April 2015 AT of the Month - Mandy Los ~ Manitoba Athletic Therapists Association

April 2015 AT of the Month - Mandy Los

Mandy is a 2003 graduate of the BESS – Athletic Therapy Program at the University of Manitoba.  She attained her certification as an Athletic Trainer through the National Athletic Trainers Association in April 2004 and then she became certified with the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association in June 2004.
After graduation, she moved to Brandon, MB where she worked at Westman Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center as well as with the Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings hockey team.  She was fortunate enough to experience a National Championship with the AAA hockey team.  At Westman Rehab, she worked within a health care team of Physiotherapists and Athletic Therapists.  Mandy holds previous positions, including vice president, on the MATA Board of Directors and is currently the Regional Site Coordinator for the Canadian Board of Certification of Athletic Therapy.
Mandy is a Certified Athletic Therapist at the Bison Athletic Therapy Centre working with Bison athletes, University of Manitoba staff and students and members of the community treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.  She is a sessional instructor in the Kinesiology-Athletic Therapy program at the UofM, she is co-head Athletic Therapist for Team Canada Women’s National Volleyball Team and medical coordinator for Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence.  Mandy is also actively pursuing her Masters of Science in Rehab Sciences through California University of Pennsylvania and is expected to graduate in May 2015.

1.    Why did you get into Athletic Therapy?
I got into Athletic Therapy because it combined two things I am passionate about – helping people and sports.  It was also an opportunity for me to continue being involved in the sporting community since I learned at a young age that my body wouldn’t last in the sports scene as an athlete.

2.    What made you decide to also become a member of the NATA?
When I was in school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career and figured that I should open my options and certify through the NATABOC to open up options throughout North America.  I never did pursue a career in the US but I maintain my certification to facilitate the exam should any Athletic Therapist in Canada want to challenge it.

3.    Working both in the clinic and in the field, do you have a preference? Do you see yourself choosing one in the future?
I don’t have a preference between clinic and field; however, in my current position I have the best of both worlds.  I can’t see myself choosing one over the other in the future.  I like the consistent hours that a clinic job offers but I also enjoy working with a team in a field setting.  Further to that, working with Team Canada Volleyball gives me the opportunity to work in a field setting during the university “off-season”.  As of right now, I don’t have any plans to change jobs – I am enjoying the best of both worlds (clinic and field) and recently have gotten the opportunity to teach in the faculty, which I also really enjoy doing. 

4.    Being at the university and working daily with the students what is your best piece of advice for them.
Practice your skills and then practice them some more.  Just because that test is over doesn’t mean you can forget what you learned.  Also, begin your networking while you are a student.  You are given the opportunity to meet Certified Therapists in your placements; that is the time to let them know what your plans are once you become certified and potentially make connections for future employment.

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