The Columbian home page

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Athletic training room needs student workers

by Wayne Boykin II

Columbia College athletic training student workers: (front row, from left to right) Amy Shillson, Melodi Wisswell and Rochelle Hamm. (Back row, from left to right) Jon Barfknecht, Megan Feisel, Taylor Donahue and Jordan Brennan. Not pictured: Andy Mueller, Blair Woods and Ryan LaPlant. Photo courtesy of Jon Barfknecht

Five nationally ranked Columbia College sports teams are kept healthy by only one full-time certified athletic trainer. Though the college may only have one full-time trainer to assist the teams, it opens 10 student worker positions in the athletic training room.

This year, the college has only eight student workers and one certified graduate assistant athletic trainer. The athletic training room is still looking for two more student trainers to work with the softball team in the spring. Jon Barfknecht, the certified athletic trainer at the college, said, “They are on site with the teams, traveling with the teams and at their practices.”

Sophomore Megan Feisel has been a student worker in the training room, working with the Columbia College volleyball team for a year. Feisel came to the college as a walk-on for the volleyball team. Although she decided that playing volleyball was not for her, she still wanted to be around the volleyball atmosphere. She applied to work in the training room to assist with volleyball.

Feisel said there are three levels of student workers in the training room. The levels are based on knowledge and experience. Level one workers receive a $300 per month stipend and have a basic level of skill. Level two workers receive a $400 per month stipend and have the knowledge of taping shoulders and legs. Level three workers receive a $500 per month stipend and have the knowledge of basic wrist, shoulder, ankle and knee evaluations

Rochelle Hamm, certified graduate assistant athletic trainer, earned her degree in athletic training from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She described the students in the Columbia College training room as very hard-working. She said they want to learn more than just taping ankles and doing the basics; they want to be more involved.

One challenge the students face is balancing their schedules. Feisel explained that Barfknecht is very easy-going and that he understands school is first. Even though school is first, Barfknecht said interested parties should know that being available is a plus, and the ability to travel is a bigger plus. “There is a big chance of having to miss classes,” Feisel said, “But the faculty is understanding with missing classes as long as you keep up in your coursework.”

Barfknecht said students workers in the training room are not professional trainers; however, they are certified in first aid and CPR and have some experience in taping ankles and thumbs. These are normal issues that could arise at a game or practice, he said.

Columbia College students who are interested in working in the athletic training room can see Barfknecht in his office in the Southy Fitness Center for more information.

Rochelle Hamm, certified graduate assistant athletic trainer, helps Jordan Cox at a game against McKendree. Photo by Wayne Boykin II.

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