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I am not entirely sure what I want my career to be but I have a pretty good idea as to what type of job it will be. I would like to go into the field of sports medicine. I feel I will enjoy this more than any other type of career just because I already have a lot of interest in it after shadowing an athletic trainer. This can be a wonderful opportunity for students, such as myself, who are interested in a career in sports medicine. This experience can give great insight into what an athletic trainer’s typical day may be like.
For this project, the certified athletic trainer who I have shadowed for almost eight hours over just two days is Kelsey Ney, currently the athletic trainer at Newton High School in Covington, Ga. Kelsey has worked at Newton now entering her fourth year at the high school. She works alone as a trainer there but works alongside one team doctor who is at every game. Kelsey works through Piedmont Medical. She only works at the clinic in the off-season which is the summer for her since school is out. The reason for that is because during the school days, normally the time you work at the clinic, she is at the school. Kelsey is also a Health teacher at the high school for a few classes in the morning. Overall, she works fifty plus hours a week, which doesn’t include tournaments out of state. Since she has a contract to work at Newton through Piedmont Medical, she has only certain things that she has to abide by. For example, she covers every sports home game. But football, baseball, and basketball she travels with them to away games that they have. It’s just the way the contract was made when she was hired. To get where she is so far, Kelsey attended Kent State University where she went through athletic training. Just recently after she finished her major and became certified, she finished up with a master’s degree and had a second major of teaching, which gave her the chance to teach while she is at Newton. She doesn’t get to school until around 8:30am during the week and teaches during the morning school hours. To help her out during the game coverage’s Kelsey has three to four student trainers from the high school who helps her.
They usually gather together after school, and if the football team is playing that day, they eat with the football players in the lunch room. Shortly after they eat, they gather any things that she needs and heads over to the field that are across the highway. There they have baseball fields, football, soccer, etc., but she heads to the trainer room which is located next to the football team’s locker room under the stands. Her training room is filled with supplies, tables, tubs, and ice machines. Then there’s the huge cabinet full of the supplies which she uses which is under lock and key. The one thing that she doesn’t have and can’t use unless their eighteen years old is over-the-counter drugs, even if it’s something like Ibuprofen. Around this time it should between 3:00pm to 4:30pm pending the sport. For football game coverage’s, she gets there late because of the team meal. But starting around this time, she normally has a bunch of people in there, becoming very chaotic at times. This is called wrapping hour(s) where any previously injured athletes come to get themselves checked, like dislocations to concussions, and get wrapped also which she and her student trainers do. Each person who comes in must sign in and state what there in for. This is mostly used for inventory purposes because they have to replace what they use every day and what they must order. Nothing is undated in the room. This list of names who signs in to be treated reaches up to thirty to thirty-five people for football games
There are occasions when she has athletes with torn or ripped ACL, etc. who require special processes to be done to them. An example is the running back for the varsity team. He had a complete ACL and MCL tear in his left knee. She had to put tape and braces on him and make sure everything was fine and restated that he should get surgery. Then there’s the time when the quarterback who just had a dislocated shoulder last game came in. His dislocation required an electrical stimulation, which reduces inflammation and swelling and an ultrasound on his shoulder to be done to him.
When it’s time for the games to start, Kelsey gets all the equipment that is need and takes it out to the side lines. This includes things like braces, first aids kits, and ice, and has walkie-talkies and her cell phone ready to use to be able to contact the paramedic team that is waiting in the parking lot of each game. While she’s out there, she follows the plays up and down the field to make sure she’s there when something happens After the game ends, players who need to be evaluated by her or how need to be check out because of an injury during the game, come to the training room. For a few hours, she does what is needed for the athletes. Then the night is over for her until tomorrow.
The pros of being an athletic trainer is being in an athletic environment. For me, I want to be around athletes because I love playing sports. It’s especially fun when the medical field which I like is combined with the sports. Other pros that come in this job is being in a high school environment and getting to know a lot of people. Being an athletic trainer always would help when you’re injured or someone else around you are injured. Your job puts in the capabilities to help those people. The cons of being in an environment like this comes before and during the games. A lot of athletes’ pile in the trainer’s room looking to be treated becoming quite chaotic at times.
The quick pace is always a challenge when multiple injuries happen at once. One thing that Kelsey said that you have to do a lot is trying to remember the anatomy of the injury. This career has its pros and cons to it. You really have to be into the fast environment to be able to keep up with the pace. Kelsey’s social life doesn’t change much being an athletic trainer for the high school. The only thing is that it is lowered paid but she said if you like it, you’ll take it. Hours might be long during the week, but most of the time weekends are completely free. What she likes most is the potential impact that they can have on students, athletes, coaches, and parents. Athletic Trainers primary role is to prevent, evaluate and treat injuries. There is an aspect of Athletic Training beyond the injuries that can be difficult to explain. Athletes who have never been injured can be impacted through interactions with the Athletic Trainer.
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