New PY1 AT Student Blog Post - Claire Love (MAT Class of 2024)
It is well known that the life of an athletic trainer is oftentimes hectic. There are always multiple people demanding your attention, multiple things you have to get done, and somehow certified athletic trainers find a way to get it all done. This was definitely the case when I visited Fontbonne University where PY 1 Lauren Swords is learning from Sammie Hochmuth ATC. Currently Sammie is the only athletic trainer serving all 18 athletic teams. But even in the midst of being busy, you could tell that Sammie's number one priority was the relationships she has with her athletes. Throughout the afternoon out of season athlete after out of season athlete came in just to hang out and see Sammie. They wanted to share the joys and excitement of school success and potential job offers. While others came in just to ask for advice. Whatever it was Sammie made time to be there and be present for them. Athletes trust Sammie because when they come to her they feel that their voice is being heard. As I start my time in the professional program and progress into being a certified athletic trainer, I want to be this type of ATC. I want to be a person-centered athletic trainer whose athletes trust me with their health and treatments, but also just in life. I want my athletes to know that I am always in their corner and will support them in every positive decision they make. Getting to watch Sammie live this out is inspiration to me.
Another huge inspiration for me this semester was getting to attend the MAATA District 5 Annual Meeting and Symposium in Omaha, NE. During this conference I was able to attend different educational sessions that covered a wide variety of topics. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was titled “Cultural Competence in Athletic Training” and talked about how athletic training is so much more than treating an injured athlete. Being an athletic trainer really means becoming an invested member of the community you are working in, so that you can be a comrade for a patient as they walk through their injury. So this means when a patient is not compliant in their home exercise program, you don't just write them off as lazy, you dig in and find out why they have not been compliant. And for many athletes it is because they have a multiple of other responsibilities on their plate. In the secondary school setting you might have an athlete who is homeless. Non-compliance is no longer the problem, addressing where they are going to sleep that night is. And as an invested member of the community, you make connections and are able to link them to resources that they might need. I think this is a part of athletic training that is not talked about enough, but I think it is so important. Another opportunity I was fortunate enough to have during MAATA was to meet and network with certified athletic trainers. I met so many different people who work in so many different settings. Getting to hear their stories and experiences just excited me even more to join the profession!
This is one of a series of blog posts written by students entering the professional phase of the SLU AT Program as a part of MAT 3000 - AT Student Development II.