Athletic Training: A Lifestyle and a Career
Pacific's athletic training alumni continue to thrive. One hundred percent of the bachelor of science in athletic training class of 2018 passed the national certification exam on their first attempt.
For many alumni, athletic training is a lifestyle as well as a career. Scott Nastase '13, a passionate Green Bay Packers fan, found his vocation through his love of sports. "I knew a professional career as an athlete would be a long shot, therefore, I found the next best thing in keeping my involvement in athletics by becoming an athletic trainer," said Nastase.
After earning his bachelor of science in athletic training from Pacific in 2015, Nastase completed a graduate assistantship and earned a master of arts in education from University of Redlands. During his time at Redlands, he served as one of three athletic trainers for their 21 NCAA Division III athletic teams. He is currently a teacher and an athletic trainer at Loara High School in Anaheim.
Nastase believes athletic trainers are important members of the sports medicine team. "Athletic trainers are the key component to ensure safety for athletes and play a vital role in prevention, emergency care, clinical differential diagnoses, treatment and rehabilitation for all student-athletes," he said.
Garrison Chan '17, a loyal Los Angeles Clippers fan, also launched his career at Pacific. Chan chose Pacific for its small class size and he appreciated how professors knew his name. "I decided to pursue a career in athletic training because of the great professors I had as an undergraduate student at Pacific," said Chan. "Coming into college, I didn't know what I wanted to do. After taking some foundational athletic training classes, I knew I wanted to make this my career."
While completing his master of science in health and human movement with a specialization in sports medicine from Utah State University, Chan served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer.
Chan also has been fortunate to meet many professional athletes. While an undergraduate student at Pacific, he had the opportunity to be involved in training camps for the San Francisco 49ers. He accepted an internship with the 49ers for the 2019 season. "I look forward to being able to work with elite athletes and to learn what it takes to work at the professional level," he said.
Recently, the national accrediting body recommended that all candidates sitting for the certification exam have a master's degree. In 2017, Pacific launched the master of science in athletic training (MSAT) program and welcomed the first cohort of students in fall 2018. The full-time, twoyear graduate program prepares students to become highly qualified health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnoses, therapeutic interventions, and rehabilitation for athletes and active patients.
"Pacific's formal education, in combination with experiential learning opportunities, prepared me to become the athletic trainer I am today,"Nastase said. "I have brought the many values that I learned from Pacific into my own practice."
about the author
Dua Her is the Director of External Relations and Professional Development at Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.