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Athletic training student ventures to Camp Pendelton


MOBILE, Ala. (BP)–Micah Allison packed up her car and her two young sons and drove from Alabama to Southern California last year to complete another step in her life’s dream. For three months, the athletic training student at the University of Mobile spent her days evaluating, treating and training recruits, drill instructors and active duty Marines.

“I feel so many doors have been opened,” Allison said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that everything happened the way it did, that God let me do something I’m passionate about.

“I honestly cannot think of a more fulfilling way to utilize my athletic training skills than to help treat national heroes or even future heroes,” Allison said.

A former active duty Marine herself, she attends Dayspring Baptist Church in Mobile with her husband Jason and her two children, Jason and Austin.

Allison found out at a 2004 National Athletic Trainers’ Association symposium that the military was in the experimental stages of employing athletic trainers and she immediately wanted to be involved.

In California, Allison was fulfilling her senior clinical requirements at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton in Southern California. There, she worked alongside a civilian athletic trainer taping, bracing, padding, applying treatment plans and more among the Marines.

Allison also made referrals for X-rays and medical appointments, gave recommendations for “training drops” to the Medical Rehabilitation Platoon to allow injured recruits extra time for physical therapy, trained corpsmen in taping techniques, placed supply orders and was even one of the first individuals in the country to clinically apply a newly FDA-approved electrical modality application, the InterX 5000.

“It’s a very different side of athletic training,” she said, noting, “There are some very qualified athletic trainers who couldn’t work in the military because it’s such a different world. You have time limits and other constraints, so you have to be creative to reach your goals with limited time and resources.”

Though her work was challenging, Allison also found it deeply fulfilling.

“… [N]early every active duty Marine I came into contact with had been deployed to Iraq at least twice,” she said. “Between the recruits, drill instructor and active duty Marines I worked with, I was certain to have worked with real-life heroes every day, including Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star recipients.”

Allison had spent four years in the service following high school. At the end of those years, she knew athletic training was the perfect path for her.

“Coming out of the military, I was a certified personal trainer, and I wanted to go into some sort of medical field, so athletic training seemed like the perfect fit,” she said.

She began her educational career at a state school but said she transferred to the Baptist-affiliated University of Mobile because she was tired of the “secularism” she had encountered in her field.

“It was exciting to come to a school where teachers would pray before class,” Allison said.

She also preferred the smaller size of the program because of the individualized attention she was able to receive and the enhanced freedom to choose where she did her clinicals.

William Carroll, director of UM’s athletic training program, said internships “are only limited by the student’s imagination. If a student tells me they’re interested in a particular experience, I make contacts and I follow up on that, and we try to make that student’s dream come true.”

Allison said she appreciated the opportunities the UM program has provided. “They’re so willing to gear you specifically for what you want to do. I don’t know that I would have gotten that opportunity elsewhere…. Getting that [military] experience is a whole different world from working with sports teams, and making those contacts and meeting people and networking and the experience are invaluable…. God’s opened these doors and opened them at the right time.”
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