaboration, and community support in athletic training.

Friends and Alumni Luncheon:

The Friends and Alumni Luncheon, sponsored by the Hughston Clinic, provided a platform for camaraderie and celebration. Mayor Hutto’s declaration of March as National Athletic Training Month in Wilson County was a highlight, filling attendees with pride and reaffirming the significance of athletic trainers within the local community. The luncheon brought together alums, current students, local athletic trainers, preceptors, and Cumberland University staff, fostering a sense of unity and belonging. Such gatherings are a reminder of the profound impact of our support network and preceptors, whose unwavering dedication empowers the next generation of athletic trainers to excel. 

“As curriculum standards of athletic training education now require different levels of immersive clinical experience, the role of a preceptor has an even more significant impact on students,” reflected MSAT Program Director Whitney Graves. “I am constantly reminded of how fortunate our MSAT students are to have a great variety of preceptors, many of whom are alums of Cumberland’s Athletic Training Program, as well as new and innovative clinical experiences to prepare them as they transition to their professional careers.”

CEU Event with Hughston Clinic:

At the heart of NATM celebrations was a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) event in collaboration with The Hughston Clinic. Led by program faculty and supported by Dr. Shawn Mountain and Nathan Johnson, the event focused on various clinical topics with multiple presenters from Cumberland University. Program faculty spoke on conducting quality improvement projects in clinical athletic training. Attendees engaged in a collaborative workshop and gained practical insights applicable to their projects. The event also featured presentations from graduating MSAT students who were able to present their research to an event with certified athletic trainers, students, and physicians. Dr. Mountain ran a cadaver dissection lab, enriching the learning experience for all participants. Students were able to visualize anatomical structures in a way they previously were not able to. The experience was invaluable to students and positively impacted everyone in attendance. This annual event has become a cornerstone of professional development and fosters a culture of continuous learning and collaboration within the CU community.

Collaboration with Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions:

Our partnership with the nursing program exemplifies the transformative power of interprofessional education. Through joint labs and simulations, students from both disciplines embraced collaborative thinking and honed their skills in a supportive environment. The programs ran a full-scale simulation that allowed students to apply and reinforce their learning, fostering a deeper appreciation for interdisciplinary collaboration and collaborative patient care. Looking ahead, we are eager to expand and formalize this collaboration, recognizing its profound impact on student learning and professional development.

National Athletic Training Month 2024 has been a testament to the athletic training community’s resilience, dedication, and collaborative spirit. As we navigate the challenges and opportunities, the lessons learned and the connections forged, united in commitment to excellence in patient care and professional growth will lead the way.

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