Venice High School's Sports Medicine Program puts students on the filed - and a career path

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September 10, 2019
Original article from The Argonaut:


By Gary Walker

When high-profile visitors tour Venice High School, Kirsten Farrell’s sports medicine class is almost always on the itinerary. Last Tuesday’s start-of-school visit by LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner was no exception.

In a large classroom at the back of campus, Venice High’s competitively selected sports medicine students work with Farrell to master the use rehabilitation equipment, but they’re always poised to sprint out to one of the school’s athletic practices to tend to an injured student athlete.

The program, now in its 16th year, is one of only six in LAUSD to have certified athletic trainers, and students serve as co-trainers during school sporting events. In addition to textbook anatomy and physiology, students learn to prevent, treat and evaluate injuries and to master practical applications including first aid, CPR, taping, splinting, massaging, icing and best practices for sports injury rehabilitation.

Because the program is designated technical education, Farrell has been able to leverage state and federal grants to purchase specialized equipment such as an anti-gravity treadmill and a digital touch-screen anatomage table (like a giant physiology iPad).

“We’re providing students with both academic and hands-on knowledge,” said Farrell, one of only five teachers statewide feted as a 2018 California Teacher of the Year. “This is technology that students will be working with when they become health care professionals.”

Distinguished alumni of the program include Dr. Hardik Parikh, a gastroenterologist at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, and Ariel Guldstrand, a certified athletic trainer at UCLA. Both returned for Beutner’s visit.

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Gloria Halfacre, PTSA President
(310) 739-7107