SCC adds sports medicine technology course

DOBSON — Surry Community College will be adding Sports Medicine Technology to its offering of healthcare programs. The two-part course is designed for students who want to work in the field of Sports Medicine such as athletic training, personal training, physical therapy, performance enhancement, occupational therapy, and orthopedics just to name a few. Classes will start Aug. 11 and run through Dec. 8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in J-201 on the Dobson campus.

“We are real excited about the course because sports medicine is a huge area that has a lot of opportunities for employment,” said Ewell Vernon, who will be teaching the class.

Vernon of Cana, Virginia, graduated from Carroll County High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Gardner Webb University and a master’s degree in health science with an emphasis in sports medicine from Nova Southeastern University. He is nationally certified as an athletic trainer through the Board Of Certification for the Athletic Trainer and holds licenses to practice athletic training in both Virginia and North Carolina. He also holds a personal training certification through the National Exercise Trainers Association and is positioned to sit for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Certification and the Corrective Exercise Certification, which he plans to acquire within the next year.

Vernon began his sports medicine career at Pikeville College in Kentucky as the director of sports medicine services and head athletic trainer, where he worked in collaboration with the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine to provide prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation to the intercollegiate athletes of the college. After seven years of service to Pikeville College, he took over as the head athletic trainer and taught Sports Medicine courses as an adjunct professor at Bluefield College in Virginia. After a year into his service at the college, he was promoted to director of athletics and sports medicine services while maintaining his role as an adjunct professor in the exercise science department.

With four years of service under his belt at Bluefield College, Vernon returned home to become the general manager and fitness director for two and half years at ProHealth Fitness in Mount Airy. In fall of 2013, Vernon came on board with Surry Community College as athletic trainer and as an instructor in the physical education department. In addition to his services to Surry Community College, Vernon is the pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church in Lowgap, and owns his own business as a health and wellness consultant. He resides in Cana with his wife and three children.

The course is divided into two parts — Sports Medicine Technology I and II. Students will be eligible to site for certifications at the end of each portion.

“The first part of the course helps students determine what specialty in sports medicine they want to pursue,” Vernon said. “The main topics we will cover in part one are as follows: careers in sports medicine; nutrition and weight management; emergency preparedness and assessment; infection control; vital sign assessment; injury recognition and management; physical fitness assessment; legal considerations; strength training and conditioning principles; functional anatomy; program design concepts; psychology in fitness; taping and bracing; and wellness professional development and advancement.

Part two of the course will include a more advanced level approach to fitness and wellness and will have a stronger focus on the medical side of sports medicine. The topic of injury recognition and management will be expanded and include more instruction for the student looking to progress toward a certificate in performance enhancement, corrective exercise, or an advanced level education like athletic training, physical therapy, or exercise physiology.

Strength training and conditioning principles will be examined in more detail, so that the student acquires a deeper understanding, as their desire may be to pursue a certification as a strength coach, biomechanics specialist, or an advanced degree such as exercise science, health promotions, or public health. Program design concepts will be a featured subject and include more information on specialty populations in sports medicine such as exercise for cancer, exercise and arthritis, as well as exercise as it pertains to chronic illness. Part two of the course will also include a section on wellness professional development and advancement, which will prepare students for the next step in their life, whether that is additional education or a career move.

Both portions of the class will lead students to national certifications, entry-level certifications and opportunity for more education. The course, which will include lecture and clinical instruction, is advantageous for high school graduates who need career exploration or for working professionals who want to add on credentials to their resume. The class is also great for people for personal trainers, emergency medical technicians, massage therapists or nurses.

Students will gain necessary skills and knowledge in the basic fundamentals and concepts in health science, medical terminology, emergency preparedness, anatomy and biomechanics, kinesiology and injury, therapeutic modalities and rehabilitation, and fitness programing and design. This program places an emphasis on the learning objectives of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and the professional domains of competency set by the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be eligible to sit for a national certification with a number of different nationally accredited organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, and National Exercise Trainers Association among others. In addition to acquiring the skills needed to obtain a national certification, students will also be positioned to transition into other advanced level programs and degrees in the sports medicine field.

“We feel like this course will peak the interest of students who are thinking about a career in sports medicine. The sky is the limit in this area with many national certifications that a student could earn,” said Debbie Cave, RN, who is the director of Nurse Aide and Related Programs at Surry Community College.

Seats are limited, and students are encouraged to register soon. For more information call Debbie Cave, RN, at 336-386-3372 or email

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