ESU Students Learning Telemedicine due to Coronavirus; Athletic Training Department Awarded Top Accreditation

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Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on April 23, 2020, No Comments

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered everyday life, East Stroudsburg University athletic training students will be immersed in learning a new skill: telemedicine.

ESU’s Athletic Training Department is collaborating with Coordinated Health, which is part of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, to make sure the students continue to acquire clinical experiences during the COVID-19 crisis without putting them or the patients at risk.

Under the supervision of Coordinated Health’s athletic trainers, about 30 ESU students will be participating in online telemedicine sessions starting this week. They will be working with student athletes around the region on treatment for injuries and advising on conditioning so athletes can be ready for their sports seasons.

Gerard Rozea, Ph.D., ATC, chair and program director of the ESU Athletic Training Department, said the collaboration will give the students new tools for their future careers while staying safe. Dr. Rozea praised the Coordinated Health staff for their innovative efforts to take care of patients and craft an opportunity for ESU students to broaden their skills.

“Given the circumstances of what’s happening we’re being forced to be more creative, and as a result of that the students, the clinical instructors and the patients are going to benefit from this new cutting-edge technology for delivering patient care,” Rozea said. “I think it’s going to be something that will continue into the future as a method to reach patients who might not otherwise be able to come to treatment facilities.”

“It’s going to challenge students in some way outside their conventional patient care,” he said. “I think they will quickly adapt.”

The ability to innovate is ingrained in the ESU Athletic Training program, which recently received the top accreditation award from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Both the undergraduate and the graduate athletic training programs were reaccredited for 10 years, which is the maximum period granted by the commission. ESU’s bachelor’s degree program has been accredited or approved since it began in 1975 and the master’s program has been accredited since it started in 2014. The reaccreditation process takes more than a year and requires a site visit by the commission.

“To be able to have both programs come out with the maximum accreditation says a lot about the program, about what we’re doing, about what our students are doing,” Rozea said. That achievement speaks volumes about the quality of ESU’s faculty and the athletic trainers it graduates each year, he said.

“Their pass rate and employment rate are a part of our accreditation so it shows our students are passing the national certification exam and they’re obtaining good jobs,” Rozea said. “We’re excited about what it means for our programs and the university, but more importantly what it means for our students.”