Never quit and never be satisfied. This is the motto of Mount Vernon High School teacher and athletic trainer Lucas Dargo, as he has been recently accepted into the Doctorate in Athletic Training program at Indiana State University.
In order to be accepted into this program, Dargo had to obtain an undergraduate degree in athletic training. The acceptance rate depends on the competitiveness among applicants and the location of the school you wish to attend. This program is designed for working athletic trainers who are treating patients while working a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Attending classes on campus is encouraged, but everything will be provided to the students online. However, there are weekends where being on campus is mandatory throughout the six semesters of the course. In preparation of this program, Dargo said that he has had to learn the art of time management. While in his master’s studies, Dargo was teaching undergraduate students, taking master level classes himself and working at a high school about 35 minutes away. Those time management skills continued to be useful as he is now a health teacher and the athletic trainer for Mount Vernon High School.
Although acceptance into this program is still shocking and exciting to Dargo, he will continue to teach and be the athletic trainer at the high school. He plans on using his down time as work time. “The athletes are my life, so I don’t have much work outside of school.”
There is a lot more that goes into the athletic training career that people do not know about. “We can’t just show up for events as they start. We get there a couple hours before to prepare for the event, stay for the entire event, and then stay a couple hours after to clean up and treat patients,” he explained.
Dargo’s main objective is to be able to perform manual therapy on his patients along with improving his formulation of rehab. He also wants to perform more physical therapy on his patients without being as dependent on equipment.
“At Ball State, we used modalities while learning, but at the high school level I usually use my hands, so that’s what I want to improve.”
Dargo is always looking for a way to help his patients get back into the action as quickly as possible. He wants his patients to come back from their injury faster, safer and better than what they were before.
“Just like a basketball player wants to get that rebound, the runners want to get that PR, and the football players want to get that touchdown, I want to be able to nail a diagnosis and nail the treatment. That could be the difference between you sitting out another game or you being back and winning the game for yourself, your team and your school,” said Dargo.
Being a part of this Doctoral program also means further advancement opportunities within the field. It opens new doors to help him treat his patients in ways he couldn’t before.