Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Dutton ’19, Athletic Training
Lindsey Dutton ’19, Athletic Training
Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), Certified Orthopedic Technician (OTC) and Certified Orthopedic Physician Extender (OPE-C), Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH
We recently interviewed Lindsey Dutton (LD) about her UNE experience and her current career.
Describe your career path and key professional choices to this point?
LD: I went the non-traditional athletic training route. I work in an outpatient Orthopedic Clinic at a level one Trauma Center and teaching hospital. I currently hold three certifications that pertain to Orthopedics, and I plan to further my education and become a physician's assistant. My goal is to be in the operating room as a first assist during surgery, while also seeing patients in the clinic for the initial and follow-up visits to build a positive rapport with the patients.
Living in Lebanon, on the border of New Hampshire and Vermont, I became Dual licensed in Athletic Training in NH and VT. Having the dual licensure allows me to cover athletic events in both states and have a direct connection to the hospital. Shortly after starting at DHMC, I studied for my Orthopedic Technologist Certification, which gives me the ability to do casting and splinting as well as go into the operating room. I also studied for my Orthopedic Physician Extender certification, which allows me to work in the role like a physician assistant without doing procedures, such as injections.
What do you like most about your career? What do you find most rewarding?
LD: I love that every day is different, and I am always learning something new. I believe that working at a level one trauma center/teaching hospital is one of the best decisions I have made for myself right out of college. Everyone in the hospital, including the surgeons, residents and PA’s, have a passion of teaching and continuing education. It is always encouraged to ask questions during clinic or while in the operating room.
The most rewarding part of my job is when we “graduate” long-term patients from our care after their injuries/surgeries. We build a lasting rapport with our patients from their very first clinic visit to their last. I love building the relationship with the patients and watching them succeed and be able to get back to the activities that they love.
How did your time at UNE impact you as a student, a person and a professional?
LD: As a student UNE opened my eyes to so many new opportunities. As an athletic training student, I had diverse clinical rotation opportunities that allowed me to work anywhere from high schools, to colleges, and even the orthopedic clinic and operating room setting. As students we were exposed to a diverse group of athletes/patients and communities that helped form our basis for communication with people from all walks of life. I was required to communicate with parents, athletes, coaches, other athletic trainers and different medical professionals. As a student, clinical rotations put you into a safe location to work under certified athletic trainers while obtaining hands on, on-field assessments of real time injuries and patients.
UNE is also one of the few schools in New England that has a gross anatomy lab and allows undergraduate students to have classes in the lab. Having access to the gross anatomy lab was such an advantage as a student to be able to understand the basics and complexity that the human body consists of.
As a person, UNE taught me to care for everyone around me. The UNE community prides itself on caring for the people and planet around them.
As a professional UNE taught me, “a patient does not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Professor Chris Rizzo made sure we would never forget this quote, and now it will follow me through the rest of my life as both a person and a professional. Healthcare isn’t only based on how much you, as a provider, know. It is also based on showing patients compassion for their ailments; Chris made sure we always treated the patient as a whole and not only the injury.
UNE also taught me that no students who lived in Sokokis Hall should go into culinary arts because of the amount of fire alarms we had due to poor cooking skills.
What advice would you give to current students who may be job searching or graduating soon?
LD: You do not need to have your entire life figured out before or even after you graduate. As young adults, this is the best time to find exactly what you love and strive for that. There is no rush on getting that dream job, it is all about the steps in between. I never planned to take time off after undergraduate studies to work - but the past two years has exposed me to more than I could have imagined. When I go back to school in the future, I will now hold more experience than those who did not work and will have a broader understanding of everything patient care entails.
What are you most proud of?
LD: Honestly, I am proud of my own drive to continue my education and advance myself in the healthcare field. I have never been someone who has enjoyed school or was a straight ‘A’ student. But now that I have found something that I am passionate about and surrounded myself with like-minded people, I strive to learn more every day. I want to continue to better myself and learn as much as I can so that I can offer only the best and most diverse care for each of my patients in the future.