Exercise Science and Sport
Future Athletic Trainer, Volunteer Fireman: Millikin student is helping those in need
Nathan Marshall, a junior from Oreana, Ill., knew that he wanted to pursue a degree that would enable him to have a career that involved helping those in need.
For Marshall, being there for others in difficult situations is something that is not new to him. In March, he will have been serving as a volunteer for the Argenta-Oreana Fire Department for seven years. His combined passion for helping others and sports made choosing to study Athletic Training at Millikin an easy choice.
"When I was trying to think of what degree I wanted to pursue, I knew I wanted to be in the world of sports but also still be helpful to those around me," said Marshall.
Not only did Marshall realize that he made the right decision in choosing to study Athletic Training, but his volunteer work with the fire department was quite similar to his work within the Athletic Training Program at Millikin.
"There's definitely some similarities that I've noticed. There's a lot of initial emergency care when it comes to both the Athletic Training Program and fire department," said Marshall. "But I think the most rewarding experience of athletic training is not only being there for the initial care but also helping the athlete get back to full recovery, so they can perform at their best again."
Marshall has the instincts to immediately reach out to others when help is needed. However, in order to successfully help the athletes he works with, Marshall knows that he needs daily repetition of techniques and skills that are covered within the Athletic Training courses.
"We do the same modalities essentially every day, whether it's learning techniques for the first time, performing at your clinical experience, or using the same skills later as a certified athletic trainer," said Marshall. "I think it is very beneficial that we start the hands-on experience at a very early point in the Athletic Training Program since we are essentially working now for what we are going to be doing for the rest of our lives."
This hands-on experience is the main purpose of the newly vitalized Exercise Science and Sport Pavilion. This new area has a variety of equipment and tools that give students within the Exercise Science and Sport Department the repetitional learning that they need. Anything from whirlpools, heat packs, taping equipment, free weights, treadmills and other essential equipment is found within the new space.
"We usually spend our practicums learning the material through lectures at first, but then we immediately practice what we learn in the Exercise Science and Sport Pavilion," said Marshall, "The space provides a professional environment for us to practice and learn in."
Marshall is excited for all the changes that are happening within the Exercise Science and Sport Department, including the new renovations of the Exercise Science and Sport Pavilion as well as the addition of the new master's degree in athletic training. The program is transitioning over to a master's degree due to the change in qualifications to pass the national certification exam to become a certified athletic trainer. Programs will be making similar transitions by the Fall of 2022, however, Millikin is choosing to make this transition for the next academic school year to fully equip their students properly in the program and prepare them for the certification exam.
With all of the practice, experience, and learning through Millikin's Athletic Training Program, Marshall is confident that he will easily find a job after graduation thanks to the amount of learning that the Athletic Training Program has poured into him as a student.