Athletic Training Grad Students to Start In-Person Classes

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on June 15, 2020, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University graduate students in athletic training will be pioneering “the new normal” when they return to campus for two weeks of summer classes, in part to do hands-on lab work in anatomy.

Elizabeth Dalrymple and Jaclyn Ketterer both graduated with the rest of ESU’s Class of 2020 after finishing up the spring semester online due to the coronavirus pandemic that closed campuses across the country. Now they will be among the first to take face-to-face classes under university guidelines for keeping students, faculty and staff safe based on recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other experts.

“I’m very excited to be back in the classroom,” says Dalrymple of Phillipsburg, N.J. “The university did a great job with the remote learning but now being able to practice those skills in a classroom is going to be amazing. The hands-on approach is definitely how I learn best.”

Ketterer of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. is working this summer in a pizzeria and supermarket where she has to deal with the public, giving her plenty of experience in safety protocols for avoiding transmission.

“I’m pretty excited to go back because my major is very clinical, so I think it will be helpful,” Ketterer says.

The two athletic training classes – Clinically Oriented Anatomy and Foundations in Athletic Training Practice – began online Monday, June 15 but will switch to face-to-face starting July 20. The anatomy course, which will be taught in two sections, will be held at ESU’s main campus and its Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem; the face-to-face Athletic Training Practice course will be taught solely at the Lehigh Valley Center.

“These graduate courses will afford ESU the opportunity to safely plan for face-to-face instruction in the fall,” said Joanne Z. Bruno, J.D., ESU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Gerard Rozea, associate professor and chair of the athletic training department, says teaching classes such as anatomy at least partially in-person helps students retain all the complex knowledge about the parts of the body. In dissecting a cadaver, the students see first-hand what injuries look like so they better understand what is happening with ailments like an ACL tear or a shoulder injury.

“The students come away with an experience they’ll retain forever,” Rozea says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

All the while, the ESU students will be practicing protocols designed to avoid disease transmission.

“They’ll be learning correct sterile techniques and how to properly put on gloves and masks,” Rozea says. “The students will also learn appropriate precautions and how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when we’re in small groups and doing lab-type activities.”

During the spring semester, athletic training graduate students participated in telemedicine sessions under the supervision of Coordinated Health athletic trainers. The collaboration with Coordinated Health, which is part of Lehigh Valley Health Network, worked so well that ESU plans to make telemedicine a permanent part of students’ clinical experience, Rozea says. “It’s something that adds to their skill set, so we’re going to keep that as part of our program moving forward.”

Other summer classes may occur face to face beginning July 20. For more information visit esu.edu/summer.

The first day of classes for ESU’s fall semester is August 31. The facilities management staff will be working diligently to make sure shared spaces are sanitized regularly to mitigate the spread of the virus. ESU is in communication with local health experts from St. Luke’s Hospital and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono regarding COVID-19 testing and contact-tracing, as well as receiving guidance from the State, to prepare in the event of a second-wave.

In addition to other mitigation measures, ESU is coordinating efforts to ensure that students, faculty and staff have appropriate PPE, and preparing hand sanitizing stations and plastic shielding in key academic areas and offices around campus.

For more information about this summer’s athletic training classes contact Dr. Rozea by emailing grozea@esu.edu.