HOUSTON — Like many others in 2020, North Newton graduate Alyce Kessler had to make some major adjustments when COVID-19 hit as she was literally taken from the athletic sideline to the epidemic front line.
Kessler graduated from North Newton in June 2015 and from Purdue in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. She is currently finishing her athletic training residency with Houston Methodist Sugar Land, which ends July 10.
Before COVID-19 hit, Kessler was being mentored in the sports and orthopedic clinic in the mornings, and then she would go to Dulles High School to work as an athletic trainer.
“I have absolutely loved my experiences with Houston Methodist Sugar Land,” stated Kessler. “The staff, who are my faculty mentors, are impeccable teachers who genuinely care about the development of my professional career. I found that I love working in the secondary school level.”
Then COVID-19 hit and Kessler’s responsibilities changed dramatically.
“The schools in Fort Bend County closed and we (as residents) were in the Sports and Ortho Clinic for the full 40-hour workweek,” Kessler stated. “Once COVID-19 cases began to rise, we (residents, outreach athletic trainers, some physical therapists) were relocated to the ICU. We were in the ICU for a little over a month.”
When the cases weren’t spiking, the athletic training residents started screening patients, visitors, and staff at the entrances. Kessler has been working as a screener for the last month and a half.
“The experiences that I have had the last couple of months have been very eye-opening,” added Kessler. “At first, I was worried about going into the ICU and contributing to the care of the COVID positive patients. Houston Methodist gave us the appropriate training and access to PPE, which made me feel less worried. While in the ICU, I was able to learn more about other healthcare professionals such as Respiratory Therapists, the ICU nurses, RTs, physicians, and others.”
As Kessler finishes up her residency, she is on the job hunt for a full-time athletic training position.
“ I have had a good amount of interviews and I am currently waiting to hear back from two different places,” said Kessler. “Not many people know what athletic training is. Athletic Trainers can work in high schools, colleges, professional sports, hospitals, for club sports, in industrial settings, and even for the rodeo.
According to www.nata.org — athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries, and medical conditions.