Olivia will tell you she was drawn to Otterbein’s athletic training program because it provided hands-on experiences all four years. She will also tell you that she was interested in athletic training as a major and career, not only for the medical side of the job, but because it provided the opportunity to form strong relationships.
“The thing I enjoyed most about being a part of the athletic training major was the relationships I formed with both my peers and my professors,” she said. “Anyone that is a part of or has seen the way the athletic training program functions knows that it is more like a family than a major. I love knowing that I can count on any of the students or staff for support.”
Olivia utilized her support network while working on her senior research project, titled “Intra- and Inter-rater Reliability for Manual Muscle Testing with a Hand-Held Dynamometer for Standard Muscle Test Positions.” To conduct research for her project, Olivia tested the muscle groups of volunteers from the Otterbein men’s and women’s basketball teams using a hand-held dynamometer.
“The goal of my research was to determine how reliable a hand-held dynamometer, a device used for measuring force output of a muscle group, was when being used by the same tester and different testers,” she said. “If I could get the same result every time I tested a patient, and if another tester and I could get the same result when testing a patient, then that would provide evidence that supports the use of hand-held dynamometry.”
Olivia presented her research at the 2011 Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Meeting and Symposium in Dayton, Ohio. In recognition of her project and presentation, Olivia became the first Otterbein student to receive the Outstanding Entry Level Student Award by the Research Free Communications Committee of the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association. She also presented her research to the athletic training program at Otterbein.
“My experience at Otterbein and doing my research was vital for preparation to enter the field of athletic training,” she said. “The athletic training profession focuses on their clinicians being able to make any decisions regarding their practice through the use of evidence-based medicine, to actually take part in conducting research. [My research project] helped me to better understand the importance of utilizing evidence-based medicine in my future practice as an athletic trainer.”
Olivia is now the first graduate assistant athletic trainer at Otterbein University. “I am excited to finally be able to give back to the program that contributed so much to my success,” she said.
Learn more about Athletic Training at Otterbein.