KOKOMO, Ind. — High school sports set the stage for Jasmine Vincent’s internship in athletic training and gave her the insight she needed to determine her next steps.
Vincent, who graduates in December, took advantage of the hands-on, in-the-moment work expectations to decide she’d rather become a certified physical therapy assistant.
“I like how much I have learned from experience, rather than just reading about it in a book,” said Vincent, who is earning a degree in health sciences from Indiana University Kokomo.
During the 120 hours of devoted time to the internship, she assisted Kim Mossburg, athletic trainer at Eastern High School, on the sidelines at football and basketball games, as well as swim meets.
“Kim has been able to share the pros and cons of this career. The things she was able to share with me have influenced my next steps,” Vincent said, adding she decided not to pursue athletic training due to the hectic schedule that would interfere with time for her future family.
Mossburg, also a lecturer in health sciences at IU Kokomo, makes it her goal when mentoring students to give them a realistic insight into the career in order to make an informed choice.
“I always try to tailor an internship to however the student is looking to go,” she said. “Our goal together was to give her a lot of exposure, so she would know what she would like or dislike. Now, with the time left, she can see more and learn more injury evaluation skills, which she will need in her chosen field.”
They had to make some adjustments because of COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks, more sanitizing, and taking extra infection control measures, but both said the extra work was worth it for the experience.
Vincent was impressed watching Mossburg at work, saying she learned an athletic trainer has to be ready to take action from the beginning to the end of a game, after treating an injury in the last seconds of a football game.
“I saw the injury happen right in front of me., and then I got to see Kim do her evaluation and get him prepared to go to the emergency room,” Vincent said. “She made a sling out of Ace bandages, which I wouldn’t have thought of. She was so calm in the moment, watching her was really interesting for me. Watching her stay calm during the chaos was a real learning experience for me.”
As she prepares to graduate, Vincent is thankful for the real-world experiences she’s had as an IU Kokomo student, including through the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program.
“Our curriculum is very hands-on, with field trips, internships, and labs,” she said. “With this internship, we have these teaching moments where she shows me something, and then I can go do it, under her supervision, so she can direct me, and I can do it right. For her to be there to see what I’m doing, and to get that evaluation, is invaluable.”