At Medfield High School, students are able to participate in a wide variety of electives such as band, art, and even athletic training. Taught by Ms. Maria Hutsick, athletic training students get “a hands-on” experience when they go on field trips, such as recent trips to M.I.T. and Patriot Place.
Hutsick stated, “The field trips for the athletic training class are designed to allow the student to see the workings of a variety of healthcare professions and to witness firsthand how a university or healthcare facility operates. It also allows the students a hands-on learning experience.” For many students, the ability to get a close-up look at potential professions is helpful.
Junior athlete and athletic training student Lauren Petit commented, “We [get] to see professionals doing their jobs and [get] to see their great facilities! It’s helpful for the future because I want to major in sports medicine.” Petit is not alone in her desires, as others wish to continue their sports medicine studies in college.
Hutsick added that “field trip(s) can be very positive learning experiences, however, [they are] a big responsibility for the teacher(s) who initiate the trip. Parents have to give permission and the teachers have the added responsibility of coordinating transportation, fitting in the trip around block days and other testing days, and of course the safety of all the students and hoping the students have a great experience.” Despite all of difficulties preparing for field trips, Hutsick’s students always learn something worthwhile.
One of the field trips, to Patriot Place, came about because of one of Hutsick’s colleagues, Gayle Olsen, who works as the head athletic trainer. Hutsick “asked her if we could come for a visit and explained what the class was about and the educational goals. She was excited to have us come and gave us a great hands-on experience.” Hutsick also responded saying, “I think the students enjoyed getting into the water therapy pool and experiencing what it feels like, and seeing real patients in the water as well. They also liked the lunch at the Red Robin.”
At M.I.T., director of sports medicine and friend of Hutsick, Tom Cronin, made the trip possible. Cronin was a former assistant of Hutsick’s at Boston University. Hutsick said that “when [she] called and asked [him] if we could come he was very willing to spend a morning with us.” She also described how “the students got to see what a great university like M.I.T. has to offer in academics and athletics. [They] were surprised at the state-of-the-art facilities that are available to the students. Also [they] were allowed to come into the athletic training facility and try on each other a variety of physical therapy modalities such as a cold compression unit, electrical stimulation machines and a variety of other activities. The students were able to experience what they learned in class in a real hands-on setting. Touching and feeling enhances the educational value of the trip.”
Overall the field trips that athletic training students go on allow them to see a realistic view of what they could be doing as a job. Students are lucky that Hutsick is able to get them to visit places where it’s fun to learn.
This article was written by Colleen Beggan, a Medfield High School student and member of the student newspaper, The Kingsbury Chronicle. The piece is part of Medfield Patch's weekly series, "Warrior Weekly," helping provide information about MHS to the local community.