Preparing the next generation of athletic trainers

Meghan McKay was 16 years old when she found herself standing on the sideline of the football field at Cypress-Fairbanks high school during a spring football game when a player had a seizure. McKay calmly approached him and started caring for the player.

“Somehow, I just knew how to handle it,” McKay said.

The former athlete had initially joined the high school’s athletic training program to fill a credit requirement for graduation. From that day forward, she knew she was hooked. Today, McKay is an athletic trainer in Sports Medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

McKay with Baylor Sports Medicine’s Dr. Jason Ahuero, Dr. Theodore Shybut and Athletic Trainer Samantha Burton, offered insight to more than 1,100 Houston-area high school students during the 28th annual Greater Houston Athletic Trainers’ Society workshop.

Held Jan. 10 in the Pasadena Memorial High School, Drs. Ahuero and Shybut made presentations on basic anatomy and common injuries students would see from athletes.

With images and short videos, they were able create an interactive experience that helped walk students through managing injuries on the field and court while providing insight into the surgeries needed and an athlete’s recovery.

Cynthia Troncoso, athletic trainer from Galena Park High School, said the workshop helped make the connection from theory into practice.

“Dr. Shybut gave a great presentation that made it easily relatable to the students. It was a great experience as their mentor to see them come to understand a concept they had been struggling with after hearing his presentation,” Troncoso said.

For McKay the workshop was a blast from the past. She attended it while a high school student and credits it for helping her on her own career path in athletic training.

“If it wasn’t for events like GHATS and all of the professionals who give so much to this organization, I am not sure that I’d have the successful and rewarding career I have today,” she said.

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By Audrey M. Marks

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