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The First Rescuers: The Real Duties and Tasks Of Athletic Trainers

The first kick makes it through the air and the crowd cheers with excitement. Cheerleaders get their stunts ready, dancers get their performance ready, photographers get their camera ready, and last but not least, athletic trainers get their equipment and water ready to help the injured players on the field.

Student trainers focus on the players of the field to prepare for any injury that may occur to the athlete.

“An athletic trainer to me is a mix between a physical therapist and a nurse,” senior Marylyn Manyama said. “This is because they help with the recovery process before and after surgeries, and also deal with bodily fluids almost all of the time.”

The students that are in sports medicine cherish the activity because of the impact they create. Sports medicine allows these students to be the first rescuers for an athlete.

“I have been in athletic training for three years and I love it,” senior Cory Ramirez said. “I love being hands-on with injuries and overall it’s a really cool experience to be in on all the action.”

Every trainer has their reason for joining the rigorous activity. This reason may have rose above their own expectations of this activity.

“I was in track my freshman year,” senior Caroline Canterbury said. “I got injured on a run-up during practice and had to go to the training room be examined. [The head trainer] asked me if I wanted to join sports medicine. I was skeptical at first because I didn’t want to stop running track but I took a leap and haven’t regretted it since.”

Trainers’ duties are very versatile for each sport which requires them to do a certain task to aid in the care of an athlete.

“For football we have different jobs,” senior Courtney Hudson-Parker said. “Some of us are in charge of water, others are in charge of preparing the locker room during halftime, while others are in charge of cleaning up anyone who is bleeding For other sports, we only set up water and watch and help if anyone gets hurt.”

In sports medicine, the trainers have a leader that they look up to so that they can be successful trainers. These leaders make sure that their fellow trainers are giving the best possible aid to the their athletes.

“I have to make sure my group knows the practice days and the assigned game days as a leader,” Manyama said. “I also have to make sure we do things as a whole and forgive one another since we spend a lot of time together.”

While sports medicine is an activity that brings so much excitement to the trainers, it requires a lot of time and effort. The amount of time these athletic trainers spend to be a trainer takes up a large amount of time out of their week.

“I spend a decent amount of time at training,” Ramirez said. ”We usually have one practice a week, and that’s around three hours. If we have a game, then we don’t usually get home until 8 p.m., which is five hours.”

There are many misconceptions of being an athletic trainer on the field. These misconceptions are far from what they truly do as a trainer.

“We are not just water girls,” Canterbury said. “We are there to tape the players, clean up the wounds they need covered,  support them, and be a friend for them when they need one.”

Sports medicine promotes a sense of togetherness because these trainers continuously spend time with each other.

“I definitely would recommend [Sports medicine] to people who like to be involved in sports,” Ramirez said. “You also become a family which makes the training room a second home.”


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