NFL Cardiac Arrest Highlights Importance of Athletic Trainers

SBU master’s degree in athletic training is the only CAATE program on Long Island

Athletic training sbu
The two-year athletic training program is housed within the School of Health Professions.

When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed due to cardiac arrest during an NFL game this fall, athletic trainers were among the first responders to treat Hamlin on the field.

Since Hamlin’s collapse, athletic trainers have received greater recognition from those who credit the fast actions of athletic trainers for saving Hamlin’s life.

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are healthcare professionals who provide service and treatment, under the direction of, or in collaboration with a physician. Services provided by ATs include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Stony Brook’s master’s degree in athletic training is the only program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) on Long Island. The two-year athletic training program is housed within the School of Health Professions and gives students the opportunity to learn in the classroom and immediately apply their skills under the supervision of their preceptor during their clinical education experiences at NCAA DI, II, III universities; high schools, industrial settings and physician practices.

In addition, students are able to work alongside Stony Brook Medicine physicians and participate in Grand Rounds, a requirement for students in the program to learn directly from physicians as they discuss clinical cases and treatment options. Students also have the opportunity to view orthopedic surgeries to appreciate the impact of sports-related injuries and their role in the recovery process. For more information about the athletic training program visit the program website.

The Highmark Stadium scoreboard depicts a message of support for Damar Hamlin during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.

“We are fortunate to have the only accredited Master’s-level athletic training program on Long Island,” said Stacy Jaffee Gropack, dean and professor in the School of Health Professions. “It contributes to our professional programs in the health professions, providing a platform for interprofessional education and practice.With the opportunities growing in athletic training, our program is well-positioned to meet the workforce’s needs in various traditional and non-traditional settings.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs in athletic training will grow by 17 percent through 2031, much faster than the average for other occupations.

Koshansky kathryn 2023
Kathryn (Kathy) Koshansky, chair and associate professor of athletic training in the School of Health Professions.

Kathryn (Kathy) Koshansky, chair and associate professor of athletic training in the School of Health Professions, noted that athletic trainers are in demand, with the number of jobs far exceeding the number of qualified athletic trainers as people become more aware of the effects of sports-related injuries. Koshansky said that athletic trainers are now being hired in emerging settings where employers are recognizing the impact of repetitive movements on the performing artists, construction workers, warehouse workers, truckers, military and many other professions that offer opportunities for athletic trainers beyond “traditional” professional, school and recreational sport teams.

Koshansky joined Stony Brook in 1983, when it was rare to see a woman in the field of athletic training. A pioneer in the field of athletic training, she served as the first full-time athletic trainer in Stony Brook history and the first woman to be a head certified athletic trainer in Stony Brook football history. From 1983-2004, Koshansky served as Stony Brook’s head athletic trainer, then assistant athletic director for sports medicine. She saw the demand for athletic trainers at Stony Brook increase as the university advanced from a Division III to a Division I athletic department, and also saw the profession shift so that women now account for more than half of all athletic trainers.

In 2005, Koshansky was awarded the Thomas J. Sheehan Award by the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA). The award, which is the highest given out by the NYSATA, is presented to the athletic trainer whose character, commitment and achievements in the athletic training profession clearly exemplify the traits of Thomas J. Sheehan Sr., the long-time Head Athletic Trainer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and one of the founding fathers of the athletic training profession and NYSATA. In 2011, Koshansky was inducted into the NYSATA Hall of Fame for her commitment to the athletic training profession, to her athletic training students, and to the practicing athletic trainers in New York State. Koshansky was inducted into the 2020 Rita & Kurt Eppenstein Stony Brook Athletics Hall of Fame for her longtime dedicated service to the health care of the Stony Brook student-athletes.

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