Amanda Cheney Zitting — Concussion Alliance

Amanda Cheney Zitting — Concussion Alliance

Table of Contents

This put up is a part of a collection of interviews with previous interns about how Concussion Alliance impacted their lives going ahead. This interview follows up with Amanda Cheney Zitting, who was a 2022 graduate of Brigham Younger College. She is presently working for the College of Utah doing well being analysis with joint employment on the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs. To be taught extra, see Amanda Cheney Zitting’s profile page. This interview was performed by Ella Gullickson, a sophomore historical past main at Carleton Faculty, as a part of her December 2023 interview. See Ella’s profile.

Ella Gullickson:

Hello, I am Ella. I’m right here interviewing Amanda, who has carried out the Concussion Alliance internship previously. Amanda, would you please introduce your self a bit of bit?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Sure, gladly. I’m Amanda, she/her pronouns, and I’ve a background in public well being. I studied public well being at Brigham Younger College, and I’ve an emphasis in well being promotion. I graduated in 2022, a couple of yr in the past, and ever since then, I have been working for the College of Utah doing well being analysis with a joint employment on the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs, focusing totally on mind accidents of veterans and the outcomes that they’ve all through the life course.

Ella Gullickson:

That every one sounds actually fascinating. I want Carleton had a public well being main, which is the place I’m.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yeah, superior.

Ella Gullickson:

My first query is, when did you begin working with Concussion Alliance, and what drew you in?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I began working with Concussion Alliance in June 2022. I had been searching for an internship that needed to do with Mind Well being and simply wanting by means of the completely different organizations that provided internships, and I got here throughout their web page and reached out to Connor, and that is the way it all got here to be.

I additionally had a protracted historical past of concussion and post-concussion syndrome, so it was one thing that I used to be actually enthusiastic about simply from my very own private expertise and understanding how a lot that may have an effect on individuals. That drew me in, and I needed to work with a nonprofit in order that simply solidified why I needed to decide on them over some other group.

Ella Gullickson:

That sounds similar to what drew me in. I even have handled some post-concussive signs, and I additionally needed to be taught extra and be taught extra about my mind well being in addition to how I will help different individuals, in order that’s actually cool that we now have that connection. What have been some highlights of your Concussion Alliance internship?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel for me, the highlights have been gaining a greater information and feeling extra assured in my talent set, in addition to my information round concussion and psychological well being and stuff like that, particularly from the visitor audio system, in addition to creating my very own mission with my companion, I believed that was actually enjoyable. After the internship, I felt that I had a greater grasp on the subject and will converse to it quite a bit higher than earlier than, even after years of physician’s appointments round it.

Ella Gullickson:

Have been there any explicit visitor audio system that have been significantly impactful for you?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Good query. Eve Valera. She talked about home violence as one thing that we do not examine as usually inside MTBI or concussion. I feel that was simply…

It wasn’t actually one thing I had considered earlier than, particularly when she talked about asphyxiation inflicting mind accidents and having very related signs to concussion, after which that making it possibly tougher for them to grasp why they wanted to depart or make it tougher to depart generally. I feel that simply as an curiosity that I’ve of girls’s well being was simply actually cool as a result of it put it into a totally completely different perspective.

Ella Gullickson:

Are you able to discuss a bit of bit about your mission through the internship?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yeah, my mission with my companion targeted on the distinction between women’s and girls outcomes of concussion versus males. There was already a web page that existed, and so we have been updating that, however because it was one thing I used to be actually, actually enthusiastic about and had expertise with, I needed to verify it was actually complete and was someplace that folks might go to once they have been having these points and be like “this is smart”. That is why I am having these items occur.

Particularly while you do Google searches and stuff like that, there’s nonetheless not quite a bit that comes up on the subject, so we actually wish to ensure that it is rather cohesive and complete. We tried to focus quite a bit on just about something that would come up on the subject, whether or not that is caregiving as a spouse of somebody who’s had a concussion, or a mom, or collaborating in sports activities as a woman, or veteran service as a girl, or simply getting them generally from home violence or anything.

We had a good time diving into all these completely different matters, and it turned out rather well; we’re very pleased with that web page. It helped us to have a very good background on the subject as nicely.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, I’ve taken a have a look at it, and it is actually spectacular, all of the completely different populations that you simply added in there, I am unable to even think about how you set all that stuff into one web page, however you probably did it. It does not sound incomplete in any respect. It is all there.

How did your mission in regards to the inhabitants of girls and ladies affect future analysis, like what you are doing with the veteran concussion restoration?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Like I stated, I already had a ardour for concussions generally in addition to ladies’s well being. I had been a part of the Ladies’s Well being Group of their management whereas I used to be an undergrad, and so I used that to discover a job. I actually simply networked in all places till I discovered this job. That was one of many first tasks that they have been engaged on that needed to do with concussions and the completely different outcomes between women and men, particularly with melancholy charges.

That was a paper that I had assisted on a bit of bit after I first began. That is the principle mission that we have carried out particularly with ladies’s well being, however we additionally simply did one other paper with ladies veterans as caregivers, in order that they do their service. They might have their very own mind accidents, however then they go on to care for his or her kids or possibly a disabled partner or simply caregiving as a job. We regarded on the completely different well being outcomes of that as nicely.

It was actually attention-grabbing to see that they actually do have poorer well being than should you have been only a civilian who was additionally a caregiver, and brain injury was one of many issues that we attributed that to. These are two tasks that we have labored on which are particular to ladies’s well being and mind accidents.

Ella Gullickson:

Wow, that is fascinating. Is it attributed to them being overworked compared to civilian caregivers?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

There are loads of completely different outcomes. It was issues like they have been extra prone to have already got continual well being points or poor psychological well being and possibly completely different trauma, whether or not that is army sexual trauma or trauma from fight or no matter it was. There have been simply loads of various things that a median lady civilian would not have needed to face already together with the mind accidents and stuff like that.

It was stuff like that, after which caregiving generally could be actually exhausting on psychological well being, a extremely massive burden, and typically you are not paid in any respect if it is for a member of the family. That may be actually exhausting financially, and there is simply loads of various things that go into it.

Ella Gullickson:

Wow, that is actually vital analysis that you simply’re doing. I might by no means heard of any of that stuff. What made you wish to return to Concussion Alliance as an professional speaker?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel for me, clearly, Connor requested, however I feel that simply understanding that they’re clearly a nonprofit and making an attempt to get funding and so they haven’t got funding for each little factor, so the extra that I can do as somebody who desires to additional the work as a volunteer, the extra I will help them and assist additional concussion analysis and training and advocacy across the subject. I feel simply understanding that it was one thing that they wanted and I might do it fairly simply. That was it for me fairly, a lot.

Ella Gullickson:

I feel it additionally actually reveals your curiosity in public well being.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yeah, positively. I like public well being. You are proper, I want Carleton had a public well being main as a result of anyone I meet, I am like public well being is the very best factor you may examine. It is so complete and covers so many various matters.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, it is fascinating. Once more, I want I might examine public well being. How, if in any respect, did the Concussion Alliance affect your plans for the long run?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel that for me, I used to be near graduating after I did the internship. I solely had a few months left after I did the internship in school, so I used to be already searching for a job that gave me the expertise I wanted to get a job inside the subject of mind well being. I feel it gave me what I wanted to be prepared for these and in addition be a very good candidate, however I did already know that that was one thing I needed to work in; it simply solidified it for me.

Ella Gullickson:

I am glad it helped you discover jobs in analysis as a result of the work is de facto vital. Has Concussion Alliance linked you extra with different interns or professionals since your internship program?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I do not suppose so, however I nonetheless have contact data for a lot of audio system. I added them on LinkedIn and stuff through the internship, so I nonetheless have them on LinkedIn. I might use them as future connections. I do know that Connor and Malayka are at all times good sources, so I do not doubt that I might get assist or different connections if it have been one thing that I wanted.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, it is actually highly effective to have that networking even when you have not used it but. How did the internship show you how to extra broadly?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel generally it was nice to have or not it’s distant for me. I feel that A, gave me extra work expertise, working a distant job, which made me a greater candidate to get a distant job. Proper now, my job, I solely should go in as soon as a month or if there’s one thing that I have to do in particular person. That was one factor that I actually needed as a result of I do have loads of well being points, and I do battle with migraines nonetheless from the concussion and stuff.

I feel that that may be a very broad or extra obscure factor, simply having or not it’s distant and getting extra work expertise that was distant. I feel simply being extra assured in my skillset in addition to having the ability to converse extra to my expertise in interviews and stuff like that.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, I’ve by no means labored in a distant office till now, and I by no means realized it was a skillset. I simply by no means would’ve considered it, however it actually is, to remain motivated and present that you simply’re in a position to sustain with issues by yourself.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Undoubtedly.

Ella Gullickson:

Did what you discovered about concussions by means of the internship influence your relationship with others?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel that, sure. My household already had a fairly good understanding of concussions and the completely different therapies and stuff as a result of I had tried 99% of it that they’ve on their web site. However I feel that as we talked about it extra, I used to be speaking about what I used to be studying and all that stuff, it helped them to hook up with what I used to be doing in my work and what I do now.

There was a pair that got here, Linda and Bob Dahl, and so they talked about their son taking his personal life after falling out of a window as a baby and getting a brain injury. That was one thing that… It was a extremely nice video, clearly, but in addition seeing that they have been actual individuals too. I feel that these issues I additionally shared with my household is the place I used to be going with that. I used to be in a position to additionally influence different individuals in my life with the issues that I used to be studying there.

Ella Gullickson:

That is attention-grabbing. Do you suppose your conversations with your loved ones made them extra understanding of what was happening?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yeah, I feel so. I feel that they acknowledged that analysis continues to be happening. There are loads of various things that they did not find out about or no matter. I feel that realizing that though possibly they see my scenario as one thing exhausting, there are nonetheless loads of different individuals who have gone by means of even worse on the subject. So yeah, I positively suppose so.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, I am pleased that your loved ones gained that understanding. I am certain they already had an understanding, however you may at all times be taught extra, I feel.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yep, positively.

Ella Gullickson:

I simply have yet another query. How did your intern expertise with Concussion Alliance change your perspective in your concussion expertise, if in any respect?

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I feel my largest takeaway was how fallacious a few of my docs have been again after I was doing it simply because this occurred to me in 2014 or 2015, I am unable to bear in mind, so there positively was this analysis on the market, however it’s not as prevalent as it’s in the present day with issues like returning to train and stuff like that the place I used to be doing all of the extra of the cocooning factor the place you are staying in a darkish room.

For me, it was actually attention-grabbing to look again at my very own expertise and be like, “Wow, I ponder if they’d carried out it a bit of bit in a different way if I might’ve had a special end result” or possibly it might’ve been the identical. It was simply actually attention-grabbing to see. There have been some issues the place I used to be given the fallacious recommendation. Reflecting alone experiences, I feel that was my largest takeaway.

Ella Gullickson:

I’ve additionally suffered a concussion, and I’ve post-concussive signs too. My first concussion was in 2016, when additionally they instructed me to cocoon and be in a darkish room. I feel it is actually attention-grabbing how all of that recommendation has modified. With a later concussion that I had, the knowledge that I acquired nonetheless wasn’t utterly correct. A variety of occasions, they might attribute my post-concussive signs to anxiousness or…

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Dismiss them and stuff.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, and I feel it is actually attention-grabbing as a result of I used to be watching your showcase and I’m within the inhabitants you mentioned. I used to be in that inhabitants that you simply talked about earlier than faculty age, the place the restoration interval is for much longer since you acquired insufficient care. I positively mirrored and realized that that in all probability was my case, so I feel it is actually attention-grabbing.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I am sorry to listen to that.

Ella Gullickson:

You are making an attempt to repair it along with your curiosity and work in public well being. I admire it. I feel it is simply actually frequent.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

Yeah, I agree. I feel it additionally goes to how a lot this must be taught extra in med colleges and persevering with training for docs. I do know that Connor and Malayka have labored on that stuff a bit of bit, however I feel that it is simply a kind of matters that docs might imagine they find out about and needn’t be taught this new… Or possibly change what they have been already doing or no matter, however I feel the analysis is displaying increasingly that we actually do have to make adjustments to protocols and the way we react when individuals get concussions.

Ella Gullickson:

For certain. I had some docs who referred me to the concussion clinic, and I had vestibular remedy, and I feel that helped. I feel that the information behind concussion restoration is rising.

I additionally had a neurologist who stated it would simply be anxiousness, and I left wanting extra. I feel it is attention-grabbing, the disparity in information and what you stated about how medical colleges ought to educate it, and people who find themselves already docs, I feel have to have much more training on it.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

I agree—particularly for individuals who have been within the medical subject for a very long time. Possibly there are docs who’re maintaining rather well. I do not wish to bash docs as a result of clearly we’d like them, and I am grateful for them, however I feel that loads of occasions when individuals have been within the medical subject for a very long time, they possibly get set of their methods or set in what they know and do not broaden that as a lot. Some do a extremely nice job, such as you stated, while you get referred to a concussion clinic.

I feel additionally one of many massive themes within the web page that we did was not gaslighting individuals or dismissing individuals due to their signs and simply saying possibly it is your psychological well being, or possibly it is in your head, otherwise you’re simply anxious and also you’re inflicting these signs or stuff like that’s what additionally wants to finish inside the medical subject.

Ella Gullickson:

Yeah, that is positively true. That is all of the questions I’ve. Thanks for such a stunning dialog.

Amanda Cheney Zitting:

No, thanks.



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