Career Story: High School Athletic Trainer

High School Athletic Trainer

Job Title: Athletic Trainer

Type of Company: I work for a Catholic high school on the south shore of the greater Boston area.

Education: BS, Athletic Training, Northeastern University

Previous Experience: I had a series of jobs at local colleges and high schools, and also worked at one point for a local health club and therapeutic facility.

Job Tasks: I work on the prevention and rehabilitation of sports injuries sustained by athletes during participation in interscholastic sports. I keep track of their injuries and monitor their progress in an effort to return them to their chosen sport in as good (if not better) condition than they were before the injury. To do this, I sometimes use techniques like electrical stimulation and ultrasound as well as ice and heat. I also do a lot of rehabilitation and strengthening exercises with athletes when they are in the recovery phase.

When you're watching professional or college sports on television and an athlete gets hurt, the person (or people) who runs out on the field to tend to him is an athletic trainer, which is what I am. But tending to injured athletes in the midst of a game is just the beginning of my job. Once the injury is evaluated I then have to treat the acute phase and after that rehab begins.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is interacting with the athletes and seeing them accomplish their goals, especially when I can get an athlete to return to his sport after a devastating injury. It is the best feeling in the world when an injured athlete returns to playing and you know that you were a part of the cure.

The worst part is when I have to tell athletes that they will be laid up for a long period of time or even the season.

Job Tips: If you want to pursue a career in athletic training take as many science courses as you can, especially in anatomy and physiology. And try to find an opportunity to shadow a trainer for a week or so to see what the job is really like.

Additional Thoughts: Just realize that if you want to be an athletic trainer it is not a 9-5 job. The schedule can be very grueling at times. However the rewards make all the time and effort worth it.

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