Jessica Tidswell portrait
  • Assistant Professor (Clinical), Physical Therapy & Athletic Training

Current Courses

Fall 2018

  • ATSM 3406-001
    Sports Med Internship
  • ATSM 3480-001
    Ther Intervention II
    Location: HPR E 203F (Hper East)
  • ATSM 5402-001
    Clinical Internship II
    Location: TBA (TBA)

Spring 2018

Professional Organizations

  • National Athletic Trainers' Association. 11/2006 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association. 03/2002 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Physical Therapy Association. 08/1999 - present. Position : Member.
  • US Ski & Snowboard Association. 09/1985 - present. Position : Member.

Practice History

  • Provide Physical Therapy and Athletic Training services to the student-athletes of the University of Utah in the Eccles and Zane Beadles Athletic Training Rooms working with University of Utah Athletics. 07/01/2015 - present .

Teaching Philosophy

Studying athletic training involves both classroom and clinical learning.  As an athletic training professor, I am lucky in that I teach within a closed program that accepts up to 23 students per year.  This means that I teach small, intimate classes where I know each student’s name by the second day of class.  Being able to teach in a small class, allows me to get to know my students.  I learn who my students are inside the classroom, the clinical environment and outside of the academic setting which enables me to tailor my classes to their needs.

At the end of our five semester program, our undergraduate students will graduate with a degree that allows them to sit for a national certification exam enabling them to practice as Certified Athletic Trainers and become licensed healthcare professionals in many states.  As such, I believe it is vitally important to help instill values in the students such as professionalism, accountability, self-motivation, dependability, integrity and respect while they are learning to become athletic trainers.  I have found the best way to do this is by setting an example.  As a clinician and a teacher, I hold myself to a high standard and always have these values in mind.  If I hold myself to the same standards, then my students have an example to follow.

Since we are in a clinical field in athletic training, I do not think it is effective to simply use a lecture format while teaching.  If I could, I would teach a skills lab every single class period.  Since the students need to learn foundational concepts we do need to use traditional style lecture within the classroom, but I also use technology to help the students spend more time with the material.  The students come to lecture and then do homework assignments online afterwards where they reflect on the material to ensure that they understand what was covered.  These assignments help them to master the content while also develop their critical thinking skills.  Whenever it is appropriate, and as often as possible, we have lab sessions in class.  Again, I am lucky because we have a purpose built classroom and the students’ desks convert into treatment tables.  If I am covering a specific treatment or assessment in lecture, we can quickly switch their desks into treatment table and practice the technique during the lecture.  We also have designated lab days where we spend the entire period just working on clinical skills.  Students tell me that the skills days are the favorite portion of the class because it is then that they get to put their knowledge into practice.

Active learning and participating are important to me.  I try to bring enthusiasm to the classroom each and every day to create a positive learning environment.  I love my job, both as a professor and as a clinician.  I want to share the fact that athletic training is my passion.  Brining enthusiasm into the classroom and sharing my experiences working with professional, Olympic and elite athletes is just one way that I can help spark passion in my students.  Getting my students to see that it is okay to speak up in class and share their stories and passions is an important goal of mine each semester.  By establishing a safe environment within the classroom where the students understand that they can share their stories, their ideas, and their mistakes in order to learn, we are able to have thoughtful discussions about injuries and treatments.  We can make physics a lot more interesting when we are talking about the lever arms involved with a bicep curl and calf raise or the physical principles of water during aquatic rehabilitation; especially since that class happens in the pool.

I became a teacher because I had great teachers.  I had teachers who believed in me and pushed me to reach my potential.  I want to be that teacher for my students.  I want to challenge my students to become the best athletic trainers they can be.  I set the bar high for them, but I am right alongside them every step of the way; encouraging them, assisting them and letting them know that no matter how challenging or foreign the concept may be at first, it will become second nature to them with practice.  My students work closely with me and with the teaching assistants that I hand select to assist me so that we have enough people to help with our lab skills sessions.  I want to ensure when the students are learning that they receive correct and instant feedback.  Our students head straight from class to their clinical rotations.  The skills they learn in class can immediately be practiced on athletes so if they gain the confidence in their skills with my guidance, they will walk confidently into their clinical rotation and continue to practice and learn.  

The final concept that I encourage in my classroom is teamwork.  In the field of athletic training and many healthcare fields, you are part of a team.  Effective teamwork is essential for success.  My students frequently work in teams during class and outside of class on projects.  Being able to collaborate and work well together as a team will set the students up well for future success because as a healthcare provider, they will always be part of a team working towards the common goal of helping their patient heal.

Courses I Teach

  • 3470 - ATSM
    Clinical Exam in Athletic Training II: Upper Extremity
  • 3480 - ATSM
    Therapeutic Interventions II: Therapeutic Exercise (Rehab)
  • 5401 - ATSM
    Field Work (Clinical Internship I)
  • 6950 - ATSM
    Independent Study

Current Students

  • Dillon Hyland, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Thesis. Role: Member.
  • Travis Nolan, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Lisa Anthony, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Chelsea Ashton, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.

Former Students

  • Tyler Johnson, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Ryan Dix, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.