Two weeks ago, I attended the Massachusetts Concussion Management Coalition’s VOMS and BESS work shop. This was a nice low key way to get a few CEUs (the way I like them) and learn something new to me. The speakers, Andrew Rizza from Weston HS and Jessie Oldham from the Micheli Center were fantastic. I’m going to be honest, this was my first time training and learning about using the VOMS test. In case you’re new like me, I've included the provided descriptions.
Vestibular-Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS): The VOMS assesses five areas of the vestibular and ocular systems to be used in conjunction with balance assessments, neurocognitive testing and symptom inventory following a concussion.
I practiced watching and moving the tongue depressors with the AT sitting next to me and learned quickly that he was affiliated with our company and has done a good amount of work with us! (It’s so fun to surprisingly put names to faces, but also see a good ATs in action.) He was great and helped me get the hang of it by explaining everything he was doing as he would to his own patients. I was impressed. While I must admit, a few of these tests made me feel a little dizzy and nauseas (a result of my age and history of vertigo) I can see the value of performing these tests because they provide immediate feedback, can show the athletes that something is not right AND give parents valuable information to take to the physician.
It was also interesting learning more about the BESS test.
Balance Error Scoring System (BESS): The BESS consists of 3 tests lasting 20 seconds each, performed on a firm surface (grass, turf, court) and a piece of medium-density foam, all with the eyes closed, and scored based on the number of errors across trials.
I’ve been doing this test for years but didn’t know that I should also be doing Tandem Gait while simultaneously distracting the patient with backward spelling, months of the year backward, and/or math etc and while timing it. I also didn’t think to get a baseline on this but am considering beginning implementing this with my skaters. However, I was surprised that research has yet to prove this a valuable test. Regardless though, what a great cognitive and balance challenge. Also, it was fun watching Meghan, our resident gymnast, try to walk the line on her hands. She was doing pretty good, so I started yelling math equations at her (which she did not appreciate). All in all, awesome seminar.
What’s Happening at PrecisionAT:
Get ready... it's about to be fall and the next time we post this blog you'll be in the thick of it. (SORRY!) Today is August 20, 2018. Maybe you're taking that last week of relaxation, maybe you're in meetings and setting up your ATR or arranging that last bus schedule and many of you are already gung-ho into pre-season. Here at Precision AT we are juggling with finishing our last few camps, formatting and sending out fall schedules and setting up contracts. It's a lot of work but we’re happy to be able to offer this valuable service to ATs and clients.
Speaking of a lot of work, there are around 300 available dates to work in our emails with more new jobs coming out every day. Since there are still unfilled employment positions in the area and ATs are still waiting to hear where the future will take them, many of us feel like we are in limbo. If you're an AT in the market for work this fall, I encourage you to look at what we have available. As a per diem AT, you can pretty much make your own schedule and if you’re able to find something to fill your mornings, it's a pretty nice lifestyle. If you want consistency, we have full schedules available. If you want to mix it up, you could travel around the state. We've got jobs on the Cape so hit the beach in the morning and then work after school hours. We've got jobs in the city so do a little sight-seeing or shopping and then take a job later. You could literally tour around Mass and work pretty much every day if you wanted to. Here's the link to our latest email... If you're interested in a job, create your profile, upload the necessary information and you'll be good to go. Unlike other per diem companies, we've got your back with contracts and standing orders to ensure that you're not only working legally but you'll be compensated for things like last minute cancellations, overtime games, etc. We make sure that these measures are in place to provide you with the best jobs.
Link of the Month:
This month's link is how to do the VOMS test. Check it out! If you enjoy this blog, please share it with friends and leave a comment below. We love to know that you're out there!